Latin American Poker Tour
The Latin American Poker Tour, abbreviated for simplicity as LAPT, is the Latin American version of the European Poker Tour. The LAPT is sponsored by PokerStars, a very well-known poker organization that is an online poker room, as well as has various professional poker players on its team (sponsored). This tournament has not been around for long, but PokerStars was very smart by opening the Latin American poker market. It seems they are the only group to be organizing big poker tournaments on that side of the world and profiting because of it.
The LAPT does not really have a long history because it started in May of 2008. It is currently being sponsored by PokerStars. This is the fourth poker tournament that PokerStars has started. Some of the other tournaments are the European Poker Tour, in 2004, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, in 2007, and finally the North American Poker Tour in 2010. The LAPT has only had four seasons since its inception, and is currently in the middle of its fifth season tour. When the LAPT was founded, they decided to start out with a single tournament style, with only one type of poker being played.
The Poker Tour
As the LAPT is a Poker Tour, the event is organized in various locations through all of Latin America. This year, 2012, the LAPT event organizers have done an excellent job at picking the locations for the 5th season tour. The tour started in Viña del Mar in Chile and lasted from March 21 – 25, and then it moved on to Punta del Este, Uruguay from May 23-27. The next location on the tour will be in Medellin, Colombia in August, from the 7th to the 12th. The last location that has been determined so far is Lima, Peru, which will be played from November 14 – 18. Players need to pay attention to when the LAPT Grand Final will be determined, for location and date.
Pros vs. Cons of the LAPT
With such a new tournament, in a fairly untapped market such as Latin America, there are bound to be some pros and cons. The Latin American Poker Tour, and PokerStars, have done a good job at entering the market and being able to market themselves properly. Some of the pros that the LAPT has are the fact that they are in a new and vast market; they are also the rule setters, and the recognition is also a pro. Some of the cons are mistakes, currency, and locations.
As the owners of the LAPT are the first ones into the Latin American market, in terms of live tournament play, they have the potential of attaining most of the poker market. All they have to do is continually improve, and be able to market themselves in a way that will entice more players to join. With being pioneers, they are also the rule setters. They have the chance to set the bar for any other competitor that decides to join that market. As LAPT becomes more popular, it will let the poker players know which brand name is the best, gaining good reputation and recognition.
With anything new, there is a time when mistakes and misunderstandings will occur. It has been known that there needs to be focus when it comes to Latin America, both in language and in culture. Mistakes can be made, and it could cost the LAPT a lot of opportunities. When there are different countries involved, there will also be the trouble of having various currencies and exchange rates. This is a minor problem, seeing as the LAPT has adopted the US Dollar as the main currency, and that each player will need to deal with the exchange themselves. As stated before, the poker tour happens all over South America, which could cause problems for the players and their travels.
Winners Circle in the LAPT
As the LAPT is already on its 5th season tour (in 2012), there have been big winners already in the previous seasons and tours. Dominik Nitsche, a German player, won first place in the LAPT2 getting a total of $381,010, and coming in close was Alex Manzano from Chile with his win in LAPT4; making off with $368,703.
Although the LAPT is not as recognized as other big name live tournaments, it is starting to take off and become more popular, hopefully increasing the prize pool too. The stakes are going up, along with the level of competition. It was certainly a good market to tap into and grow into the future.