Over three months after the tournament began in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Mexico has finally found a champion in American Rory Cox. The initial $2,500 buy-in event was cancelled unexpectedly back in December when local gaming officials suddenly suspended play in the middle of the tournament and revoked the gaming license obtained for the occasion.
At first, players were told the tournament would be temporarily suspended and LAPT had high hopes the event could resume the next day. However, after almost a day of deliberations, the event was called off and the remaining 89 players from the starting field of 242 runners were given pieces of the prize pool based on their chip counts at the time play was stopped.
The story does not end there though. In an attempt to make amends with the players affected by the incident, PokerStars held an online freeroll for the 89 runners still in the event prior to its abrupt conclusion. The site even offered up $50,000 which would be divided amongst the final nine players. The original plan was to play down to a final table and then fly all nine finalists to the LAPT’s January stop in Chile. The plans for Chile fell through and the live final table was pushed back to the next LAPT event in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
The big name at Tuesday’s final table was PokerStars pro and native South American Victor Ramdin, who, along with former WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer, was one of the recognizable pros remaining in the field when the tournament was paused. He managed to outlast a majority of the field online to make it to the live final table, but his star power was no match for the chip stack in front of Cox. Before play concluded in the online freeroll, Cox had collected over half the chips in play and arrived in Uruguay with a hefty chip lead in tow. Heading into the final table, Cox held just over a million chips, while his next closest competitor, Helen Prager, had just 326,000.
Once the final table got going, Ramdin was the first player headed for the door and former WPT Invitational Champ Alex Brenes was right on his heels in 8th place. Cox kept up his aggressive style as players were eliminated and he had a 5 to 1 chip advantage when it got down to heads up play with Prager. Despite his substantial chip lead, Cox did not take home the title easily. Once heads-up play began Prager kicked up her level of aggression and managed to briefly take the chip lead after two double ups. Cox retaliated though, ultimately calling Prager’s all-in shove holding A-10. Prager held K-7, Cox paired his ace on the flop and an LAPT Mexico winner was finally determined.
Now that the Mexico event is finally in the books, LAPT organizers and players can focus on the Punta del Este Main Event, which began play yesterday.
Here are the complete results from the final table:
1st – Rory Cox – $15,000
2nd – Helen Prager – $11,000
3rd – Pavel Naydenov – $7,500
4th – Leonardo Emperador – $5,000
5th – Steven Thompson – $4,000
6th – Martha Herrera – $3,000
7th – Bolivar Palacios – $2,000
8th – Alex Brenes – $1,500
9th – Victor Ramdin – $1,000

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