Huge Chavez better watch out because PokerStars is heading to South America. The inaugural Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) will kick off May 3-5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From there they’ll turn back around to San Jose, Costa Rica before finishing off their tour in the southern regions of the Americas in Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

Heading the tour will be the LAPT’s tour president Glenn Cademartori. So far each of the announced events is expected to draw an international talent pool of poker players and attract at least 250 players. Each tournament is expected to generate a prize pool in excess of $600,000, which will surely attract some of Latin America’s sharpest card players.

Commenting on the upcoming events, Cademartori was quoted as saying, “Poker is exploding in Latin America and the game is more than ready for its own major poker tour. It's one of the fastest-growing poker regions and there are thousands upon thousands of players in countries like Brazil and Argentina who will love the chance to take part in events of this kind. In every regard, the LAPT is going to put Latin America on the map as the newest hotspot to play high-stakes international poker.”

PokerStars has already announced that they will be sending their entire team to different tournaments an in effort to promote the LAPT. These pros are some of the best Latin American players in world including Andre Akkari (Brazil) and Humberto Brenes (Costa Rica). Both players have already signed up for the event in Rio de Janeiro, a three-day $2,500-entry tourney.

Veteran tournament director Mike Ward will be overseeing the Latin America Poker Tour stops. Ward has earned his reputation working as the director of Foxwoods Resort Casino since 1996 and also has experience with previous PokerStars-sponsored events such as running the Bahamas-based PokerStars Caribbean Adventure since its inception in 2004.

LAPT boss Cademartori has acknowledged that the partnership with PokerStars was a smart move for the new tour. Cademartori recognized that linking up with the world’s leading online poker company, “means it's uniquely positioned to give an enormous number of players from across the globe the chance to take part through online qualifying satellite tournaments. Our goal is to provide Latin American players and beyond with the best poker tournament experience in this part of the world.”

According to the PokerStars blog, they will be covering the events in English, Portuguese and Spanish. There is still time before the tournament gets underway, but judging by the hype that is already being created around the LAPT the event will be by and large a smashing success.

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