Monday, December 08, 2008

Know When to Fold 'em

A cameraman friend who has a lucrative sideline filming high-stakes poker tournaments for broadcast sends us this report from the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta, where he is suddenly enjoying a four-day, all expenses paid, fully-salaried vacation.

Apparently, local officials were shocked - shocked - to find that gambling was going on at a high-stakes poker tournament.

In a virtually unheard-of move, PokerStars decided to cancel the Nuevo Vallarta stop on the Latin American Poker Tour yesterday due to issues with the Mexican government.

The troubles began on Day 1 of the event when, after nine levels of play with 89 players still remaining, tournament director Mike Ward called for an unscheduled stop at about 10:30 p.m. CT on Friday.

Several minutes later all players were asked in Spanish to leave the tournament room and shortly after that the media, TV crews and dealers were evicted as well.... the pause came courtesy of the Mexican government, which had decided to rescind the LAPT's gaming license after observing the tournament for nearly 10 hours on Friday....

The announcement that the 153 players already eliminated from contention would not receive any remuneration for the mishap sparked a near-riot, as unhappy eliminatees loudly protested the decision at the entrance to the Marival's theater. In the end, three police cars had to be called to convince those who would not be paid to give up the fight.

We're going to go out on a limb here and attribute this to "failure to bribe." Ten hours is a long time to be "observing the tournament," especially when "observing" means "standing there with one's hand out, discretely clearing one's throat."

1 comment:

mexfiles said...

You can bribe the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't bribe all the people all the time.

Going out on a limb, I'd suggest the organizers of the event were arrogant gringos who thought they could bribe their way out of anything and didn't bother with no stinkin' regulatory paperwork.

"Failure to bribe" is probably a good guess, though failure to obtain a permiso from the Secretaria de Gobernacion (federal and state) could also be a factor, as well as serving alchohol in a establishment where gambling occurs -- the latter being Constitutionally forbidden.