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Poker News | World Poker News

Aruba Poker Classic and LAPT Chile Tournaments Canceled

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It’s not often in the live tournament circuit climate that entire events are canceled. But the beginning of March saw two major events removed from the circuit, one prompted by a change of direction by UltimateBet and the other prompted by an earthquake that forced PokerStars to refrain from hosting the event in a tragedy-stricken country.

UltimateBet announced that the Aruba Poker Classic, a tournament that brought players to the exotic island for years, will not be held in 2010. The official word was that the event was on hold in order for UB to concentrate on a larger presence at existing major tournaments and add more online tournaments to its schedule. The online events look to include a monthly tournament with a $500K guarantee with the hopes of eventually making it a $1 million guarantee, a second running of the UltimateBet Online Championship each year, and more online tournaments centered around the sponsored UB pros.

As far as the live tournament presence, UB looks to offer more satellites to tournaments like the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events, as well as “major WSOP incentives and additional loyalty benefits for top players.”

Tokwiro Enterprises Chief Operations Officer Paul Leggett commented, “It is with great regret that we are announcing that the Aruba event will not run this year but 2010 is going to be an exciting year for UB and its players. Over the last year, we have been redefining the UB brand in every way. We love the Aruba Poker Classic event but we think we can do a lot more for our players by investing in new events and rewards.”

Meanwhile, PokerStars was forced to cancel one of its events on the Latin American Poker Tour, not because of a change of focus or reinvestment of the site’s resources, but simply due to a massive earthquake that hit Chile where the Vina del Mar stop on the tour was scheduled to take place. The Vina del Mar Casino and Resort was one of the most popular stops on the 2009 tour and looked to attract more players from March 19 to 23, 2010, but a significant and destructive earthquake hit close to that area of the country.

The official statement noted, “All players who have qualified or bought-in to the event will be fully refunded their buy-ins and any out-of-pocket expenses… This cancellation follows a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile approximately 175 miles south of Vina del Mar on February 27, 2010. The cancellation of the festival has been forced by the effects of the earthquake and in light of the rescue and recovery efforts now taking place throughout Chile. Everyone at and the LAPT offers their thoughts and condolences to all of those affected by this tragic natural disaster.”

PokerStars has yet to announce if there will be a replacement tournament or if the LAPT season will simply conclude with its grand finale in Argentina.

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