Julian Menendez Wins LAPT Columbia
The Latin America Poker Tour continues to expand successfully into new regions. The latest triumph for the PokerStars sponsored tour came via the inaugural event in Columbia, a series capped off by Julian Menedez's victory in the Main Event.
LAPT Columbia – technically titled the 2011 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour's Colombian National Poker Championship – was comprised of 7 total events held over four days of play. The Main Event was a three-day event with a buy in of $1,100.
Both the length and the buyin deviated from typical LAPT events, which are usually spread over 4 days and come with a price tag of $2,300. With the positive reaction to the event, it seems likely that LAPT Columbia could come in line with other LAPT events in 2012.
Interestingly enough, the LAPT Columbia Main Event generated the largest field in LAPT history with 681 total players. Whether it was the lower buyin or the novelty of the event that generated the interest is unclear, but there certainly seems to be more demand for tournament poker in Columbia than the LAPT predicted. Given the increasing demand we're seeing for poker information in Spanish language, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
After three days that large field was whittled down to just nine players – five of them Columbians. The final two would feature just one hometown hero as Jonathan Monsalves battled it out heads up for the title with Argentinian Julian Menendez. After a long back and forth, it was Menendez who emerged with the title, likely to the disappointment of the local rail.
Will the 2012 edition of LAPT Columbia meet or even exceed the turnout for the inaugural event? Was this a one-time fluke or an indication of a growing poker boom in the region? We'll have to wait just under another year to find out.