LAPT announces Season 4, new stops

lapt-promo.gifSeason 1 was an experiment. Season 2 was a reprise. Season 3 was the year of Back-to-Back Barbero. Season 4 of Latin American Poker Tour?

It's here.

Moments ago, the LAPT announced five dates for its fourth season. Season 4 will see a return to Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. It also boasts a brand new event in Bogata Colombia. Still yet to be named is the date and location of the Grand Final.

Sao Paulo, Brazil (February 16-20) R$4,600 + 400
Vina del Mar, Chile (March 17-20) $1,000 + 100
Lima, Peru (April 12-17) $2,300 + 200
Rosario, Argentina (June 1-5) $2,300 + 200
Bogota, Colombia (August 3-7) $1,000 + 100

Season 4 will also feature the LAPT Player of the Year awards. Players' results in all main events and most side events will factor into the awards over several categories. You'll be able to find at the LAPT Player of the Year Awards page.

While we can't say how the math will work out this year, if the Player of the Year awards had been around in Season 3, this man would've been a strong contender.

jose_nacho_barbero_seaosn_4.jpg

Jose "Nacho" Barbero

There are successful poker players who work their entire careers without winning more than one major tournament in the world. Almost any pro would be content to win one event per year. It's rare for anyone to win two tourneys on one tour. To wit: the European Poker Tour is in its seventh season and has never had a repeat winner.

With all of that in mind, consider this: Jose "Nacho" Barbero, a Team PokerStars Pro from Argentina, won two of the Latin American Poker Tour's Season 3 events, and he won them back-to-back.

By the time the tour reached Lima, Peru's Atlantic City Casino, the LAPT had already hosted two Season 3 events. Canadian Amer Sulaiman took down the tournament in Playa Conchal, Costa Rica. Barbero ran the table in Punta del Este. On their own, those two wins were impressive, but not nearly so much as what was about to happen in Lima.

After two days of play in Lima, only 24 players were left out of the original 384. Sulaiman and Barbero both sat at the top of the leaderboard heading into Day 3. While Sulaiman ended up finishing in 13th place, Barbero did what seemed not only unlikely, but impossible: he won.

"It feels almost like a dream," he said. "I know it is going to change my career as a poker player."

With the devastating earthquake in Chile forcing the cancelation of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar, the LAPT was left with two events to close out the season. Neither disappointed.

For the first time since Season 1, the LAPT returned to Brazil. More than 360 players bought in to the $2,700 main event on the luxurious resort in Florianopolis. Matthias Habernig made away with the title.

In September, the $5,000 LAPT Grand Final in Rosario, Argentina built one of the biggest prize pools ever on the LAPT. After a region-wide tour that took players to five different countries, the season ended with Peruvian PokerStars qualifier Martin Sansour emerging as one of the biggest single-tournament winners in LAPT history. After besting a field of more than 250 players, Sansour took the Grand Final trophy and beat his biggest-ever live cash by more than $300,000.

There's no doubt Season 4 will be interesting. What remains to be seen is whether Nacho Barbero can continue his reign as king of the LAPT or will cede control to a superstar the LAPT has yet to meet.

We're about to find out. Keep your eyes open for satellites to the first event in Sao Paulo. We'll see you in Brazil!

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour