Now that PokerStars has begun it’s own LAPT, Vega Promotional Systems Inc. has decided to take their poker tour in a different direction to avoid confusion as well as expand into new markets. Accordingly, they have rebranded its tour as the PTA – Poker Tour of the Americas. The company had been toying with the idea of launching a second tour to focus on North America but decided instead to combine it all into the one comprehensive tour.

The company was already negotiating with various venues throughout Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Peru and the Dominican Republic. With the combined and expanded tour, they are now exploring additional stops in the United States and Canada. The expansion will make the PTA one of the largest poker tours in the world which should attract many of the top caliber poker professionals.

Vega plans on airing the tournaments in North and South America with himself as the executive producer so he can retain tighter control over the tournament along with any advertising sold during the PTA time slots.

“Unlike a lot of poker programming you see on television, we are not attempting to sell the rights to a programmer,” Herron pointed out. “[We] will own the programming and will contract for the necessary time slots to air the one-hour shows. This will allow the Company to profit from the advertising, sponsorships, replays of the programming, and the tournament itself.”

The PTA plans five stops planned for 2009 and plans to increase to six the year after. These dates and locations are not set in stone, as of yet, but this is the schedule being released at this time:

Guayaquil, Ecuador (February 21 – 27)
San Jose, Costa Rica (April 10 – 17)
Vancouver, British Columbia (June 5 – 12)
Cartagena, Colombia (August 15 – 21)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (October 24 – 30)

The tour will also include a Tournament of Champions to finalize the season but no details have yet to be released for dates or locations on that event. All of the events are invitational only and players worldwide will be able to win seats via online and live local satellite tournaments.