With the field having been cut from 416 to 151 on Day 1, the remaining players came back to the El Saadi Casino for another ten levels of play at the World Poker Tour Marrakech main event.
Some of the big-name players fell very early on. Annette Obrestad three-bet all-in preflop with pocket nines only to find her opponent sitting quite comfortably on pocket kings to eliminate her. Former WSOP Main Event finalist Scott Montgomery went for an early bath too. He was involved in a huge raising war on an board holding but was pipped by Yury Kerzhapkin's , the Russian storming to an early lead in the chip counts.
The table with seemingly the most action, though, had the chip leader at the start of the day, Guillaume de la Gorce sharing a table with fellow big-stacks Rory Rees-Brennan, John O'Shea and Ludovic Lacay. It was Lacay who had position over the rest, though, a telling fact that allowed him to gradually chip up to become tournament chip leader for most of the day.
Another player who had a slow start before gradually picking up the pace was Benny Spindler, the $25,000 SCOOP heads-up Champion. He began the day with just around 47,000 but after managed to spike on the river when holding two over cards and a flush draw against a pair. He never looked back, consistently three-betting his opponents out of pots and few could match his aggression over the course of the day as he gradually built a stack to rival those of most others.
Liz Lieu, whose sponsor Chilipoker was also a host of this first WPT in Africa, was the last female player in the tournament. She lost a coin flip a few tables shy of the money. November Niner Antoine Saout fared better, managing to scrape into the cash before being eliminated in 40th place.
Lacay continued to assert his grip on the tournament, knocking out the WPT Cyprus champion Thomas Bichon with A-Q against A-J and then Stephane Fajg with versus pocket fives. Winning this pot put Lacay over the 1.5 million mark with no one else looking anywhere close to getting over 1 million.
The last casualty of the day was Guillaume de la Gorce, whose push with ran into Yuri Kerzhapkin's . Admitting later that he had been card-dead all day, de la Gorce said he wasn't too disappointed with his finish given the circumstances.
Seventeen players will return tomorrow. Can Lacay be beaten or will Benny Spindler or one of the other players find a way to stop the French juggernaught? Join us tomorrow from 2 p.m. local time to find out!