World Series of Poker Europe

A Look at the Upcoming World Poker Tour Marrakech

A Look at the Upcoming World Poker Tour Marrakech 0001

The World Poker Tour Marrakech Main Event is set to take place from the November 27 to 30 at the idyllic Casino De Marrakech in Morocco. The event, presented by ChiliPoker, boasts a €4,250 buy-in + €750 fee, but that also includes five nights deluxe accommodation, breakfast and a dinner buffet. The inclusive buy-in and exotic location have drawn a lot of interest within the poker community and are expected to draw a stacked field.

Among those confirmed to attend are David Benyamine, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Liv Boeree, WPT Bucharest winner Guillaume Darcourt, Liz Lieu and poker teams from PMU, Barriere and Winamax. In addition, Sam El Sayed, winner of the WPT Amneville, will be there looking to win back-to-back WPT titles. Executive Tour Director Matt Savage will also be on site to serve as the tournament director.

The WPT Main Event will be the centerpiece of the Chilipoker Marrakech Festival, which kicks-off with a €500+€50 buy-in Deepstack Open on November 20. “We look forward to welcoming the poker world to this unique venue for what is sure to be a magical Marrakech experience,” said Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chilipoker. “We were so encouraged by last year’s turnout and flawless organization that we have built the 2010 Chilipoker Marrakech Festival around the WPT Main Event. Casino de Marrakech’s unique €5,000 WPT all-inclusive package offers players fantastic value. You don’t see so many tournaments like this!”

On top of the first-place cash prize, a WPT title and a permanent place in poker history as WPT Marrakech Champion, the Main Event winner will receive a $25,500 entry into the 2011 WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

For more information and full details on all events check out the Chilipoker Marrakech Festival index.

The Venue

The WPT Marrakech Main Event will be held at the Casino de Marrakech, which has been Morocco’s premier casino since 1952. In tandem with Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace and Five Star Hotel, players will be offered an amazing experience in one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations.

Known as the "Red City," Marrakech is the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, near the snowcapped Atlas Mountains. It is comprised of both an old fortified city and an adjacent modern city with a total population of 1,070,838. Not only does Marrakech have the largest traditional market in Morocco, its square is full of entertainment such as acrobats, storytellers, water sellers, dancers and musicians. By night, food stalls open in the square, turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant. A perfect break for any poker player.


Last year, the inaugural WPT Marrakech, presented by Chilipoker, was the first major poker tournament to be held in North Africa and it turned out to be highly successful. Given that Morocco is right on Europe’s doorstep and is convenient for traveling players, the event was a complete sellout with 416 runners from 32 countries.

At the final table, Benny Spindler was quickly sent off in sixth place (€55,828) and Adrian Marin followed him out in fifth (€72,240). When four players remained, they played for nearly two hours before the largest pot of the tournament unfolded when Ludovic Lacay opened the pot to 110,000 and Christophe Savary came along from the small blind. On a flop of {Q-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{2-Spades}, Savary check-called a bet of 125,000 and both men checked the {5-Spades} on the turn. When the {9-Spades} hit the river, Savary led into the pot with 450,000 chips and Lacay moved all-in with the covering stack. Savary snap-called with{2-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} and easily beat Lacay’s {10-Spades}{4-Spades} backdoor flush.

Julien Arneodo would end up finishing in fourth place (€105,077), followed by Lacay in third (€164,182). Heads-up play began, Savary sat with 5.06 million chips to Eoghan O'Dea’s 3.26 million. The big stack chipped away at his opponent relentlessly and in the final showdown, O'Dea three-bet preflop and watched the flop come {9-Spades}{A-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. O'Dea continuation-bet but Savary raised enough to put the Irishman all-in. O’Dea called with {A-Clubs}{3-Clubs} and was good against Savary’s {7-Clubs}{8-Clubs} straight draw. Unfortunately for O’Dea, the turn was the {10-Clubs} and he was eliminated in second place (€262,446) while the French crowd erupted in celebration of Savary's triumph. Savary took down the €379,014 first-place prize and also won a $25,500 seat to the WPT Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Casino: Casino De Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco
Buy-in: €4,500
8-Day Event: October 12, 2009 to October 19, 2009
Number of Entries: 416
Total Prize Pool: €1,812,000
Number of Payouts: 54

1stChristophe Savary€377,262
2ndEoghan O'Dea€262,446
3rdLudovic Lacay€164,182
4thJulien Arneodo€105,077
5thAdrian Marin€72,240
6thBenny Spindler€55,828

The Sponsor

Founded in 2006 by Alexandre Dreyfus, French web entrepreneur, Chilipoker today comprises 40 collaborators of 13 nationalities distributed among offices in Malta, London and France. Since 2007, Chilipoker has also been the official sponsor of the American Poker Diva Liz Lieu.

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