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World Poker Tour Marrakech: Nitsche Finds Meaning on Day 2; Homann Leads Final Nine

Dominik Nitsche

On a blustery day in Marrakech, Morocco, 82 players returned for Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Marrakech Main Event, presented by Chilipoker. Ten levels later, only nine of them were left with a chance at the WPT title, making the field one elimination short of a final table. Sebastian Homann caries the chip lead into Day 3, just edging out fellow German Dominik Nitsche. But Nitsche's remarkable comeback stole the show at the Casino de Marrakech. Down to three big blinds at one point, the 20-year old reascended the chip counts in remarkable fashion. French pro Guillaume de la Gorse also came back from a bout as short stack to secure a spot among the final nine.

Homann, who has never cashed outside of Germany or Austria before, takes 1,539,000 chips with him into Day 3. He ended Day 1 as chip leader and traded the spot back and forth with several players before regaining it during the last level of the night. He wiped out once-big stack Andrei One shortly before the money bubble, then busted a string of players to get the field down to nine.

Nitsche starts the final table with 1,479,000, but his road to Day 3 wasn't easy. He missed a huge draw to find himself in the small blind with 6,000 in chips at the 1,000/2,000 level. He doubled up the next hand, and the next, and carried that momentum forward for the rest of the evening. He went on a tear that couldn't be stopped, eliminating Clement Thumy with {A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds} and Erik Tamm with {q-Spades}{q-Hearts}. Once they made the money, Nitsche really picked up steam. He busted Damien Rony in 27th with {a-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}. He flopped a set of nines to oust Charles de Haas and his jacks in 19th place. And then in giant pot, Nitsche's queens rivered a set to crack Phu Truong's aces and send him packing in 11th place.

Nitsche may only be 20-years old, but the German pro has plenty of experience capitalizing on run good. He won LAPT Mar del Plata in 2009 (a tournament for which he qualified six times) for $381,030 on one of his first international poker trips. Since then, he's gone just about everywhere, qualifying online for nearly every major 18-and-over event in the world. During last year's WPT Marrakech, he finished second in the high roller for more than €80,000. And just last week, Nitsche made it to Day 4 of EPT Barcelona, busting in 23rd place for €20,000.

To reach the final nine, the players first had to eliminate 73 others. Manuel Bevand, Davidi Kitai, Santiago Terrazas, and Alexia Portal all fell short of the money bubble. Without much standing on ceremony, it burst two hands after dinner with the elimination of Viktor Gerasymenko. Post bubble, play uncharacteristically slowed down for an hour before picking up with a vengeance, seeing nine players hit the payout desk in one level.

Nicolas Levi was eliminated in 18th place, earning €11,318 when his tens fell prey to jacks. Well-known French rapper Bruno "Kool Shen" Lopes busted in 15th place. The group thought they were bagging and tagging with ten players, but Joel Benzinou ran trips into a boat on the last hand of the night to finish in 10th place and leave one unofficial final table to return on Tuesday.

Here is a look at the unofficial final table:

SeatPlayerChip Count
1Felix Oberauer499,000
2Dominik Nitsche1,479,000
3Patrick Muleta244,000
4Sebastian Homann1,539,000
5Sebastian Compte529,000
6Johan Williamsson693,000
7Guillaume Cescut956,000
8Guillaume de la Gorce516,000
9Julien Labussiere210,000

The remaining nine will return Tuesday at 1:00 pm local time. They must eliminate one more player to reach the official final table. Then they'll play until one man is left standing with the World Poker Tour title and the first prize of €254,745. Be sure to follow all the coverage from our live reporting team straight from Marrakech!

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