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2016 WSOP International Circuit Morocco Day 1a: Benaissa Leads the Pack; Boatman Bags

Barny Boatman
  • A total of 55 players survived Day 1a of the World Series of Poker International Circuit Main Event.

A total of 55 players will return for Day 2 of the World Series of Poker International Circuit Main Event on Saturday, after the conclusion of Day 1a. 146 players including 12 reentries started Thursday in Marrakech, with Brian Benhamou and Gael Dirig among the early casualties, but it will be Sofian Benaissa leading the way with 248,300, closely followed by Loic Blarez (232,000).

Benaissa amassed most of his chips when he flopped quad nines on a {9-}{9-}{K-} board, and managed to get value from his opponent with {A-}{K-}.

Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts

1Sofian Benaissa248,300
2Loic Blarez232,000
4Jimmy Kebe166,000
5Achille Voltolina147,000
6Najib Bennis142,200
7Fernando Garcia130,500
10Gerard Janssen126,600
11Kujinder Sidhu126,400

Other big names include November Niner Pierre Neuville, who registered late in the day, but still managed to bag 101,400, and legendary British player Barny Boatman. Boatman was up until 5 a.m. last night after finishing second in a side event, but he didn't let that stop him from bagging up 91,400, and a second chance at a WSOP Circuit ring.

Also still in contention after Day 1a is former Reading midfielder Jimmy Kebe (166,000) and double PCA side event winner Guy Taylor (67,700). French pros Guillaume Diaz (62,700) and Paul Tedeschi (35,100) are also still in the hunt after Day 1a.

Sadly there was no such luck for Rakesh Lalwani, who won a WSOP ring earlier this festival as well as a host of French players including Isabel Baltazar, Micka Busto and Nicolas Chappuis, as well as Moroccans Mehdi Hsissen and Abdelhadi Kondah. All of those players will have the option to reenter on Day 1b.

Be sure to come back at 13:00 local time on Friday for continued PokerNews updates when Day 1b gets underway!

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