The second and penultimate day of the 2016 Marrakech Poker Open Main Event saw a total of 55 hopefuls from a 220-entry field return to the tables of Casino de Marrakech. Only the top 27 spots were paid, and after almost nine levels of one hour each, the final table of eight was determined. Leading the way was Abdenbi Abida, who bagged up 1.499 million in chips and slightly edged out Henrique Pinho.
2016 Marrakech Poker Open Main Event Final Table
|2||Michael van der Ghinst||Belgium||94,000|
Among those to bust early on Day 2 were Romain Paon, Thierry Gogniat, Barny Boatman, and 2016 LAPT Vina del Mar champion Rodrigo Strong. Boatman flopped a set of fours, but Masbah Ben Baba turned the nut straight with king-jack suited to bust the World Series of Poker bracelet winner.
WSOP Marrakech Main Event runner-up Anthony Rodrigues followed soon after, and then Isabel Baltazar, Carlos Lopes, and Said El Yousfi also missed out on the money.
El Yousfi then fell when his aces were cracked by Abida.
The bubble burst without hand-for-hand play being active, as Marcel Vadella hit the rail at the same time as Mohamed Ali Houssam was bounced on another table. For Houssam, the 2011 WPT Marrakech champion, he flopped top set only to run into the straight of Saverio Cocozza. Houssam failed to pair up and the field had been reduced to the last 27, all guaranteed at least 18,000 Dirhams (approx. $1,850 or €1,650) for their efforts.
The usual rush of eliminations after getting into the money didn't take place, but Riccardo Giacalone, Arthur Conan, and Jean Pierre Supiot all settled for a min-cash.
As the eliminations piled up, Pinho dominated his opponents and busted Tsunamy in a flip with ace-king suited versus pocket sixes.
Philippe Ktorza then ran queen-jack into the queens of Ali Mechiche, and Cocozza's pocket tens were no good against the jacks of Abida. Abida also busted Andre Fonseca with ace-eight suited after flopping top pair and the nut flush draw. Fonseca check-raised all in with an inferior ace-four and found no miracle.
The unofficial final table of nine saw just one hand played. That hand involved Dominique Terzian's shove with kings ending in dramatic fashion, as Abida woke up with pocket aces behind to deal the final blow for Day 2.
Patrick Groppi (1.08 million) and Mechiche (1.029 million) also bagged up seven figures, while Mathieu Papineau is in the middle of the pack with 886,000. Marrakech Poker Open High Roller runner-up Fahd (456,000), Mathieu Biague (126,000), and Michael van der Ghinst (94,000) complete the lineup for Sunday, and action will resume with six minutes left at blinds of 8,000/16,000 and a running ante of 2,000.
All players have 55,000 Dirhams (approx. $5,700 or €5,050) locked up for their efforts, but all eyes are set on the first-place payout of 440,000 Dirhams (approx. $45,600 or €40,500).
Make sure to tune back in to PokerNews.com on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. local time to find out who will be crowned champion of the 2016 Marrakech Poker Open from Casino de Marrakech.