Abdelaouhab Zizi Wins MPNPT Morocco Main Event
Abdelaouhab Zizi defeated fellow Casablanca resident Fadhil Farag to win the 2018 MPN Poker Tour Morocco Main Event for MAD 375,000 (€33,220) after the duo agreed to a heads-up deal.
The final day witnessed 12 players return from a total starting field of 340, which included a mix of online qualifiers, MPNPT regulars and local players contributing MAD 6,000 to generate a massive MAD 1,813,900 prize pool. This both surpassed the guarantee and the prize pool of the first MPNPT held in Morocco in 2016.
Zizi, a gynecologist by profession, has been winning tournaments for years, taking down the very first championship in Marrakech, and playing in live events from Deauville to Las Vegas since. He credits his win to his experience, unique style (“our game here is quite different – we’re a little bit crazy”) and a run of good fortune earlier in the tournament. He won his (first) seat in a live satellite at the Mazagan Beach Resort, but made use of the unlimited re-entry option – to great success, as it turned out.
Final Table Recap
An even dozen returned for Day 3, but the live-streamed final table could hold only nine. When they had finally been determined, the Day 3 chip leader (and prior third in chips overall after the opening flights) Mehdi Hsissen looked like his run would prove unstoppable.
His chip lead was substantial (2,900,000 total); in second lay experienced pro Mateusz Moolhuizen with 2,000,000. But no-limit hold’em is unpredictable at the best of times and with the most forgiving of structures with blinds an hour long; the trophy was not to end up in either of their hands.
Nearly two levels elapsed before the final table lost a player, and it was not one of the initial (very) short stacks. Pocket aces vs. pocket kings is a cooler whichever hand wins, but it’s especially eye-watering to be outdrawn. Stan James online qualifier Paul Johnson found himself in just such a confrontation with Ali Mechiche, and on the rail in eighth place for MAD 43,000), following flip-losing Mario Linno (ninth - MAD 34,600).
Frederik Foss, down to 14 big blinds, found a good hand with ace-queen offsuit and a good spot when three-betting over a Hsissen raise. But when the chip leader called with king-ten, he hit a straight and Foss was out (seventh - MAD 55,000).
That, however, was the beginning of the end for Hsissen, who dropped below the 2,000,000 chip mark after doubling Antti Halme up and then ran queens into the kings held by Fadhil Farag to finish in what must have been a disappointing fifth place for MAD 100,000. He did, however, outlast the pro player: Halme who busted in sixth place for MAD 76,000.
New chip leader Farag clearly felt the indestructibility of the big stack, as he made a big call (five times his opening raise) with queen-seven off-suit when Moolhuizen moved all-in preflop holding ace-king of spades. The deck brought Farag a queen and boosted his stack to triple that of his challengers three-handed, Mechiche and Zizi.
Mechiche did not have the best start to the day, losing a few blinds because he arrived at the start of the live stream at 2:30 p.m, which was half an hour after play restarted. Having made the final table (albeit as the shortest stack), he was still irked by this but settled in to play in a controlled manner. He was unlucky, in fact, to bust in third place for MAD 200,000.
For more on all the key hands of the final day, visit the MPN Poker Tour blog.
That left Iraqi/Swedish businessman Farag heads-up versus Zizi. Farag had the chip advantage but the winds of fortune were blowing Zizi’s way and he crippled his opponent by winning an ace-six versus king-queen showdown for most of the chips, then polished off what was left a few hands later. Farag won MAD 300,000 for an accomplished runner-up performance but his elimination left Zizi as the last man standing and the latest MPNPT winner, collecting a MAD 375,000 reward for his tenacity.
MPNPT Tallinn Final Table Payouts
|1||Abdelouahab Zizi||MAD 375,000*|
|2||Fadhil Farag||MAD 300,000*|
|3||Ali Mechiche||MAD 200,000|
|4||Mateusz Moolhuizen||MAD 140,000|
|5||Mehdi Hsissen||MAD 100,000|
|6||Antti Halme||MAD 76,000|
|7||Frederik Foss||MAD 55,000|
|8||Paul Johnson (Stan James qualifier)||MAD 43,000|
|9||Mario Linno||MAD 34,600|
*Reflects heads-up deal
Next up for the MPNPT: A brand new stop in Bratislava, April 5-8 2018 at Banco Casino. More information is available at mpnpokertour.com.
Sponsor-generated content by MPN Poker Tour.
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