Winamax Team Pro Adrian Mateos has won the Winamax SISMIX Main Event title here in Marrakech for 1,000,000 MAD, becoming the third Winamax Team Pro to win the event after Davidi Kitai (2014) and Bruno Lopes (2016).
Coming into the day fourth in chips, the Spaniard was never in danger and coasted to a heads-up against start-of-day chip leader Henrique Pinho, clinching the title shortly before half past ten in the evening local time.
The win is another career title for the Spanish triple-bracelet winner and EPT champion, and although the prize money doesn't rank among Mateos' top live cashes, the victory takes special significance Team Pro coming at a Winamax event.
Here are the results from the final table:
|Position||Name||Country||Payout (MAD)||Payout (EUR)||Payout (USD)|
|1||Adrian Mateos||Spain||د.م. 1,000,000||89,453 €||$106,849|
|2||Henrique Pinho||Portugal||د.م. 730,000||65,301 €||$78,000|
|3||Mehdi Merai||Morocco||د.م. 510,000||45,621 €||$54,493|
|4||Corentin Ropert||France||د.م. 360,000||32,203 €||$38,466|
|5||Miguel Tavares||Portugal||د.م. 265,000||23,705 €||$28,315|
|6||Kamel Atoui||France||د.م. 195,000||17,443 €||$20,836|
Before coming to Marrakech, Mateos said that some people suggested that he wasn't motivated, especially with there being less than a month until the start of the World Series of Poker.
"I mean, it's not 100k motivation," he said, "But one of my goals is to play my best every day and so I came here to try and play my best game - and it worked!"
Mateos has built up a reputation for being one of the hardest workers when it comes to studying; putting in the hours off-the-felt and clearly reaping the rewards when it comes to playing.
"When you coach people you need to study extra hard because you need to explain concepts to them. I've put a lot of hours into trying to help my friends, and that means working on my own game. For me it's nice; I love the game so studying doesn't really take that much of an effort. I'm a bit lazy for all the other things, but for poker...I love it, so studying doesn't feel that hard to me."
Coming into the final table as chip leader, Mateos says that final table ICM has been a major focus for him, especially with his normal tournaments coming with the same rotating cast of high roller regulars.
"When you play high rollers with 40-50 players, you get heads-up more often so you need to work on it. I don't think I'm the best heads-up player but I think I play pretty decent. I think I have a huge heads-up, and I was a big chip leader so I could put a lot of pressure on people. We were also pretty deep so that's good for me."
Mateos is now eyeing up a summer of, in his words, "huge, huge high rollers" in Las Vegas.
"The summer is one of the biggest parts of the year for a poker player, especially if they play tournaments. I have some huge, huge high rollers there; I want to play all of them, so let's see if I can win!"
Final Day Recap
The day started with a bang, going from 17 players to 13 in just under half an hour. French celebrity Moundir Zoughari was sent to the rail, before Winamax Team Pro Sylvain Loosli went runner-runner to double up and stay alive. By the time the tournament hit two tables, Henrique Pinho was still ahead, with David Brauman, Mehdi Merai and Mateos breathing down his neck.
However, a short while later Mateos' day was almost brought to an abrupt halt. Getting ace-king in against the pocket kings of Miguel Tavares, it went from bad to worse for the Spaniard after Tavares flopped a set on a king-ten-four board. However, you always need a bit of luck to win a poker tournament, and Mateos received a huge dose of it on the jack-queen run-out to river a straight and double up.
This moved Mateos into the chip lead as Brauman was sent to the rail, and Pinho fell back.
Sylvain Loosli was unlucky to be eliminated in eighth place, bubbling the unofficial final table of seven, after he got pocket aces in against the king-queen suited of Corentin Ropert. The flop wasn't a good one for Loosli, handing his opponent a pair of queens to go with a flush draw. The turn was a queen and the river a brick and Loosli was eliminated.
Mateos held the chip lead going into the final seven players, but there was a bunch of players just behind him ready to pounce should the Spaniard falter. He didn't. He pushed on. Overbetting river to get maximum value with trips from Pinho, and sending Francesco Pillitteri to the rail.
True, he did double up Miguel Tavares (twice!) and lose his chip lead to Ropert, but he was never out of the battle. Kamel Atoui would end up on the rail, before Mateos got revenge on Tavares and eliminated him, moving back into the chip lead in the process.
Four-handed Mateos was dominant. After his early clash with kings, the Spaniard picked up kings himself and called Ropert's five-bet all in, with the Frenchman showing ace-king. There were no such dramas on the runout, and as he watched Pinho send Mehdi Merai to the rail in third place, the Spaniard held a close to 1.4:1 chip lead heads-up.
After a 75-minute dinner break, the players resumed with the average stack of 104 big blinds. It was a see-saw battle; Mateos opening a lead only for Pinho to bring it back with a four-bet jam on a flop getting through.
Finally, after both players had flopped a pair, Pinho check-raised all in and Mateos faded both turn and river to take down the title.