Day 1a Completed
Day 1a Completed
Strong Leads, Soulier Second After Day 1a of WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event
A record-breaking field of 172 players entered Day 1a of the WSOP International Circuit Main Event in the lovely Es Saadi Resort in Marrakech. 49 of them made their way to Day 2 and are still in the hunt for the coveted WSOP Circuit Ring, with Rodrigo Strong - on his birthday! - claiming the overall Day 1a chiplead with 250,000.
The day started off slowly, with dealers at many tables unable to start dealing due to an insufficient number of players. The poker enthusiasts showed up in full force not long after though, eventually setting a new Day 1a attendance record for the WSOPC in Marrakech.
Great Britain's poker legend Barny Boatman didn't have the best of starting days, as he found himself on the rail soon. It took Boatman another two bullets to finally keep hold of a stack, but the experienced pro has a lot of work ahead after bagging 31,600.
Sarah Herzali had a much better day, ending her strong run at 160,000. Herzali wasn't afraid to play pots today by three and four-betting many times. She will be joined by the likes of Gerard Carbo (204,500), EPT11 Malta winner Jean Montury (151,000) and WSOPC Circuit Ring winner Dimitry Sukhorukov (147,000), who all find themselves near the top of the standings.
The French always have a strong showing in Marrakech and this tournament proved no different, with the French players making up the majority of the field. In the end, however, it was a Brazilian topping the leaderboard. The aforementioned Rodrigo Strong barely edged out France superstar Fabrice Soulier, who bagged 241,200 and sits in second.
All remaining players will return on Saturday for Day 2 of the Main Event. At 1 p.m. local time tomorrow Day 1b will commence, which will feature twelve levels of 45 minutes and a starting stack of 30,000 as well. Check PokerNews throughout the day for updates of this exciting Main Event.
End-of-the-Day Chip Counts (full)
Day 1a Is Done!
Play for the day is done and the chips are being bagged and tagged. According to the clock, 50 players have survived the day. Rodrigo Strong is the chipleader with 250,000 chips, with Fabrice Soulier in second with 241,400.
A count of big stacks, notables and a recap will follow shortly. Full chip counts will be added later on.
All Smiles Between Sukhorukov and Herzali
Rodrigo Strong opened to 4,000 from early position and Dimitry Sukhorukov three-bet to 11,100 in middle position. Right behind him, Sarah Herzali four-bet small to 21,000. Strong got out of the way and Sukhorukov splashed the extra chips in.
Both players stared profusely at either other, then burst out laughing. It was all smiles as the dealer dealt the flop. Sukhorukov checked, keeping his eyes locked on Herzali. The French pro bet 13,000 and tried to keep here composure, but upon seeing Sukhorukov's stare she couldn't hold back her laugh again.
Sukhorukov folded face-up and blew Herzali a kiss, which got received surprisingly well. The atmosphere is casual here in Marrakech as the day draws to a close.
Borji Scores A Lucky Double
Down to his last 14,000, Samir Borji shoved from middle position. On the button, Masbah Ben Baba reshoved all in to put Borji at risk.
Masbah Ben Baba:
Borji found the miracle he was looking for with his seven-six offsuit and improved to two pair on . Ben Baba was left crippled after the hand.
Last Level of the Day
The last level of the day has started. After this level, chips will be bagged for the night. Any remaining players will return on Saturday at 1 p.m. for Day 2.
Abbouti Takes Down Aissani
Mohamed Aissani raised to 2,600 and Julio Sanchez called. Soufiane Abbouti three-bet to 10,200 from the blinds, Aissani four-bet shoved for 34,000 and Sanchez folded.
Abbouti took more than a minute to call off the remaining chips with , which prompted some remarks from his tablemates. Aissani held and was already on his way out after the flop. The on the turn sealed it, making the river meaningless.