2019 World Series of Poker

Main Event

Level Info

Level 33
Blinds 100,000 / 200,000
Ante 25,000

Players Info

Players Left
Entries 486
Main Event
Day 3 Completed

Vladimir Shabalin Wins the 2018 WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event (1,300,000 MAD)

poolshir • Level 33: 100,000-200,000, 25,000 ante
Vladimir Shabalin
Vladimir Shabalin

Vladimir Shabalin has won the 2018 WSOP International Circuit Main Event after almost 14 grueling hours of play. Shabalin beat 485 other players in Casino de Marrakech to bring the coveted gold WSOP Circuit Ring and a whopping 1,300,000 MAD (€114,367 / $142,033) back home with him. Runner-up was the last French hope, Rony Halimi, a regular on the poker circuit.

Shabalin is a professional poker player who has been playing for about eight years. He started playing more live tournaments over the past years with his first live cash being recorded in January of 2016. Shabalin claimed the money didn't mean much to him, it was all about the gold WSOP Circuit Ring for him.

“I was very tired after playing for more than 13 hours," Shabalin said after the tournament was over. "In that final hand, on the flop, I think I had like 3 or 4% or something? Even if I lost that hand, I would have won anyway, I played so much better. I am very happy. I play online normally but it has no soul, you don’t see emotions. In live poker, you can see when you have your opponent dominated. You can see them. I want to play more, it’s my dream. I love football, you see players like Messi and Ronaldo with big trophies, huge emotions when they win. Poker is not exactly the same but I want something like that. This ring is the most important win for now. Until the next one!” the Russian concluded.

PositionPlayerCountryPrize in MADPrize in €Prize in $
1Vladimir ShabalinRussiaMAD1,300,000€114,367$142,033
2Rony HalimiFranceMAD890,000€78,309$97,238
3Joseph NassarLebanonMAD635,000€55,872$69,390
6Mohamed JhiderFranceMAD269,000€23,662$29,386
8Polo SantoniFranceMAD168,000€14,777$18,353
9Nicolas NogueraFranceMAD135,000€11,874$14,748

Sixteen players returned for the final day of the Main Event. They were 25 minutes to finish in the penultimate day's final level, as bust outs went faster than initially anticipated. Compared to Day 2, things started off at a slow pace on the final day. However, as soon as the second level of the day had started, the first elimination could be noted. Antoine Rahal was Shabalin’s first victim of the day when he ran his ace-queen into the ace-king of the Russian.

2017 WSOP International Circuit Paris Main Event Runner-up Pierre Merlin fell when he ran ace-king ran into the pocket queens of "NFJM".

One of the more bizarre hands of the day was a three-way all-in situation between Polo Santoni, HCC and Roger Tondeur. Tondeur had pocket fives against the pocket aces of HCC and the pocket jacks of Santoni. Santoni flopped quads to eliminate Tondeur and leave "HCC" behind with about 11 big blinds. About half an hour later, Santoni dealt the final blow to "HCC" when his jack-ten won against pocket fours.

When the levels increased from 60 to 75 minutes each, the next Spaniard, Nathan, was eliminated in 12th place when his ace-ten couldn’t win against the ace-jack of Mounim Kaddouri. Shlomo Ohana missed his flush draw and lost to the two pair of Joseph Nassar to finish in eleventh place. The final table bubble boy ended up being Kaddouri when he shoved around twelve big blinds with ace-ten into the ace-queen of Paul.

Once the final table had been set, it took around 20 minutes before 2016 WSOP International Circuit Paris Main Event winner Nicolas Noguera was eliminated when his ace-ten couldn’t win against the pocket kings of Shabalin.

After almost three hours of eight-handed play, Santono was the next to leave. The Frenchman held ace-king against the pocket nines of Paul. The flop gave him a king as the window card but it also gave Paul two more nines and another flopped quads. Twenty minutes later, TMV was sent packing when another ace-king couldn’t win. Halimi held ace-queen and hit his queen on the flop and turn to eliminate TMV in 7th place. Almost three hours later (including a break), Mohamed Jhider lost with king-nine against the ace-queen of NFJM to finish 6th.

"NFJM" found his Waterloo 90 minutes later when another ace-king didn’t bring a win as the king-jack of Shabalin hit another jack on the flop to give him a pair. The table didn’t even have time to recover and Paul was sent to the rail by Shabalin. Paul’s ace-eight didn’t manage to beat the ace-king of Shabalin and he was sent home in fourth place. It then took another two hours for Nassar to lose in a three-way all-in pot. Nassar held king-nine against the ace-queen of Halimi and the king-jack of Shabalin. Halimi won the hand and the leftovers went Shabalin’s way in the end.

Heads-up, Shabalin had almost 4 times as much as Halimi and he wasn’t scared to use that to his advantage. Halimi didn’t get any chances to double up and the one time his all in did get called, he ran his ace-queen into the king-trey of Shabalin who hit a runner-runner straight to eliminate Halimi in second place.

The PokerNews team wants to thank you for following the updates and say goodbye to you for now from the beautiful Es Saadi Resort here in Marrakech. See you soon!

Tags: Antoine RahalJoseph NassarMohamed JhiderMounim KaddouriNicolas NogueraPierre MerlinPolo SantoniRoger TondeurRony HalimiShlomo OhanaVladimir Shabalin

Rony Halimi Eliminated in 2nd Place (890,000 MAD)

poolshir • Level 33: 100,000-200,000, 25,000 ante
Rony Halimi
Rony Halimi

After having lost most of his stack due to the constant raises of Vladimir Shabalin, Rony Halimi's stack had been reduced to 1,250,000 after having paid the ante of 25,000. Halimi shoved all in from the button and Shabalin asked for a count. The dealer confirmed the amount Halimi had behind and Shabalin needed some time to consider his options. In the end, he decided to call.

Vladimir Shabalin: {K-Hearts}{3-Spades}
Rony Halimi: {A-Spades}{Q-Spades}

Everyone stormed the table again to get a closer look at what was happening. The dealer burned a card and opened the {A-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}{5-Spades} flop. Halimi had hit his two pair and turned around while a friend held him. He didn't want to see the other cards as he believed it could bring bad luck. The turn was the {J-Diamonds} which gave Shabalin a straight draw. And the {10-Spades} on the river was just what Shabalin had ordered and Halimi had hoped to avoid.

Shabalin ran to Viktor Sorokin and jumped into his arms to celebrate. Shabalin was clearly overjoyed. Applause rang through the tournament room to praise Halimi's efforts for today. Shabalin walked to Halimi and they gave each other a hand and a hug. Halimi walked to the payout desk to collect his biggest live cash ever worth 890,000 MAD (€78,328).

Vladimir Shabalin ru 14,575,000 2,700,000
Rony Halimi fr Busted

Tags: Rony HalimiVladimir Shabalin


Joseph Nassar Eliminated in 3rd Place (625,000 MAD)

poolshir • Level 32: 75,000-150,000, 25,000 ante
Joseph Nassar
Joseph Nassar

Joseph Nassar shoved all in from the button for 1,325,000 and Rony Halimi checked his own cards. He also shoved all in for 875,000. Vladimir Shabalin, in the big blind, checked his hand and called.

Rony Halimi: {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}
Vladimir Shabalin: {K-Hearts}{J-Hearts}
Joseph Nassar: {K-Spades}{9-Hearts}

The board ran out {4-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs}{Q-Spades}{2-Clubs} to give Halimi trip queens and he tripled up. Nassar has 450,000 more but those chips all went Shabalin's way as he hit his jack on the flop. Nassar has been sent home with 625,000 MAD (€55,062).

Heads-up play will commence soon after the photo's have been taken.

Vladimir Shabalin ru 11,875,000 -225,000
Rony Halimi fr 2,700,000 1,800,000
Joseph Nassar us Busted

Tags: Joseph NassarRony HalimiVladimir Shabalin

Counting Stacks and Lots of Laughs

poolshir • Level 32: 75,000-150,000, 25,000 ante

- Rony Halimi shoved all in from the small blind and Vladimir Shabalin folded. Halimi showed {A-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}

- Shabalin raised to 300,000 from the button, Joseph Nassar shoved all in from the small blind, Halimi asked for a count. The dealer confirmed it was for 1,025,000 in total. Halimi counted his own stack which was 1,200,000. He considered it for a bit and then folded. Shabalin also folded.

- Shabalin raised to 300,000 from the button, Halimi shoved from the big blind. The people railing Halimi came closer towards the table (which they have been doing for each all-in, even the ones Halimi is not involved in) and Shabalin halted them. "I know you're railing him but, come on. I haven't even called yet." Shabalin looked at his cards again and then folded.

- Halimi was in the small blind and counted his stack before looking at his cards. "Look at your cards first, then count." Shabalin said. "No, I need to know before." Halimi replied while continuing to count. "Ok, I will have to count my stack too then!" Shabalin replied and everyone laughed.

- "Tapis!" Shabalin said from the small blind. "In Russian?" Joseph Nassar asked. "Bau Bau" Shabalin replied. "No Bau Bau" Nassar said while folding.

- Nassar shoved all in from the small blind. "You have to count your chips first!" Shabalin said to Halimi and the crowd laughed. Halimi folded.

Shabalin Tells Halimi to Fold

poolshir • Level 32: 75,000-150,000, 25,000 ante

We're not sure of the action during before the board was completed but it read {A-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{k-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{8-Spades} and the pot contained 1,625,000.

Rony Halimi checked from the big blind and Vladimir Shabalin shoved all in. Halimi only had 900,000 left in front of him and he tanked,

"Just fold, if you call, you will bust. You have to fold." Shabalin said to Halimi. "Just fold."

"Maybe I call, maybe I win." Halimi replied, "You show me?"

"Sure, I'll show you!" Shabalin replied. "My friend, fold and forget. 900,000 is 6 big blinds, that is a lot, it's almost one million!"

"It's nothing!" Halimi replied.

Halimi folded and Shabalin showed {9-Clubs}{7-Hearts} for trip sevens.

Vladimir Shabalin ru 12,100,000 900,000
Rony Halimi fr 900,000 -500,000

Tags: Rony HalimiVladimir Shabalin

Shorter And Shorter

poolshir • Level 32: 75,000-150,000, 25,000 ante

Vladimir Shabalin keeps grabbing more and more chips of Rony Halimi and Joseph Nassar. These two short stacks keep getting shorter and shorter.

Here are some of the more notable hands:

- Shabalin completed the small blind and Nassar checked. The flop came {3-Clubs}{q-Hearts}{j-Hearts}, Shabalin bet 300,000, Nassar raised to 700,000 and Shabalin called. The turn brought them the {10-Spades}, now Shabalin check-folded to the 700,000 bet of Nassar.

- Shabalin completed the small blind and Nassar checked. The flop came {3-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}, Shabalin bet 200, Nassar called. They both checked through the {4-Diamonds} on the turn to the {K-Spades} on the river. Shabalin bet 350,000 and Nassar called. Shabalin tabled {2-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} for a turned straight and Nassar showed the {4-Spades} for a pair of fours.

Vladimir Shabalin ru 11,200,000 1,700,000
Joseph Nassar us 1,900,000 -900,000
Rony Halimi fr 1,400,000 -875,000

Tags: Joseph NassarRony HalimiVladimir Shabalin