Said El Harrak said he got into poker because he enjoys the challenge of reading his opponents. Those skills were put to the test at the final table of the World Series of Poker Circuit Bicycle Casino $1,700 Main Event, and in the end it was El Harrak coming away with the win at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California.
El Harrak came out on top of a final nine that included a unique blend of different poker playing styles and experience, and the reward was El Harrak’s first WSOP Circuit ring, as well as the $147,435 first-place prize.
El Harrak came out as the winner after a six-hour final table battle, which ended with Ronnie Tate finishing runner-up for $91,100.
“As I was in high school, I went into boxing,” El Harrak said. “I became a professional boxer. In 2016, I retired. I love poker, so I said let me try to take my last paycheck in boxing and put it in poker. And I’ve been doing it nonstop.”
“Boxing is about reading your opponent. I feel like I can pick up on tells and betting patterns. I like the psychological act of the game.”
El Harrak came into the final table with the chip lead, and never surrendered that position throughout the final day as he came away with the biggest score of his career.
|1||Said El Harrak||United States||$147,435|
|2||Ronnie Tate||United States||$91,100|
|3||Jermey Kottler||United States||$66,665|
|4||Sal Rassibi||United States||$49,415|
|5||Brock Wilson||United States||$37,115|
|6||Abbas Moradi||United States||$28,250|
|7||Robert Suer||United States||$21,795|
|8||Fadi Hamad||United States||$17,045|
|9||Ping Liu||United States||$13,515|
Final Table Dynamic
Tate, along with fourth-place finisher Sal Rassibi ($49,415) were the wild cards among the final nine, as both exhibited non-conventional lines throughout Day 3.
One such line saw Tate, with jack-ten suited put in a min three-bet from the small blind against El Harrak and Tate, and put in a continuation bet on the flop to get both opponents off better hands.
Another hand saw Rassibi raise against three limpers with seven-five offsuit in the big blind, only to get shut down by a big three-bet from Tate.
Other players at the final table included tournament crushers like Jeremy Kottler (3rd - $66,665) and Brock Wilson ($37,115).
Both Wilson and Kottler were seated on El Harrak’s right at the final table, which the eventual champion was happy to see.
“The two players that I wanted sitting on my right, were on my right,” El Harrak said. “So I got very lucky with that. I wanted to knock one of them out.”
El Harrak did just that, eliminating Wilson after finding an ace on the river in a matchup between El Harrak’s ace-seven offsuit and Wilson’s pocket kings.
Other Final Table Finishers
Ping Liu (9th- $13,515) came into the final table with the shortest stack, and was the first player eliminated from the final table.
Fadi Hamad (8th- $17,045), Robert Suer (7th - $21,795) and Abbas Moradi (6th - $28,250) were next in line to head to the rail, with each taking home a five-figure payday for the final table appearance.
The $1,700 Main Event drew 487 entries overall, with a $737,805 prize pool.