Day 3 Completed
|Blinds||125,000 / 250,000|
Day 3 Completed
Sonny Franco Wins WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event After Grueling Day 3 (1,500,000 MAD)
Sonny Franco has won the 2019 WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event and took home the gold WSOP Circuit ring and the Grand Prize of 1,500,000 MAD (approx. €138,000). Franco beat Jimmy Kebe heads-up after a grueling 17-hour long day in Casino de Marrakech in the Es Saadi Marrakech Resort - Palace. Kebe had to settle for second place and 950,000 MAD (approx. €87,400). The bronze medal went to Day 2 chip leader Julien Robert. Robert took the third place prize money of 650,000 MAD (approx. €59,800) home. Franco won his fourth World Series of Poker International Circuit ring and his second Main Event ring after he took down the WSOP Circuit Main Event in Cannes in March 2018.
|Place||Name||Nationality||Prize (MAD)||Prize (EUR)||Prize (USD)|
|1||Sonny Franco||France||1,500,000 MAD||138,000 EUR||$156,862|
|2||Jimmy Kebe||France||950,000 MAD||87,400 EUR||$99,340|
|3||Robert Julien||France||650,000 MAD||59,800 EUR||$67,970|
|4||Edoardo Mortera||Italy||480,000 MAD||44,200 EUR||$50,193|
|5||Najib Bennis||Morocco||365,000 MAD||33,580 EUR||$38,166|
|6||Hassan Fares||France||283,000 MAD||26,000 EUR||$29,591|
|7||Isabel Baltazar||France||222,000 MAD||20,500 EUR||$23,213|
|8||Brahim Hajji||United Kingdom||183,000 MAD||16,800 EUR||$19,134|
|9||Abdelhamid El Khayati||France||156,000 MAD||14,400 EUR||$16,311|
The day started with a lot of eliminations and the tournament was down to 17 players after the first one-hour level was done. Ibrahim Kiriakus (22nd - 46,000 MAD/€4,230), Eric Rabut (21st - 46,000 MAD/€4,230), Pierre Antoine Quignard (20th - 53,000 MAD/€4,880), 'VPA' (19th - 53,000 MAD/€4,880), and Steve Berdah (18th - 53,000 MAD/€4,880) all got eliminated in the first level of the day. Quickly after that the eliminations of Olivier Paris (17th - 61,000 MAD/€5,600), Kamel Atoui (16th - 61,000 MAD/€5,600), 'Mouloud' (15th - 70,000 MAD/€6,400), and Ramon Sol (14th - 70,000 MAD/€6,400) followed.
The other players that didn't make the final table were Jose Marie (13th - 83,000 MAD/€7,600), Kamel El Abdallaoui (12th - 98,000 MAD/€9,000), and Alexis Ibarolla (11th - 115,000 MAD/€10,600). The final table bubble boy was Nicolas Pacifico. The poker dealer lost a three-way pot and shoved his last five big blinds to the middle with king-nine. He was called by Abdelhamid El Khayati his ace-queen and the board ran out in El Khayati his favor. Pacifico received 135,000 MAD/€12,600 for his tenth place finish.
|2||Barhim Hajji||United Kingdom||2,590,000||65|
|7||Abdelhamid El Khayati||France||1,685,000||42|
It took about two hours for the first elimination to take place at the final table. El Khayati, the player who busted Pacifico on the final table bubble, was the first one out of the door. He got his pocket aces all in on a six-jack-ten board with two diamonds against the seven-six of diamonds of ex-premier league footballer Jimmy Kebe. Kebe immediately hit his flush when the nine of diamonds landed on the turn and the queen of clubs on the river was just a courtesy to complete the board. El Khayati came fresh of a runner-up finish in the WPT DeepStacks Main Event in Deauville back in December where he cashed for €68,000. He cashes for a little less in Marrakech as he got to collect 156,000 MAD at the cashier (approx. €14,400
It took another two hours of play for the next player to be sent to the rail. United Kingdom's Brahim Hajji battled with a short stack and he got his last chips in the middle with pocket fives on a jack-seven-deuce flop with two spades on there. He needed to avoid a ton of outs as he was up against the nine-eight of spades from Hassan Fares. Fares hit, just like Kebe, his flush on the turn as the king of spades came down. The king of diamonds was dealt and the tournament was officially over for Kebe who gets to take 183,000 MAD (approx. €16,800) back home.
The speed of play didn't go up after the bust of Hajji and it took another two hours for the third elimination of the final table. About 200 hands in at the final table Isabel Baltazar got her last eight big blind in the middle with pocket queens. She was called by start-of-day chip leader Julien Robert from the small blind with ace-queen and she was well ahead. The flop brought king-six-ace and she was left with one out or she could chop with runner-runner straight cards. The turn was the seven of clubs which left her with just one out and her dreams of winning the Main Event and the WSOP Circuit gold ring got crushed on the four of hearts river card. She won 222,000 MAD (approx. €20,500) for her deep run and seventh-place finish.
Only a couple hands later it was Fares who hit the rail. He got his last couple of big blinds in the middle with king-jack against the ace-queen of Edoardo Mortera. The flop immediately brought an ace and Fares needed to hit running cards to stay in the game. The king on the turn gave him some outs, but he didn't manage to hit on the river. Fares collected a nice paycheck of 283,000 MAD (approx. €26,000) for his sixth-place finish in the main event.
Stacks then got pretty close to each other during five-handed play and it was close between Robert and Kebe who the chip leader was. Robert then got bluffed by Najib Bennis and Kebe was the one and only chip leader of the tournament. Bennis fired a bet on the river twice the size of the pot and Robert folded his hand after he tanked for multiple minutes. Bennis showed his cards and he had third pair, which was clearly not good enough to win the hand outright as Robert punched the table. It was Bennis who then busted in fifth despite winning that pot. He moved his last 17 big blinds to the middle from the cutoff with ace-nine and Franco called him with ace-queen. Bennis was drawing to running cards once the ten-queen-ten flop came down and his hope was kept alive with the eight on the turn. The river was another eight to end Bennis his run in the tournament in fifth, cashing for 365,000 MAD (approx. €33,600).
Four-handed play took about two-and-a-half hours and nothing much happened. The chip lead changed hands a couple of times between Franco and Robert but that was about it. Out of nowhere Robert then raised to 300,000 (blinds 75,000/150,000 - ante 25,000) and Mortera moved all in for about 2,000,000. Franco isolated and Robert got out of the way. Franco had pocket kings and was well ahead of the ace-queen of Mortera. The board ran out nine high and Franco won the big pot to shoot to the chip lead.
Franco had quite the chip lead with three players left but he then lost a huge pot against Robert. Franco raised on the turn when he had a flush draw and continued his bluff on the river when he didn't get there. The board was ten-five-ten-queen-five with three spades out there. Robert called it off with pocket nines with the nine of spades. Franco showed seven-four. Robert had well over half the chips in play and Franco and Kebe had about the same stack in front of them.
Kebe then got down to 7,5 big blinds and he moved all in from the small blind. He was called by Robert from the big blind and Robert opened up king-ten. Kebe waited about twenty seconds and tabled king-ten himself. The flop brought ace-nine-seven with three diamonds and Kebe had the king of diamonds. The turn was a brick but the river brought a fourth diamond and Kebe doubled back up.
It took 16,5 hours of play for the tournament to arrive at the heads-up stage. Robert got short stacked after losing a pot against Franco and then doubling up Kebe. He lost the rest of chips when he ran queen-ten into the ace-four of Franco when he moved all in from the button and Franco went all in as well from the small blind. Kebe folded his big blind and Franco immediately hit two aces on the flop. The turn and river were bricks and Robert was eliminated in third place. The start-of-day chip leader cashed for 650,000 MAD and that is roughly €59,800.
Kebe started the heads-up with about ten big blinds but soon found himself with just five big blinds in front of him. He managed to double up through Franco with king-jack against queen-four. Kebe flopped a full house and instantly secured a double up. In the next hand he got it in with king-ten against the queen-seven of Franco and he doubled up once more after a clean runout. Kebe suddenly had 21 big blinds standing in front of him and the heads-up was far from being over, 17 hours into the day. Only a couple of hands later they got it in the middle for the third time in the heads-up match. Kebe was again ahead with pocket nines against the pocket fives of Franco. Franco managed to hit a five on the turn to claim the WSOP Circuit gold ring and the first-place prize of 1,500,000 MAD (approx. €138,000) while Kebe has to settle for 950,000 MAD (approx. €87,400).
Franco won another WSOP Circuit Main Event ring in a main event after taking down the WSOP Cicruit Main Event in Cannes in March 2018.
That wraps up the coverage of the 2019 World Series of Poker International Circuit Marrakech with Sonny Franco as the winner of the 15,000 MAD (€1,350) Main Event.
Jimmy Kebe and Sonny Franco got their chips in the middle for the third time this heads-up match and third time seemed the charm for Franco. Kebe was ahead with while Franco had .
Franco's rail wasn't ready to give up easily and shouted so loud some people probably woke up in the Es Saadi Marrakech Resort - Palace.
The flop was and Kebe was still ahead. The crowd erupted when the came down on the turn and the river was the awarding the pot and the victory to Franco.
Kebe has to settle for second place and 950,000 MAD (approx. €87,400) while Franco walks away with the WSOP Circuit gold ring and the grand prize of 1,500,000 MAD (approx. €138,000)
Jimmy Kebe just double up to ten big blinds and he got it in again. This time he had and Sonny Franco had .
The board ran out and Kebe managed to double up one more time to 5,400,000 which is over twenty big blinds.
Jimmy Kebe had just five big blinds left when he got it in with versus the of Sonny Franco.
The board ran out .
Kebe flopped a full house and he left Franco drawing dead as he doubled up to ten big blinds.
The tournament is running again with now 30-minute levels for the heads-up match.
Julien Robert moved his last 1,600,000 to the middle from the button with and Sonny Franco rejammed all in with . Jimmy Kebe got out of the way in the big blind and they went to a showdown.
The board ran out and start-of-day chip leader Robert got eliminated in the tournament in third place, cashing for an impressive 650,000 MAD (approx. €59,800).
A short break will follow until they start the heads-up match.
Jimmy Kebe just doubled up with . He had to hold against the of Julien Robert.
The board ran out and Kebe was not just only able to hold but he managed to hit the nuts while doing so.
No major hands have happened but Franco has regained the chip lead and by a large margin. Just by putting a lot of pressure on his opponents the Frenchman managed to build up his stack to over 10,000,000.