Poker returns to Morocco for WPT Marrakech

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 25, 2011 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

The World Poker Tour is in the northern African city of Marrakech for the third straight year, and there was major rebound in the attendance numbers this time around — after a major drop in attendance between the 2009 inaugural WPT tournament in Marakech, Morocco and the 2010 running of the tournament.

A total of 274 players showed up for the single starting day at the Casino Es Saadi, and by the end of the day a mere 149 players were left in the hunt for the WPT title, led by chip-leader Mohamed Ali Houssam. Houssam is no stranger to success in Marrakech, having won the 2010 Marrakech Poker Open at the same casino, but there is still a lot of poker left to be played in this one.

Interestingly, a number of big names in the US poker world decided to make the trans-Atlantic trek for the tournament including 2010 WSOP Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel, the recently defeated MMA fighter Bertrand “ElkY” Grosspellier, Brandon Cantu, and Eugene Katchalov. Some of Europe’s top pros joined them as Arnaud Mattern, Leo Margets, Surinder Sunar, Roger Hairabedian, Sam El Sayed, Barny Boatman, James Akenhead and Guillaume Darcourt.

Here is a look at the chip-leaders heading into Day 2 of the WPT Marrakech Main Event:

1. Mohamed Ali Houssam — 186,700

2. Ian Marmion — 158,500

3. Sofiane Bougaci — 149,500

4. Matthius Remie — 131,800

5. Julien Arneodo — 128,100

6. Touhami Zekhnini — 127,800

7. Mudsser Khan — 120,800

8. Jonathan Duhamel — 113,600

9. Jean Pierre Gleize — 112,600

10. Sebastian Winkler — 105,100

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