After four days of poker action in the beautiful Es Saadi Resort, Adrien Sanz was crowned the champion of the 55th edition of the Marrakech Poker Open 15,000 MAD Main Event.
Sanz defeated long-time player Karim Lehoussine in heads-up play to collect the first-place prize of 770,000 Moroccan Dirhams (€72,200).
Sanz, who started the day with a comfortable chip lead, managed to stay ahead for the entire final day. Thierry Gogniat’s third-place finish confirmed a full French podium after he collected 380,000 MAD (€34,650).
The only Moroccan player of the final table, Mostafa Boukri, had to settle for fifth for 212,000 MAD (€19,330), while Swiss Dinesh Alt secured a seventh-place finish after bagging the runners-up spoils from the MPO High Roller. Rosalie Petit, who won a WSOP ring in Marrakech in January, made the final table but was the first to depart.
Final Table Results
|PLACE||PLAYER||COUNTRY||PRIZE (IN MAD)||PRIZE (~ IN EUR)|
The victory came with some emotions for the French professional living in Marrakech. Sanz, who most plays Spin and Go tournaments online, captured his first major title in a major event, and in a place that is close to his heart.
“In the few Main Events I’ve played live, I haven’t had much success, so I feel grateful today. But for two years, I have had consistent results. I was the Mystery KO event runner-up in this festival and won the Progressive Bounty the next day, so I’m pleased about my week! ” Sanz told PokerNews.
“I play all the events here, even the monthly regular tournaments. I feel at home. And it’s also my first big final table, with my friends around; it’s a great feeling,” he added.
Sanz won a decisive hand during the heads-up when he called all-in with two pair on the turn while Lehoussine who had hit a flush. Sanz found one of the four outs he needed on the river to make a full house and jumped to a massive chip lead.
“I was in shock, but even with a 2% chance of winning, I still believed in it. I made a mistake in that spot, but you still need luck sometimes,” said Sanz.
Adrien Sanz and Karim Lehoussine
Final Day Action
At 2 p.m. local time, just ten of the 295 players returned to the felt, with each of them already guaranteed 68,000 MAD (€7,840). Most eyes were already on Sanz from the start, as well as experienced player Boukri and Nuno Correia, who started in second and third place, respectively.
Boukri started the eliminations by sending Said Basri into the rail in 11th place to set up the official final table. Sanz then continued to extend his lead by eliminating Petit and Jorge Bouquet. Alt followed them out in seventh place after he shoved preflop with ace-queen, but Boukri’s jack-ten paired up on the river was enough to eliminate Alt.
After the exit of Thierry Morel, Boukri ended his run in fifth when his pocket sevens crashed into Lehoussine’s pair of kings.
Not long before the dinner break, Sanz took care of busting Portuguese player Nuno Correia in fourth place. Correia three-bet shoved with pocket eights while Sanz held pocket tens.
The three-handed play lasted two hands, as Gogniat three-bet shoved in the small blind with a pair of queens, while Lehoussine had pocket kings.
The heads-up lasted more than one hour, and Lehoussine even came back close to Sanz in chips despite his terrible bad beat after Sanz hit his aforementioned four-outer. However, Lehoussine called the four-bet shove from Sanz with ace-six while his opponent held ace-jack and found no help on the board to secure a second-place finish for €48,320.