Tahiri Hassani Leads Final 11 in Marrakech Poker Open Main Event

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After 12 levels, there are still 11 left standing in the 2017 Marrakech Poker Open Main Event. Tahiri Hassani leads the way with 816,000.

The plan was to play until nine or the conclusion of level 21. As the clock ticked down, the 11 players couldn’t be reduced any further, so they will all return tomorrow with a shot at the 300,000 Dirham (€27,847) first prize.

Morocco is well represented in the final 11 players, with chipleader Tahiri Hassani joined by overnight chipleader Abdellah El Ghrari who bagged up 536,000.

Naturally there is still a whole host of French players in action with Ouassini Mansouri (590,000), Jerome Zerbib (424,000) and Idir Haiche (390,000) all sticking around for Day 3.

As well as three Frenchmen, there are three Spaniards. Hot on the heels of chipleader Hassani is Francisco Vargas, who enjoyed two late double ups to finish on 768,000. He is joined by Moises Touhle (370,000) and Tsunamy (165,000).

Rounding out the Day 3 competitors is Jens Erik Ostergaard (702,000), Andrei-Salustin Luncan (266,000) and Valeryi Chupin (463,000).

A number of new entries joined the fray on Day 2, including High Roller champion Fadhil Farag. Last night he took only eight minutes to finish off the remaining two players in the tournament to scoop the 300,000 Dirham first prize.

Today he took a similar amount of time to bust the Main Event. His aces were cracked by the king-jack of Lasse Jacobsen.

Ludovic Geilich also entered the mix today, but he faded to bust short of the money along with Barny Boatman, November Niner Fernando Pons, Christopher Chaudey and a whole host of others.

The bubble boy was Eric Rabut, whose ace-king was defeated by the pocket fives of Rabah Ait Abdelmalek.

Next to go was Leo Margets (€1,578), whose mistimed a river bluff with kings against Mansouri and was called with the Frenchman holding a set of fours.

The chip lead changed hands a lot, especially with so many quick bustouts. Pierre Neuville (20th – €1,856), Hamza N Baba (19th – €1,856) and Mehdi Sehdaji (18th – €1,856) all busted in quick succession. Mostafa Boukri battled hard and became the third Moroccan to hit the rail in a row when he was eliminated in 17th.

It looked increasingly likely that the players would not reach nine this evening, and perhaps with that in mind, the group tightened their belts.

After Hassan Ali Khalil’s elimination in 16th (€2,227) and Thierry Oldak in 15th (€2,227) the pace of the tournament slowed considerably.

Hossein El Otmani had a good run in the High Roller two days ago and doubled up for sub-five big blinds twice in a row before falling to the ace-eight of Andrei-Salustin Luncan.

Vargas is in a good position, after he doubled first through Tsunamy, and then again through Benoit Grobocopatel, crippling him. The Frenchman would then fall in 13th Place (€3,156) despite holding kings.

It looked like that would be that for the night, but there was still time for another player to bust holding kings.

Rabah Ait Abdelmalek limped with them under the gun, and was shoved on by Moises in the small blind.

Abdelmalek was ahead of Moises’ ace-queen, but an ace on the flop ended that and there were 11 remaining.

Tomorrow play resumes at 2:00 p.m. local time. Remember that clocks go forward one hour here in Marrakech, but PokerNews will be here to provide you with live updates through until we reach a winner.