Fernando Pons Bags Overall Chip Lead In Record-Breaking WSOP Circuit Marrakech Main Event

Fernando Pons Bags Overall Chip Lead In Record-Breaking WSOP Circuit Marrakech Main Event

Fernando Pons

Former November Niner Fernando Pons has bagged the overall chip lead in the record-breaking field of the 15,000 MAD (€1,350) 2019 WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event. The Spaniard bagged 282,900 chips after 10 hours of play in Casino de Marrakech, located in the luxurious and beautiful Es Saadi Resort – Palace. Pons is leading the combined field of 188 players, but he is closely followed by Anas Tadini (264,000) and Stephane Dossetto (252,600).

The day started with about 50 people on the clock and that number grew rapidly. There were over 200 players registered in today’s flight before the first break of the day. When late registration closed the clock had 350 entries on it. At the end of the day, only 119 survived. Combined with the 196 from yesterday’s Day 1A gives a record-breaking field in the WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event of 546 entries. It broke the record, set in 2017, by a large margin as the previous biggest Main Event had 511 entries. There were 175 reentries made which brings the total of unique players in the tournament to 371.

Day 1B Survivors

Barny Boatman was one of the players that did reenter on Day 1B. Boatman fired three bullets on Day 1A but he wasn’t able to make it through twelve 45-minute levels. His fourth bullet, fired on Day 1B, was more successful. Boatman ended the day with 161,000 in chips after winning a big pot in the last hand of the day. Boatman won an all in with pocket kings against the king-queen of his opponent to double up. Boatman starts Day 2 very pretty with 80 big blinds in front of him.

Barny Boatman
Barny Boatman made it through on bullet no. 4.

Evangelos Bechrakis has had a successful festival here in Marrakech. The Greek player won the WSOP Circuit Opening event for a gold WSOP Circuit ring and this afternoon he finished in fourth place in the High Roller after it needed an extra day. Pons won 220,000 MAD (approx. €20,000) for his fourth-place finish and he immediately jumped in the Main Event.

Bechrakis ended up bagging 43,900 for about half of the average stack. Another player who made a deep run in the High Roller is Tadini. Tadini finished in fifth for 163,000 MAD (approx. €15,000) and bagged a big stack for Day 2 of the Main Event. Tadini sits in second place on the overall leaderboard with a stack of 264,000.

Evangelos Bechrakis
Evangelos Bechrakis is looking for his second ring of the series.

French reality-television star Moundir Zoughari also found a bag at the end of the day. He bagged a stack of 62,000 and he’ll be back on Day 2 as well. Zoughari’s biggest cash to date is a 472nd-place finish in the WSOP Main Event last summer. He managed to cash for a little under $30,000 and is looking to improve on that score.

Players who were less fortunate and didn’t find a bag on Day 1B include Sebastien Le Baron, Karim Lahlou, Thierry Delpui, Wim Verhaegen, and EPT champions Jean Montury and Lucien Cohen. They have plenty of other side events they can enter over the next couple of days and there are still more chances to win a WSOP gold ring.

Day 2 will take place on January 19, with the ‘shuffle up and deal’ scheduled at 1 p.m. local time. PokerNews will be present to provide live coverage from start to finish.

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  • The former November Niner leads the remaining 188 players; Barny Boatman also through.

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