The long journey from the United Kingdom to Morocco was worth it for Brit Arron Fletcher, who scored $140,224 for taking home first prize at the 2017 World Series of Poker International Circuit Marrakech Main Event. The competition was huge – a total of 511 entrants – but Fletcher was able to defeat Pedro Rodero of Spain in heads-up play, along with former Main Event champion Ricardo Manquant along the way.
The final day of play saw 23 players return, but they didn’t stay for long and eliminations quickly began. Romain Lewis, second in chips at the start of the day, went out before the final table and made the road to success for Fletcher much smoother. When Pedro Jimenez was eliminated in 10th by Mika Kakkonen, the final table was set.
France’s Manquant, who won the very first Main Event two years ago, was eliminated first in ninth place. Matthias Widmann of Germany followed him out the door in eighth.
It was another two hours before Frenchman Mohamed El Bakkouri busted to Fletcher’s A-Q, and the remaining six took a dinner break to get their heads back on straight. It didn’t help start-of-day chip leader Julio Sanchez, however. His pocket tens fell to an A-Q, and Kakkonen of Finland followed him to the rail at the hands of Rodero. Kakkonen won $35,557 for fifth place.
A huge hand ended in the elimination of Hamza NBaba, the only Moroccan to make it to the final table. Half the chips in play were up for grabs when Fletcher and NBaba both went all in before the flop. The hand left Fletcher with a massive chip stack while sending NBaba home with $46,430 for his efforts.
The now short-stacked Fernandez was the next to go in third.
Heads-up play began with a 2:1 chip ratio and Rodero wasn’t able to overcome the massive deficit. In the end, he called all in with a Q-10, but Fletcher’s A-J won both the hand and the tournament.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: WSOP
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