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  • Duhamel and ElkY Atop Leaderboard at WPT Marrakech

    Saturday, November 26th, 2011 by Ryan

Have you ever noticed that when it comes to poker tournaments that are run around the world (World Poker Tour events to be specific), that there typically is not more than one big named professional poker player sitting atop the leaderboard at the end of Day 1 or Day 2? It could potentially have something to do with the fact that other players definitely gun for these players in events. Fortunately for the fans of poker out there, we have an interesting situation building up at the World Poker Tour Marrakech event. When Day 2 came to an end, there were only 50 total players remaining and while Ian Marmion currently is sitting as the chip leader; may people are focused on the two names who are sitting close behind him in the standings.

The first player who was closing in on Marmion’s lead was a player by the name of Jonathan Duhamel, who any fans of the World Series of Poker definitely know, as he is a former WSOP Main Event Champion. Duhamel has a very nice chip stack of 364,500 chips, and is close behind the stack that Marmion has of 379,000. As if having a former Main Event champ on his tail isn’t tough enough, he also has one of the most well-known and popular players in the game chasing him down in Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who is currently holding an impressive chip stack of 293,500 chips.

The two big names actually got their stacks to that point in pretty different ways though, as ElkY focused on winning small pots and just building his stack up over time, and Duhamel found himself in a big hand against David Sacksick, which definitely gave him a huge boost. The hand played out in a strange way, and featured Sacksick raising to 7k to open, and Duhamel three betting to 19k. This is where it got interesting, as Sacksick then decided to four bet the rest of his chips into the middle (which was over 200k in total, making for a massive re-raise). Duhamel made a snap call and turned over pocket King’s; needless to say, he was happy to see that his opponent was holding a King and a 7. Duhamel picked up a big pot there and it put him over 300k, allowing him to sit back and watch the rest of the level unfold.

Not all of the other big names were as fortunate as ElkY and Duhamel though to make it through Day 2. The day saw players like Brandon Cantu, Eugene Katchalov, Barny Boatman, Leo Margets, Alain Roy, and many others sent home; while a few other big named players made it through with Duhamel and ElkY, such as Sam El Sayed with 246k chips, Surinder Sunar with 180k chips, and Arnaud Mattern with 131k chips.

The top 33 players will make it into the cash when all is said and done, and the winner of the event will not only win the €199,825 first place money, but will also win a $25k seat to the World Poker Tour Bellagio event.

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