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  • Giacomo Fundaro Wins WPT Mazagan

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 by Ryan

The World Poker Tour’s stop at the Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort in Casablanca, Morocco drew in a solid number of players, as well as some strong talent. When the final table of the event began though, there were some players who started with huge stacks in comparison to the other five players (WPT events feature only six player final tables in comparison to the standard nine). One player, Giacomo Fundaro from Italy was able to make an impressive run from the middle of the pack to overtake the big stacks and make a push on the championship.

The final table of the tournament featured a huge chip leader with 1.94 million in Davidi Kitai, and there was also an incredibly well-known professional poker player in Bruno Fitoussi at the table. To round out the final six players there was an “old school” player as some people would say in Frederic Brunet, as well as two players who focus on playing in the online poker world in Jeremy Nock and Clement Beauvois. Fundaro has an interesting style himself, and throughout the event we found that many players were a bit aggravated by his style of play.

When the action began, Kitai had a huge lead. He was actually holding about 50% of the chips at the table, and most people watching in the event assumed that he would simply sit back and watch to see who would make it down to the final three or four players with him. Things didn’t go like that at all though, as Kitai come out of the gate looking to make some noise. On the first hand he three-bet Fundaro, and then continued to fire bets at opponents on the upcoming hands as well. When all was said and done of his bullying, he was able to work his way up to 2.25 million chips, and was sitting more than pretty at this point.

It went back and forth for quite a few players with players winning double ups then losing double ups before Kitai hit a bit of a bad stretch. Fundaro three bet Kitai which led to Kitai moving all in, and Fundaro decided to make the quick call and turn over pocket 10’s against the A-Js of Kitai. Nothing improved Kitai’s hand as the highest card that came was an eight, and this sent Fundaro into second place with 1.2 million chips, and sent Kitai down to 1.65 million chips, showing that this was going to be a fun fight to the finish. It kept going for Kitai though, as Fundaro was able to take another big hand against him as his pocket Queens held up against Kitai and gave him the chip lead of 1.3 million, leaving the old chip leader to fall to under one million.

Kitai did get some of those chips back though, as he finally sent our first player home when he knocked out Fitoussi in sixth place. Fundaro then knocked Beauvois out in 5th place just a few minutes later to hold on to his chip lead. We knew that the two were going to get into it again, but no one knew when. When it finally happened, it wasn’t pretty for one of the two.

Brunet started out the betting on this next hand, and Kitai raised it up to 200k before Fundaro decided to four bet. Brunet folded, but Kitai went all-in following the move. Fundaro called down the shove, and turned over pocket Kings much to the dismay of Kitai, who held pocket Jacks. Kitai could not improve his hand and this sent our original chip leader home in 4th place, and gave Fundaro a huge lead over the rest of the table.

The heads up match was sent when Nock was sent home in third place. It was Fundaro against Brunet, and Fundaro started out with a one million chip lead over his opponent. Brunet did make a slight come back though, but Fundaro had more than enough chips and talent to continue to put pressure on his opponent. It took about an hour before Fundaro had gotten up to a 1.3 million chip lead.

Brunet was actually able to get the lead from Fundaro though, and this led to the two going back and forth for a good while. Fundaro was down to only one million chips, and when he shoved all-in with 7-6h he was in a tough spot against Brunet who had the A-10h. The flop though came down 9-7-6 to give Fundaro two pair and a straight draw for Brunet, but he was unable to hit the straight or get any help. Fundaro now had two million chips against the 2.3 million of Brunet.

Fundaro rolled from there though, as he just kept building and regained the chip lead before going all-in over Brunet. Brunet showed Q-9 on the all-in, and was against the A-3 of Fundaro. The flop came down with an Ace, and that was all but it. Fundaro took the win and the first place pay day of $168,207, while Brunet finished in second with a pay day of $99,082.

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