Monday, November 28,2011 : MOROCCAN POKER ACE TAKES DOWN THE WPT MARRAKECH
 
Mohamed Ali Houssam bests a field of 274
 
Besting poker aces like Bertrand Grospellier and WSOP champ Josh Duhamel in an entry field of 274, local Moroccan player Mohamed Ali Houssam claimed the main prize of almost Euro 200,000 and a $25,000 seat in the WPT World Championship over the weekend in the Euro 3,000 World Poker Tour Marrakech final table, following four days of hard poker action.
 
Houssam played a clever game, managing to stay in the top 15 players for most of the match as the field was steadily whittled down to a final table Saturday which consisted of Houssam holding the chip lead and pursued by Josh Duhamel, Hassan Fares, Toufic Ourini, Maksim Martinov, Rodney Assous, Bertrand Grospellier and Arnaud Mattern.
 
Grospellier and Duhamel were early departures, busting out in eighth and seventh positions respectively, whilst Martinov seized the chip lead.
 
By the time play reached the three-handed stage Houssam was the short stack again, but by dint of two significant double-ups he managed to regain the lead over Martinov and fellow local player Ourini, relinquishing it to his countryman as the duo went into the heads up which emerged when Martinov was eliminated.
 
Toufic Ourini proved to be a tough and skilled opponent, increasing his lead as the match wore on but then falling behind as Houssam made some bold moves that gave him double the chips. It was too much for Ourini to make a comeback, and the honours went to Houssam.
 
Ourini's second placing was worth Euro 137,657.