WPT Marrakech a complete success .. Bravo!

View photo albums of the WPT Marrakech on my Facebook

I must bid adieu to Marrakech after three amazing weeks in Morocco. I want to start off by saying the WPT Marrakech, sponsored by Chilipoker was a great success. We exceeded the number of expected entrants for every single event. Every event had the maximum number of possible entries and my Chilipoker team was absolutely amazing in the process and did a fabulous job hosting the Event. And a big applause to top international tournament director Matt Savage for his excellent work, running a perfectly smooth and well organized event.

It’s been awhile since I last blogged, but I have been super busy!! I arrived in Marrakech in early October and had a few days to relax at the Es Essadi Gardens & Resort. For starters they put me up in an amazing room. It was a huge suite with a four poster bed, black marble bathroom, walk-in dressing room/ wardrobe room, private terrace, TV area with a flat screen, Berber rugs, antiques and interesting modern paintings by local artists. If you can’t enjoy the comfort of home, well this was the next best thing!!

The first couple of days, I just waited on my Chilipoker team to arrive. I spent a couple of days at the pool, reading books and just relaxing. I went out to dinner with Alex, AH, and Ophelie. And it was really relaxing and peaceful. I wanted to do more sight-seeing but I postponed it in lieu of some peace and relaxation instead. I played a ton of poker in London and it was good to just take a few days off between the WSOPE, the EPT and now the WPT Marrakech.

Because Chilipoker was a big part of this event, I felt really excited to play all the events including some of the smaller events I don’t typically play in. There were a lot of players that qualified for different events thru Chilipoker and it was my opportunity to meet many of them and play with them in a live setting. I’ve probably played some of these guys and girls online before but it’s always good to socialize and meet people in person as well.

Lots of poker professionals came out to play as well. The French were well represented, some of the big French names included Ludovic Lacay, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Nicolas Levi, Arnaud Mattern, Bruno Fitoussi, Fabrice Soulier, Antony Lellouche and one of the November Nine (WSOP ME), Antoine Saout. Other well known player such as Tony G, Antonio Esfandiari, Huck Seed, Annette Obrestad, Ross & Barney Boatman, Sorel Mizzi and one of last year’s November Nine, Scott Montgomery.

I competed in a couple of the smaller events which ironically, I was knocked out of by a Chilipoker qualifiers. I don’t think I played particularly bad. I just ran into some good hands when I also had a strong hand. In the first tournament of the WPT for example, I ran into a situation where I lost a huge pot to Christopher (alias ctofquestla) that ended my tournament when I had pocket Aces. Christopher made a raise under the gun. I smooth called pocket Aces from the cut off. The flop was Queen high and Christopher led out with a pot sized bet. I raised it up to $1600, 2x the original bet and after going in the tank for awhile, Christopher decides to call. The turn came the King and it was checked to me. I was pretty much pot committed so I shoved the rest of my chips in to the pot. Yep, Christopher was holding pocket Kings and caught up to me on the turn. River came a blank and out I go.

The following afternoon I played the Pro/Am Invitational tournament, reserved for 30 player with a mixture of both pros and amateurs. All the pros like Tony G, Fabrice Soulier, Alex Dreyfus, Roger Hairabedian, Severin Rasset (Chilipoker’s poker room manager), and myself had a bounty of $150 which goes to any player that manages to bust out a Pro. During the 4th level of play, both Roger and I got eliminated in a pot against Emanuel Valla from Lyon.

I pretty much played in every event including the High Rollers Event and the Main Event. Sadly, I didn’t make any final tables this time around but I am becoming a pretty good short stack player lately. There were quite a few times, I was really low on chips and I just seemed to make them last for hours and hours. Not that I really want to be a great short stack player but if I can take any positives out of London and Marrakech is that I was really able to manage my game pretty well considering the circumstances.

In poker, you’re going to run into bad beats sometimes or get cold decked and learning how to play short stack poker sometimes can make the difference between losing a lot of tournaments or finding ways to make the money. Nam Le is a great example of a fantastic short stack player. Sometimes, I see him with the smallest stack and 8 hours later he still has the same stack and managed to make the money or even get to the final table simply by learning how to survive.

I felt overwhelmed as I entered the tournament room where I saw life-sized Liz Lieu posters everywhere!! I was both surprised and overwhelmed but I understood it was as an honor to be a part of Chilipoker and representing the poker website’s name so while it was a little weird looking around the room at myself, I was glad to be an ambassador for Chilipoker and extremely grateful to Alex (Boss), and the rest of the Chilipoker Team!!

It wasn’t all poker while we were in Morocco. A large group of us, about 25 people, including other poker pro’s and the Chilipoker team, went to the dunes and rode Quads one day. I’ve had people comment on my Facebook fan page on some of the pictures of me riding a Quad and they found it surprising but believe it or not I’m actually pretty adventurous. The entire time, I tried to get off course and go faster and I had to be called back in by the folks running the facility to slow down and stay on course!! This isn’t my first time on a Quad and this definitely was a memorable experience lol. It was a really hot day however and a few of us were dying of thirst!!!! One of the interesting traditions they have in Morocco is they serve you “hot” green tea even in very warm weather. So, when our Quad riding almost concluded, they served us hot green tea!!! I just wanted some cold water but I guess hot tea is supposed to cool down your body temperature quicker?!?

At 8pm a press conference was held right before the Gala Dinner party with our CEO Alexandre Dreyfus giving a great speech and warm welcome to everyone that had arrived to support the WPT Marrakech event. All journalists, poker pros, and Chilipoker qualified players enjoyed various courses of traditional Moroccan food while belly dancers were moving to the sway of Moroccan music. The best part of the show was watching Tony G. doing his belly dancing hip shaking version along with the belly dancers. 🙂 Great sport .. Tony G’s awesome!

There were a lot of different activities going on in Morocco while the tournament was going on. One thing I didn’t get a chance to do however was enough sight-seeing. I spent the first few days in Morocco relaxing instead of sight-seeing thinking I would get a chance later but I played in almost every event and spent a lot of time with my Chilipoker team and spending time around the tournament that before you know it, time was up. But I had an absolutely wonderful time in Marrakech and the next time I come back here, I will definitely be doing a lot more sight-seeing. But for now, I have to bid adieu to Marrakech, Morocco and move on to my next destination.

A Big Congrats to Christophe Savary from France, 1st place winner of the WPT Marrakech, who took back home over €350,000, the official Tiffany WPT bracelet and his $25,500 seat to the WPT Wolrd Championship 2010.

P.S. Due to this blog being as long as it is already, I will mention a few interesting hands which I was involved in my next blog so stay tune everyone! 🙂

Au Revoir!!

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3 Responses to “WPT Marrakech a complete success .. Bravo!”

  1. Mike Bigelow Says:

    Thanks for all the updating you did Liz. Speaking for those of us who only dream of attending events like the WPT Marrakesh, I’ve enjoyed immensely following it through your eyes. Next year, it’s all yours!!

  2. Wendy Says:

    You rock as a Poker Rep-The posters looked great did you take any as a momento.
    The updates always keep me at the edge of my seat-Thanks for keeping us in the loop. 🙂

  3. poker tricks Says:

    I like your site. I’m looking forward to more visits here. Thanks!

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