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Welcome poker fans and thanks for visiting. During the week please visit the special WPT Marrakech Live Reporting website for live tournament updates, video clips, photos and player chip counts. Furthermore, each day while we are here in the lovely city of Marrakech we will be using this space for blogging and rounding up a collection on photos to share with you all.
My first impressions of Marrakech were absolutely amazing, everyone is so friendly and the place has class. The pink city is known for it's snake charmers, magic potions, hidden palaces. So I'm really looking forward to having a good look around and sharing the experience with you. First stop this morning was at the Aeroport Marrakech Menara to pick up the 6 Poker Club players from all around France that qualified with Chilipoker. Each lucky player besides having all expenses paid (including hotel, flights and a €4,500 buy-in to the main event) was able to bring 3 friends, so in total there was 24 people to pick up from the airport.
Unfortunately one of the players missed his flight (we won't mention any names) hope that player will have more luck at the main event. Finally the poker players came made it threw the often hectic passport control and was greeted by the Chilipoker staff Ophelie, Alex Henry and myself. We said our hello's and all jumped in to the taxis to head off to the hotel.
Everyone (including myself) seemed really excited to be here and the car every one was having a laugh on behalf of one of the players who ended up "bubble boy" at one of the recent European Poker Tour Events.
Ophelie was giving a breakdown of this weeks events, including a shopping trip to the famous Souk Market, maybe some camel rides, a tour around Marrakech on quad bikes, a Chilipoker party and some action packed poker tournaments, side games, satellites and cash games. The players were surprised to hear about the structure of the cash games here in Marrakech, as they uniquely feature a 90 minute time window before any player can leave the table with any cash that he has won. An odd but interesting cash game structure.
On the way from the airport the scene outside was really interesting. Lot's of motorbikes zooming on both sides, the highest palm trees I have ever seen, olive trees, camels, horses and carriages and much more unusual architecture. The drive from the airport to the hotel took no more then 20 minutes. We all stepped out of the car to sign the players into the hotel room that we had booked for them.
As we waited for the rooms to be ready, I had a chat with a few of the players that will be blogging on the French WPT Blog and I was rather happy to find out that a few of the players knew me from the work I do on behalf of Chilipoker on social networking sites such as Twitter andFacebook. The players were interested (I was going to say happy but I don't think its appropriate in this case) to know that there was going to be a host of professional poker players at the invitational Pro-AM event being played on Monday including, Liz Lieu, Annette Obrestad,Antonio Esfandiari, Elky, Tony G, Fabrice Soulier and our very own Alex Dreyfus.
As a matter of fact as I am writing this blog, Roger Hairabedian and another popular French Pro Poker Player (forgot his name) is playing at a table right in front me.
The players seemed keen to go check out the venue Es Saadi Resort and the Casino de Marrakech, so we got together for a group photo and headed off to the Casino. Now it's time for a lamb and couscous I will be back later with another update from The Casino in Marrakech...
For the lucky players who qualified it's big money in Marrakech or Bust, so good luck and enjoy the ride!