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Said El Harrak Wins 2019 WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino Main Event

Former Pro Boxer Defeats Field of 487 To Win $147,435


The latest champion has been decided on the World Series of Poker Circuit. Said El Harrak overcame a field of 487 total entries to win the 2019 WSOP Circuit Bicycle Hotel & Casino $1,700 buy-in in-limit hold’em main event. The 37-year-old former pro boxer turned poker player was awarded $147,435 and his first WSOPC gold ring for coming out on top.

“Boxing’s about reading your opponent. So, I feel like I can pick up on tells and then betting patterns. I follow the betting pattern,” El Harrak told WSOP after emerging victorious. “If someone is playing aggressive, I’m going to play more passive with them. If they’re passive I’m going to be aggressive on them. I like the psychological act of the game.”

“I barely graduated high school, and then I went into [professional] boxing," said El Harrak when asked about his road to becoming a poker pro. "In 2016, I retired. I love poker, so I said ‘let me try to take my last paycheck in boxing and put it in poker’ and now I’ve been doing it nonstop and this is beautiful. I love it. I love the game.”

El Harrak came into the final day of this event as the chip leader with nine players remaining. Short stacked Ping Liu was the first to be eliminated when he lost a race with pocket sevens against the AClub SuitJSpade Suit of Abbas Moradi, who made a pair of jacks on the turn and held from there. Liu took home $13,515 as the ninth-place finisher.

The next player to hit the rail was Fadi Hamad. He also got his last chips in with pocket sevens, only to get called by El Harrak with pocket kings. The kings held and Hamad had to settle for $17,045. Bobby Suer got all-in with JClub Suit10Club Suit up against the KSpade SuitQHeart Suit of Jeremy Kottler. He was unable to improve and was knocked out in seventh place ($21,795).

Abbas Moradi’s run in this event came to an end when he got all-in with A-8 and received a call from the A-K of Sal Rassibi. Moradi received no help from the board and was eliminated in sixth place, earning $28,250.

Brock Wilson came into this final table fresh off of securing the two largest scores of his tournament career. Wilson finished runner-up in a pair of $25,000 buy-in high rollers in recent weeks, earning $619,536 in the Caribbean Poker Party event and another $301,215 at the Seminole Hard Rock Rock & Roll Poker Open. Wilson picked up pocket kings in the small blind and limped in. El Harrak shoved from the big blind with AClub Suit7Diamond Suit. Wilson quickly called, and was looking good to secure the massive double up until the AClub Suit hit the river. El Harrak’s pair of aces was enough to knock Wilson out in fifth place ($37,115).

El Harrak scored another knockout when his A-4 beat out the A-8 of Sal Rassibi. He hit a four and the flop to send Rassabi to the rail with $49,415. Not long after that Jeremy Kottler was dealt pocket jacks, prompting him to move all-in from the button. El Harrak picked up pocket queens and called out of the small blind. Neither player improved and Kottler was sent home with $66,665.

With that El Harrak took 8,505,000 into heads-up play against Ronnie Tate, who had 6,105,000 despite not scoring a knockout at the final table. El Harrak was able to extend his lead to more than a 6:1 advantage by the time the final hand was dealt. He picked up KDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit on the button and moved all-in. Tate called for his tournament life with AClub SuitQHeart Suit. The board came down 9Club Suit8Heart Suit7Diamond SuitJSpade SuitJDiamond Suit to give El Harrak a straight for the win. Tate cashed for $91,100 as the runner-up finisher.

In addition to the title and the money, El Harrak was also awarded 720 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his third POY-qualified final-table finish of the year. The 2019 POY race is sponsored by Global Poker.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Said El Harrak $147,435 720
2 Ronnie Tate $91,100 600
3 Jeremy Kottler $66,665 480
4 Sal Rassibi $49,415 360
5 Brock Wilson $37,115 300
6 Abbas Moradi $28,250 240
7 Bobby Suer $21,795 180
8 Fadi Hamad $17,045 120
9 Ping Liu $13,515 60

Winner photo provided by WSOP.