Promises and follow up – the Moven-Pick Hotel & Casino Tangier in Tanger, Morocco.
Well, as promised, let me share my thoughts with you about the ISPT Silver – Tanger Miliionaire Maker Poker Tournament,I finished 2eplace and my experiences in Morocco.
I was invited to attend the event as the guest of Prosper Masquelier, and enjoyed playing some poker at the very nice Movenpick Hotel & Casino Tangier in Tangier, Morocco.
The main purpose of my trip was to discuss the implementation of FIDPA’s International Poker Rules (IP Rules) in all the Partouche Groupe Casinos (about 52 in total), which will provide added credibility to their venues, and more consistent rules and rulings for the players. Running all poker events using IP Rules means that dealers, floor staff and management will be compelled to honor their commitments, and to comply with the tournament rules that are in place with the IP Rules, to guide and protect all players.
It’s clear to Prosper that it is important for Partouche to have the credibility that the IP Rules brings, and to show the players that they can rely on promises or offers that Partouche makes to them in the future. Partouche partnering with FIDPA and using the IP Rules signals a fair game at all times for the players wherever and whenever they choose to play poker in any venue that is within the Partouche Groupe.
Here, in a nutshell, is a rundown on my stay in Tangier.
A direct flight from the Netherlands to Morocco is only three hours, and I believe it’s roughly the same from Belgium and France. So, it was very quick and easy.
The Movenpick Hotel & Casino Tangier is about a 15-minute drive from the airport, via the boulevard, coastline, and the promenade that is quite clearly influenced by Monaco and the French design aesthetic, with many terraces and restaurants. And yes, if you see a McDonalds, you know you are in business. 😉 The weather was also very good, with a nice breeze, plus I enjoyed plenty of the Moroccan tea too; it tastes like mint, and is very refreshing. What was even more refreshing was the Hotel Wi-Fi was free for hotel guests.
I can state that my first-time visit to Morocco has been a very pleasant one. Don’t expect to get EPT standards (yet), but what you can get there already is value for money. You’ll also experience some of the friendliest people around, easy travel conditions, and sunshine and sea, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean. It feels like the sea is giving you a very calm smile, and there is a special awareness of nature being carried to you by the wind that is whispering in your ear, “go with the flow”.
The Tanger Casino is doing what our casinos used to do, in the times that there was no official casino run by the Dutch government. They are looking after the customers very well, and making sure that they can eat and drink on site at no cost, as they consider the customers are their guests, and must be made to feel very welcome from the moment they arrive at the airport in Morocco.
While I was there, they asked me what I liked about their event, how they can improve it, and if I can help them to implement the I P Rules. Well, that’s not only easy for me to do, but a sign that they want to reach out to attract new customers by offering the best service they can, and that they will make sure the players are happy…before, during and after the event.
I was surprised and happy at the same time with my visit to Tangiers, because in the past PokerStars has had some experiences in Morocco that they were not particularly satisfied with. However, I can see clearly a big change has been made, and it’s the start of them developing a new, attractive, poker destination that within a short timeframe will offer players a great option to stay and play, to stop and indulge their love of the game, to enjoy seeing a different part of the world, and to still be connected with the beach, sun and fun.
I have seen a crowd of many new players participating in this event, and all of them have been respectful of their poker peers – some of them movers and shakers, some local heroes and champions, some winners and losers – but most of all, they were all happy people lost in the moment, and in the game they were playing. Plus, after a 3-day rebuy, reload event, I finally ended up Heads Up against Manuel Sadornil, and played for about four hours before I was finally beaten by the Spaniard. Regardless of finishing second, I still had a great time, no question about it. J
As it turned out, Prosper Masquelier did not actually make it to Tangier due to a flight delay, but we will meet at the next opportunity. So, you see life is full of surprises, and I was not expecting this to turn out to be as fantastic and worthwhile as it was, with the pleasure of meeting so many good people, and experiencing Morocco this way. Taking down the 2nd prize in the Main Event was karma, and feeling good makes you play well. Top it with a bit of good luck, and you need to be ready to carry the weight of success in any kind of form. Here, it was the local currency that could instantly be changed into Euros… the ones we love so much.
The casino is not part of the Partouche chain, but will implement the I P Rules!
The poker room is run in harmony with the help and support of the local brothers Ababou that are poker players themselves, and they can’t wait to see this tournament become an international televised event soon, and the beach and pool full of tourists.
So, the bottom-line is that I made money and more friends, and I will be back to
Implement the International Poker Rules, on special request from the poker room and the hotel casino management, with a binding contract that obligates the organizers to always protect the best interests of the players, no matter where they are from, or whether they’re a big tipper.
My overall impression of Morocco? It’s a bit like Spain, just before all the tourists went there for its laidback lifestyle and ‘siesta’ mentality, and for its sunny afternoons and late night culture and entertainment. I’ll definitely be back soon 2 give Fidpa help and support along-side enjoy the facilities ofcuz.