Moundir Zoughari reminds us why we play the game

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: May 17, 2023 03:32 PDT

A few days ago, at the Triton SHRS in North Cyprus, the poker world became aware of a new name. Moundir Zoughari.

Zoughari is a French television host and personality, known for appearances on Koh Lanta, a reality show adapted from the highly popular Survivor. Zoughari has been playing poker for a long time, with tournament cashes on Hendon Mob stretching back to 2010.

Recently, Zoughari competed at the Marrakech Poker Open in Morocco. There, he finished first in one tournament and second in another. Zoughari's performance in Marrakech drew the attention of Karl Chappe-Gatien, a French poker player and trader. Chappe-Gatien, impresssed by Zoughari's play, offered to stake his fellow countryman at the Triton series in North Cyprus.

The bounty pull heard 'round the world

If you haven't seen it already, there's an incredible clip of Zoughari's reaction to pulling an $85,000 bounty in the $30K Mystery Bounty event. Zoughari had only one shot at the bounty pool, but he made the most of the opportunity by pulling the third largest bounty in the field. If you watch the clip, you can see how much it means to him.

The emotional display from Zoughari is uncommon in the often stoic, sober environment of these high roller tournament series. There's a certain unspoken ethos that exists in these circles, a kind of unwritten agreement to adhere to an "act like you've been there" mentality.

Obviously, these players experience the emotions involved in high stakes poker, it's impossible to not, but they rarely show it. For those of us that can appreciate the occasional emotional outburst, Zoughari's reaction was a breath of fresh air.

Not only was it refreshing, it was real. It was unscripted. Raw. There should be more of this in poker. Emotions are part of what makes us human. On top of that, it makes for entertaining content. It's exciting and serves as a reminder of why we play the game. It's about the money, sure, but it's also about the human connection.

The majority of poker players across the globe are people like Zoughari, they're not professionals and this isn't business as usual for them. It's a fleeting experience, not just another day at the office. We, as a community, should celebrate these moments.

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