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November Nine:

French pro played “smart, snug” en route to final table

Saout could become first French player to ever win Main Event

Click to enlarge photo

Antoine Saout looks up during a hand at the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

Final Table Chip Count

Antoine Saout enters the World Series of Poker Main Event final table as the most unknown player remaining.

The Main Event was the first tournament the 25-year old from France ever competed in outside of Europe.

“We know the least bit about Antoine for obvious reasons,” ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad said.

The question is whether Saout can use that unfamiliarity to his advantage. If players don’t have much of a read on Saout, he could be dangerous.

He already displayed that in one of ESPN’s final telecasts of the preliminary Main Event days when he bluffed final table member, Steven Begleiter, out of a major pot.

“When you talk to other players, they say he hasn’t had a hair out of place,” Chad said. “They haven’t seen him do anything really stupid. He’s played pretty snug and smart poker.”

This much is known about Saout: He grew up in Saint Martin Des Champs, France, and enrolled in engineering school a few years ago.

Saout, however, dropped out and started playing poker online. He won a $50 satellite tournament online to earn his seat at the Main Event.

He cruised through the Main Event and goes into the final table eighth in chips. Since gaining his seat, Saout has found even more poker success.

He made the final table of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event and also cashed in some major Spanish tournaments.

“He’s just another one of the young guns in his early 20s,” Chad said, “that you just go, ‘Why? How in the heck did he get this good this quickly?’”

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