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November 9 – Antoine Saout

In recent history, the World Series of Poker Main Events have been a stage where relative unknown poker players have placed their untapped skills on the worlds largest poker stage, and emerged from an unknown player to a multi-millionaire superstar. Since Chris Moneymaker won the prize of World Champion in 2003, it has become the popular trend to qualify for the Main Event through small online satellites with low buy-ins, and parlay that into a mega bucks. Such is the case for Antoine Saout.

The 25-year old Frenchman from Saint Martin des Champs, is playing in his first ever World Series and has no documented live poker cashes or experience. Saout started playing poker approximately eighteen months ago and won his seat to the 2009 WSOP Main Event on the Internet through a $50 satellite on Everest Poker (http://www.everestpoker.com/). In fact, many on the site are now sharing in the success that Saout is enjoying. Thanks to Saout’s breakthrough of being an Everest Poker player who made it to the “November Nine,” 51 players have earned a share of $1 Million, which breaks down to roughly $19,000 per person.

Antoine Saout has had potentially the toughest road to earning his way to the “November Nine” final table. For the final three days of playing the 2009 Main Event, he was in the unenviable position of being on the left of fellow “November 9” combatant Phil Ivey. Saout sits on one of the shortest stacks at the final table with only 9.5 million chips, but he does have history one his side. Should Saout chip up to an eventual win, I believe that this would be tremendous for poker as it would place the Chris Moneymaker effect back in action. The year after Moneymaker took home the big prize on his $50 sattelite, poker exploded! I would expect to see the same effect if Saout were to do the same.

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