Antoine Saout is from Saint Martin des Champs, France and was one of only two non-U.S. born players in the 2009 November Nine of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. When the cards hit the air on November 7th, Saout was one of the short stacks at the table with 9.5 million in chips. However, he ultimately finished third for $3.5 million.
In 2009, the 25-year-old Frenchman was playing in his first-ever WSOP and had no documented major live poker cashes or experience. Saout started playing poker approximately 18 months prior and won his seat to the 2009 WSOP Main Event on the internet through a $50 satellite on Everest Poker. 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 earned a share of $1 million, which breaks down to roughly $19,000 per person.
Antoine Saout had potentially the toughest road to earning his way to the 2009 WSOP Main Event final table. For the final three days of play in July, he was in the unenviable position of being on the left of fellow November Nine combatant Phil Ivey.
2009 WSOP Main Event Final Table
After overcoming the short stack and making a run at the title of 2009 WSOP Main Event Champion, Saout fell in third place. In a key hand, 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada had his tournament life on the line with pocket deuces against Saout’s pocket queens. However, Cada spiked a two on the flop to propel him into the lead in the hand for good and send Saout’s chip stack plummeting. Four hands later, Saout was sent packing after losing a race with pocket eights against Cada’s A-K. The river came a king, sending Saout home in dramatic fashion.
Influence on France
Saout’s appearance in the 2009 WSOP Main Event will likely spark a poker boom of sorts in the European country. An official from Club Poker told Poker News Daily, “If Antoine wins, it will be huge for France.” Saout was the highest place finisher ever in the WSOP Main Event from France and made the largest jump of any player at 2009 feature table, starting in eighth place and ending in third (up five spots on the leaderboard).
After winning his seat on Everest Poker, the official on-felt sponsor of the WSOP, Saout signed with the independent online poker site in August of 2009. Everest Poker does not accept U.S. players. Saout was the only player at the final table donning a logo of a non-U.S. facing site.