Put simply, it’s an insane achievement. After qualifying for the November Nine, 25-year old Frenchman Antoine Saout worked his way through the field of the World Series of Poker Main Event Europe eventually succumbing in seventh place on the final table. His achievement was amazing, but to make things even freakier he was joined by the other European November Nine member James Akenhead who finished ninth. Saout followed up this result with another deep run in the recent WPT Marrakech event.
Saout will be leading the European charge on the final table despite being in eighth place out of the nine players. Fittingly Saout picked up his seat on one of Europe’s leading sites Everest Poker. Saout, or Tonio292 as he is known on Everest will have a huge band of supporters at the final table given that his deep run guarantees all of Everest Poker’s 51 Main Event qualifiers will share a slice of a US$1 million bonus put up by the site.
Saout’s story started just one and a half years ago when he began playing poker online, and perhaps demonstrates the power of the additional hands of experience that the online version of the game provides. Unconventionally it was Saout’s sister who first introduced him to the game via her online play at Everest.
According to Saout, “The first time I really played was two years ago. My sister had an account on Everest Poker and I saw her playing from time to time. Then, I created an Everest Poker account for myself. I watched a video online to clearly understand the rules and started playing. For a few months, I was playing in free games, but with time, I wanted to play for real money with real bets. I deposited some money and enjoyed it a lot. Eventually, I started seeing good results in several tournaments. I thought I could make a living out of it”.
In such a short period of time Saout has become feared as a formidable player on the site, and his November Nine appearance does nothing to dent that reputation.
Saout’s road to the final table was not easy. For three days Saout sat next to Phil Ivey. Of course the positive to come out of that, is that Saout should know Ivey’s game better than any other member of the November Nine.
Saout will be keen to retain the Main Event championship in Europe after it was won by Denmark’s Peter Eastgate last year. He will need to find some chips early if he hopes to win the Main Event. Saout will be looking for a double up, but has a little breathing room with around 35 big blinds at 9,500,000 in chips.
Regardless of how things finish though Saout can be immensely proud of his achievements in poker in what has been a remarkable year.
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