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November 9 – Antoine Saout

July 24th, 2009 No comments

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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Shipping the TPT

July 24th, 2009 No comments

Last night’s Twitter Poker Tour turned out a successful venture for me as I took down the TPT for my first time. I’ve won the TPTE event before, but this was my first win in the TPT after several previous cashes.

I was awe struck when I’d received a message that Lee Childs had joined the TPT for the evening, and opened his table to watch how he attacked the field. In the beginning, he was extremely aggressive as there were 28 players, and 4 tables. So with the action being shorter, Lee attacked often, and picked up some very good pots to chip to one of the leaders.

Then his table was moved as we consolidated to 3 tables, and he tightened up to some degree. @Kingsteve was at his table and chipped up huge, and would remain that way until 3 handed.

On my table, I was playing solid poker for the most part, and made one costly mistake early. With QQ, I opened for a min raise from early position. The flop came out harmless 7-4-2, and I opened for half pot sized bet. I got a call, and a raise behind me, and I re-raised. A fold then a shove, and I had a decision to make. There were 2 spades on the board, and I put my opponent on a flush or straight draw, having him covered. I made the call, and he tossed over 7-7 for the winning set. That one hurt a lot, as my 3000 starting stack had dwindled to around 800.

I would fall to under 700 when I was able to get things into gear. Blinds were still low enough that even though I was short, I could make some moves. I shoved with T-T at one point, and doubled my stack in a flip after the flop. I then called a pre-flop shove with AK after making a solid read, and my opponent tabled AT. That one took me to almost 2k. I would take some small pots, and then have a stack over 3k.

Then my big pot came with two tables left. I had AQ in the SB, and I was able to see a flop with 5 other players just by limping. The flop came Q-9-9, and I felt that I was best. I checked it to see what other players did, and an early position player opened, and was raised by a middle position player. I called, as did the early position player, so 3 of us saw the turn. It was harmless so I led out with a bet of 3/4 pot. The early position player called, and then the middle position player raiser went all in. I made the call, the EP player folded, and we showed our cards. My AQ was in great shape against KQ. The river blanked, my kicker played, and I chipped up to over 10k with that pot.

I rode that stack to the final table, where I played my best poker. I was involved in a lot of pots, and got the best of the ones that I was in most of the time. I didn’t have spectaculr cards, but I used position and solid bets to chip up. I moved when I made my hands, and it worked.

Lee childs would eventually go out in 7th place moving his last 4k with 77, and getting called by another middle pair (I believe it was 99).

I had chipped up to about 35k when we’d made it to 3 handed poker having @Kingsteve covered by only 80 chips, when the big hand of the night came in. I woke up in the BB with QQ, and Steve had made a pre-flop 3 bet from the button. I min-raised him, and he 3-bet me. I shoved my stack and he made the call with AJ. The Q’s held and elminated in Steve in one giant pot, where I would take a 75k to 9k lead into heads up. From there, I controled action and took down the eventual win.

It was a fun tournament, and I am still in a little shock that I took it down to be honest. In looking back on my play, I really only made 2 mistakes, but got lucky on 1 of them. I moved with TT on a board of Q-8-5. This was after I’d re-raised pre-flop from the big blind and was called. My opponent said that they’d laid down JJ, which had they called, I would’ve busted. But the shove made them muck their hand, and I continued to chip up.

I had a blast, and now have a TPT title under my belt. Hopefully, I can continue this kind of play and end up the season on the top of the leaderboard.

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