Perhaps no one played better at the 2009 final table than French pro Antoine Saout. Seemingly always getting his money in with the best of it, Saout rocketed up from his eighth-place starting position to become the dominant chip leader with three players remaining.But then Michigan-born Joe Cada crushed the hopes and dreams of Cada and his vocal French entourage.For the second time at the final table, Cada was exceedingly fortunate with a small pocket pair — this time with pocket deuces against Saout’s pocket queens to take most of the Frenchman’s chips and to propel himself into the chip lead. Cada had previously doubled up through his pocket threes when he again got all of the money in preflop to crack Jeff Shulman’s pocket jacks.But Saout still had chips and gladly put the rest of them in the middle when he was dealt pocket eights a little while later. Cada looked him up with A-K, and the two players were off to the races. Saout dodged an ace and a king on the flop and the turn, but was unable to see a safe river — as a king crashed down onto the table and sent Saout packing.Saout’s rise to the final three was an unlikely one. Coming into November as one of the short stacks, only Britain’s James Akenhead had less chips than him. But unlike Akenhead, when the main event suspended play in July, Saout had no comparable record to speak of.He hadn’t been playing poker for very long, and was only in the main event thanks to a $50 satellite tournament on Everest Poker.But after his improbable run in the 2009 World Series , Saout entered a number of events over the past few months, scoring approximately half a dozen major tournament cashes, including a final-table result in the World Series of Poker Europe main event.With his third-place finish, Saout earned approximately $3.48 million.
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