2009 WSOP: Here comes Saout

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Antoine Saout has been the consensus best player so far at this final table and now he’s the chipleader after winning a monster pot against former Bear Stearns honcho Steve Begleiter, the man you know Michael Moore is rooting against.

Here is the Poker News summary of the hand, which saw a hero call by Begleiter with middle pair. It turned out to be the right call statistically, but Saout’s overcards and flush draw got there on the turn when the Frenchman made the nut flush. Post flop Saout was a 51-49 favorite.

Saout won a coin flip, but every decision he made was probably better than Begleiter.

Hand #153

Joe Cada has the button. Steve Begleiter raises to 1.5 million after some early position folds. Antoine Saout is in the small blind and cut outs re-raising chips, making it 4.5 million to go. Once Jeff Shulman is out of the way, Begleiter takes about thirty seconds before calling.

Saout checks the 8h 3c 9h  to his opponent, drawing a few raised eyebrows from spectators on the stage. Begleiter ponders that action for a full minute before firing out 6.3 million. It takes Saout less than ten seconds to re-raise all in, for about 21.0 million. Begleiter looks very, very unhappy.

And so into the tank he goes. He seems to be grinding his teeth a bit as he stares down Saout, looking for some indication as to what he’s supposed to do. Once the chips are counted down, it’s 14.9 million back to Begleiter. Saout is staring at the felt in the same pose he’s adopted the whole day, face leaning on his right hand, right elbow using the rail for support.

The theater becomes very, very quiet again. Begleiter is in the tank for two minutes and fifteen seconds before he calls for a huge pot!

Begleiter: 8c 7c
Saout:  Ah Kh

Wow, it’s a very gutsy call by Begleiter for a monster pot. He gave a short fist-pump when he saw Saout’s hand, but this one is anything but decided. Saout has two overcards and the nut flush draw for 15 outs against Begleiter’s one pair. The crowd goes bonkers when a heart comes in on the turn, , giving Saout the nuts and an unbeatable hand. The K on the river is just an added insult for Begleiter.

The Frenchman’s supporters are suddenly very vocal, chanting “Saout! Saout! Saout!” Begleiter’s fans on the stage try to give him a pick-me-up with their patented “BEGS! BEGS! BEGS!” chant but it’s drowned out by the jubilant French.

Pretty ballsy move by Saout putting his tourney on the line with aggression, but it paid off had he waited to hit his flush on the turn he probably doesn’t get paid.

Antoine Saout – 52,775,000
Eric Buchman – 48,125,000
Darvin Moon – 37,150,000
Steven Begleiter – 18,475,000
Joseph Cada – 18,300,000
Jeff Shulman – 12,650,000
Phil Ivey – 8,075,000

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