Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
Antoine Saout enters the World Series of Poker Main Event final table as the most unknown player remaining.
The Main Event was the first tournament the 25-year old from France ever competed in outside of Europe.
“We know the least bit about Antoine for obvious reasons,” ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad said.
The question is whether Saout can use that unfamiliarity to his advantage. If players don’t have much of a read on Saout, he could be dangerous.
He already displayed that in one of ESPN’s final telecasts of the preliminary Main Event days when he bluffed final table member, Steven Begleiter, out of a major pot.
“When you talk to other players, they say he hasn’t had a hair out of place,” Chad said. “They haven’t seen him do anything really stupid. He’s played pretty snug and smart poker.”
This much is known about Saout: He grew up in Saint Martin Des Champs, France, and enrolled in engineering school a few years ago.
Saout, however, dropped out and started playing poker online. He won a $50 satellite tournament online to earn his seat at the Main Event.
He cruised through the Main Event and goes into the final table eighth in chips. Since gaining his seat, Saout has found even more poker success.
He made the final table of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event and also cashed in some major Spanish tournaments.
“He’s just another one of the young guns in his early 20s,” Chad said, “that you just go, ‘Why? How in the heck did he get this good this quickly?’”
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.