17 of the world's finest poker players started the day with the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, and Antonio Esfandiari all mustard keen to get their hands on the $500,000 first prize and leave the Rio as the 2010 Tournament of Champions Champion. However, only one man could adopt that mantle, and that player would ultimately be 1996 Main Event Champion Huck Seed.
But what an uphill struggle it was. Initially, players fell like lemmings on a tightrope, but as the final table evolved, it soon emerged that this could be a battle for the ages. Despite a slightly faster structure than other events, we remained 10-handed for a surprisingly long time, and whenever a short stack was all in, they seemed to double through. Eventually, and after Erik Seidel had felt the full splash of the bubble, the players began to hit the deck, before play once again halted with three survivors left.
Johnny Chan, Howard Lederer and Seed seemed to keep exchanging chips, each of them enduring spells as the short stack but seemingly clinging on with incredible durability. But finally, something had to give, and once we lost Chan in third, we had our heads-up encounter with Lederer boasting a small chip lead.
At around 2.40am, the final whistle was blown, Seed toppling his plucky opponent with As-2s against Qc-8c, an ace of space on the river merely adding salt into already open wounds. Seed already has his name inscribed in World Series history, but this victory will add yet another notch on his poker record and undoubtedly help cement his status as one of the best poker players to have ever hit the felt.