He's been the chip leader for the past three days and he managed to end the most important day of all as chip leader as German player Marvin Rettenmaier took down the 2012 WPT World Championship at the Bellagio last night.
Starting the day as overwhelming chip leader Rettenmaier looked in control for the vast majority of the final table - the one real blip he had on the way to heads up play was temporarily losing the chip lead to Michael Mizrachi after a three way all in in which Steve O'Dwyer was eliminated in 5th place for $192k (Trevor Pope had been the first casuality of the way when his 1.6 million shove holding A3 was re-popped to 1.7million by Philippe Ktorza with JJ - Pope didn't improve). O'Dwyer and Rettenmaier both showed AK and Mizrachi flipped 10 10. With the board running out dry a huge 5.2 million pot was shipped to "The Grinder" with Rettenmaier down to 4.85m.
Mizrachi didn't hold on to that chip lead long however and in the space of three hand he lost around half his stack after making big plays in pots with both Nick Schulman and Rettenmaier and losing them both.
Schulman became the next casualty as an ill advised shove for 2.7 million with A5 was snap calld by Rettenmaier's 88 and Schulman was sent to the rail to pick up his 4th place cheque for $256k.
At this point Rettenmaier held 11.5million of the just over 14 million chips in play and looked very likely to take the title. However, in a matter of a few hands the short stack, Phillipe Ktorza went from 1.6 million chips up to almost 7 million as he doubled up twice at the expense of Rettenmaier in just three hands. Firstly he called Rettenmaier's shove from the small blind and found himself dominating the German chip leader with his Ks10s up against Rettenmaier's 10d9h (his hand held on a bricked out board) and just two hands later he once again calls Rettenmaier's shove and is in even better shape with his 88 vs Rettenaier's 55 - and once again the better hand held.
This certainly was an action packed few hands as on the very next hand Mizrachi crashed out in 3rd place for $424.6k after his 33 all in shove is called by Rettenmaier's A 10 and the board brought not only 2 aces but also 2 10's to really rub the beat in!
So, at the start of heads up play Rettenmaier held a near 2 million chip lead (8.5m to 6.7m).
Heads up play turned into an epic battle, and certainly one of the most exciting conclusions to a WPT final in some time as the lead shifted hands several times and all the chips were going into the pot with alarming regularity.
Things looked pretty hairy for Rettenmaier after 14 hands of heads up play as Ktorza not only managed to edge into the lead - he took some big pots (including a 4.25 million pot after rivering a set of Queens) and took a 11.5 million to 3.7 million lead over Rettenmaier. There were plenty more twists and turns in this final however as Rettenmaier staged a great comeback, first doubling up when his Ad4d held all in vs Ktorza's QcJc and then he nearly ended Ktorza's final when both players were all in on a 837 flop with Ktorza showing just Q7 for middle pair whereas Rettenmaier flipped over 8 3 for two pair. When the two pair held Ktorza was left with just over 800k (only 3 big blinds!).
Remarkably Ktorza then doubled up three hands in a row to get back to 6.6 million and less than 20 hands later Ktorza once again found himself the dominant chip leader with Rettenmaier down to just over 3 million chips. Rettenmaier's low point came in hand 186 when he held just 3.075 million chips. Just 8 hands later however, he was crowned champion!
Rettenmaier retook the chip lead on hand 190 when he called Ktorza's all in and his 10 10 was able to outlast A4. Just four hands later a KK vs JJ encounter decided the match as Rettenmaier's higher pocket pair enabled him to bring home the trophy, the title and the $1.2 million winners cheque. Ktorza put up a brave fight and took with him a well deserved second place prize of $805,310.