Since heads-up play began, Kenneth Griffin seized control of the match against Jean Luc Marais, relentlessly reraising the Frenchman and bullying him in nearly every pot. Whether Marais was simply card dead or unable to accurately read his opponent we will never know, but Griffin had the upper hand from the start.
After losing a few big pots by folding to Griffin's pressure, Marais became visibly frustrated and began angrily sliding his cards away. Eventually, Marais decided to shove all-in before the flop, trying to give the American a taste of his own medicine.
Griffin was having none of it, however, and stood triumphantly while yelling "Call!" He revealed his and thrust his arms skyward, knowing he was on the cusp of the greatest achievement a poker player can accomplish. Marais seemed frozen when he saw Griffin's monster, and he reluctantly showed down his bluff.
Griffin's vocal supporters on the rail exploded in celebration, knowing their man was five cards away from capturing his first WSOP bracelet.
The dealer spread a flop of across the felt and Griffin exhaled slightly, knowing he had survived the danger of the flop. When the arrived on the turn, both players seemed to hesitate for a moment, unable to process that the tournament had come to an end. Marais was drawing dead and Griffin finally began screaming in joy as he rushed to embrace his brother and best friends. The dealer dropped the on the river to make everything official, and Kenneth Griffin became the WSOP's newest champion.
Jean Luc Marais fell one player short of claiming an unprecedented 4th bracelet for his native France, but he earned $282,676 for his deep run, as well as the respect of Griffin and anybody else who watched him play the game.