346 players started this year's WSOPE Main Event, but when the smoke cleared and the dust settled, it was little known James Bord of England who rose above one of the calendar's best pound-for-pound fields to be crowned the Champion.
Some of the world's greatest poker players entered the event such as Tom 'durrrr' Dwan, Patrik Antonius, JC Tran, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth, complete with a double-decker bus and 11 Lady Gagas. As the tournament progressed, all eyes fixed themselves on Viktor Blom and Phil Ivey, the two high rollers sending forums into a wild frenzy as they seemed destined for the final table. But as they fell just inches short, Victory Poker CEO Dan Felyshman flourished to take a chip lead into a tough final that included French pro Nicolas Levi and triple crown winner Roland De Wolfe.
Starting the final fifth in chips, Bord was perhaps overlooked as a potential winner, but he had one weapon that no other player could boast: the support of the rail. Heavily cheered throughout, Bord climbed the ladder rung by rung, surviving any all-in showdown he was involved in and battling his way to a heads-up encounter with Fabrizio Baldassari.
Despite his Italian foe boasting a comfortable chip lead, there was something in the air at the Empire, and it just felt as though there was only going to be one winner. On this night, that man was Bord, who after doubling through with Big Slick, finally sealed the deal with tens holding against pocket fives.
The rail exploded like Mount Vesuvius and after the bedlam ceased, a victorious Bord collected his bracelet and officially became the 2010 WSOPE Champion. In conclusion, Bord beamed with pride: "I've got all the boys to say thank you to, you are unbelievable. And I'd like to say a big thank you to Sam Trickett. It's just such a relief to get one!"
Obsrestad, Juanda, Shulman - it's a hellava list to be part of, but Bord's name is now etched into the record books.