Mark Selby never dropped his shoulders, he never stopped believing and he never gave up.
And, in the end, he got his reward: a second Pokerstars.com Masters title amid high drama at Wembley Arena tonight.
From 9-6 down he displayed great tenacity to claw back the deficit and edge Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9.
The early part of the match was littered with big breaks and fine play but it was not surprising that proceedings slowed up towards the end as the tension rose.
O'Sullivan played some magnificent snooker but ultimately came wrong side of the blue off the last red in the 18th frame and missed a more difficult yellow than he would have liked. He later missed the green but this was a very tough pot playing left-handed.
Selby won that frame on the black and kept his composure to clinch the match in the decider, emulating his comeback from 8-5 down to O'Sullivan in the 2008 Welsh Open final.
But this was a better performance, the best of his career.
To win the Masters in the bearpit of Wembley in such circumstances underlines what a big occasion player he is.
This is the first final of the new decade. It is hard to see how it won't be remembered in time as one of its best.