A fiction writer could not have tied the plot together when looking at the last 11 days of Nic Manion’s life.

Turning a few hundred dollars worth of satellite action into nearly three million dollars, the Muskegon, Michigan grinder rode the ride of his lifetime, became part of poker history by playing one of the game’s most iconic hands on the final table bubble, held the chip lead in the game’s biggest event, and left the Amazon room both an experience and a whole lot of money richer.

“This is going to change my life big time,” Manion said, fighting back tears moments after busting the 2018 WSOP Main Event final table in fourth place.

“I’ll look back on this experience as the best in my life, and nothing will probably ever top it.”

Proud to put Muskegon on the map and share this moment with his friends and family, Manion reflected back on the final day of play in which he started as the short stack.

“Play was pretty standard today, it was a long day, and I saw lots of bad hands, and some good hands, and here we are, we ran out of luck.”

“I have no regrets on how I played my hands. I picked my spots and chose the hands I felt that were right. And this is what happens when you run ace-ten into kings, sometimes you just can’t run like god anymore.”

On Manion’s final hand, he shoved his ace-ten into the kings of John Cynn who now starts second in chips as three players return on Saturday night at 9pm ET on ESPN.

The hand that vaulted Manion into the lead on the final table bubble

Looking back on the final table experience as a whole, and despite the fact that the players only had a few hours to get ready and rested, Manion believes that he’s made lifelong friendships with the players at the table by going through such a unique experience together.

“I think I gained some good friends here. This experience was awesome, and I’d like to think that with these I could just meet up and have a good time, or go on a vacation together.”

Manion has changed his life through poker and making the WSOP Main Event final table, but he won’t be changing as a person, emphasizing that he’ll be sticking to his guns by playing in the $1/$2 and $2/$5 cash games and smaller tournaments.

“Life is just going to be a little less stressful now.”

Watch the final day with just three players remaining lead by Tony Miles starting at 9:00 pm ET on ESPN, or PokerGO in non-ESPN markets, on Saturday night.

Tony Miles, 2018 WSOP Main Event, John Cynn, 2018 WSOP Main Event Final table, Nic Manion