Australian poker ace David Balkan has spoken of the "madness" he endured during his prolonged stint at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
The card star outlasted 2005 WSOP champion Joe Hachem and all other Aussie poker stars in the 2012 Main Event by making it through to day seven.
However, he was unable to secure a spot on the November Nine, but has thanked his family for giving him the best shot at success.
In an interview with Poker Asia Pacific, the Melbourne-based poker player said the last few days have been crazy, with Twitter and Facebook exploding with messages of support.
"I got my three-year-old girl at home and my wife is 12 weeks pregnant and she was getting over the morning sickness but, of course, that's been brought back on over the last couple of days," he said ahead of bowing out of the high-profile competition.
Balkin thanked his family for allowing him to travel alone and concentrate fully on his game.
"I'm on my own and all I worry about is playing cards. I just eat, sleep and play poker. Of course, I love my family but I've got no distractions here so I can just focus," he added.