For Jan-Mikael "Kesjan" Kesänen it started with a dream...
Jan-Mikael Kesänen had a dream. It was one of those perfect dreams. You might even had had one of these dreams yourself. Something fantastic happens, and the dream feels so real, and is so enjoyable, that waking up is nothing short of disappointing.
In Kesänen's case the dream involved poker.
"I had a dream that I won €20k," he said. "I woke up really disappointed that morning when I realized it was just a dream."
Two days later Kesänen won the Sunday Million.
"Now I won $150k and wasn't even dreaming. Feels good."
Kesänen, 28, from Helsinki, beat the field of 5,832 last Sunday to a first prize of $157,485, reaching the final table third last in chips but eventually overturning his disadvantage to win a first Sunday Million title, which you can read about here.
As you might expect, Kesänen was clear the challenge had not been easy. As well as tough opponents, and difficult spots, there were other obstacles along the way. The hardest? Well that was easy.
"Not waking up my neighbours from my celebrations after winning pots."
We might all wish to have such problems at the sharp end of a weekend major, even if they do usually come in the early hours of Monday morning. But, as Jason Kirk's report outlined, Kesänen had performed well, and not just at the final table.
"Staying alive when I was short and applying pressure when I regained my lead again on the final table" said Kesänen when asked what he did well. Then what didn't go so well: "Over aggression in a couple of spots before the final table that I should have played better."
For Kesänen, who describes himself as just a guy enjoying life, the win was a moment to savour, not just for himself but with his fiancé, who was first to hear the news, and his family.
"First I texted my fiancé who had already left to work when I was down to the last two tables. After that I went outside for some air with my cat and told my neighbour, who was smoking outside, who knew that I played poker.
"Then I called up my dad who originally got me into poker, and then my mother. Everyone was super happy for me, as they know this means a lot to me."
To dream about winning money is thought to signify success, or that prosperity is within reach. The money itself represents confidence and self-worth, which feels great, at least until you wake up broke.
Waking up from this real-life dream though, Kesänen has plans to enjoy the benefits of last Sunday's hard work. As he put it: "To continue my life with less financial stress and travel the planet some more, and play some PokerStars tournaments."
Sounds like a good dream to wake up to.
You too can dream big on PokerStars. It all starts with a PokerStars account. Simply click here to get started.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.