Tex Barch Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Texas Poker Pro Wins WSOP Title in Record-Setting Pot-Limit Omaha Battle

Barch Collects $256,919 in Prize Money

WSOP Hosts Largest Live Pot-Limit Omaha Tournament in History – 885 Players

WSOP Attendance is Up 10 Percent over Last Year – Through First 20 Events

Ted Lawson Becomes First Player at 2010 WSOP with Four Cashes
For the tournament portal page including the official results, click HERE.


John “Tex” Barch was the winner of the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  This marked his first career WSOP gold bracelet victory.  Barch is perhaps best known for his appearance at the 2005 WSOP Main Event championship final table, where he finished third.  Joe Hachem won the Main Event that year.

Barch lives in McKinney, TX.  This was his sixth time to cash at the WSOP and marked his third final table appearance.  With this victory, his career WSOP earnings crossed the $2.8 million mark.  

Despite Pot-Limit Omaha being one of the most popular forms of poker in Europe, this finale was pretty much an all North American contest – with four Americans versus four Canadians.  The lone European stag was Klinghammer Thibaut, from France.  This was the first time in WSOP history that four Canadians made it to the same final table.  The Canadian players were Nenad Medic, Trai Dang, Ashkan Razavi, and Chris Hyong.

This was the largest Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in WSOP history, with 885 entrants.  The turnout eclipsed last year’s record numbers by almost 10 percent.  The top 81 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Nenad Medic (2nd), Blair Rodman (7th), Ted Lawson (37th), Jay Heimowitz (44th), Michael Keiner (47th); Jason Mercier (64th), and Robert Williamson III (77th).  The runner up was Nenad Medic, from Niagara Falls, Ontario, who barely missed winning his second WSOP gold bracelet.

Robert Williamson’s cash in this event means he now has 10 Pot-Limit Omaha cashes within the past 10 years, the most of any player.

Ted Lawson finished in-the-money, which makes him four-for-four in cashes so far this year.  Lawson became the first player at this year’s WSOP to reach four cashes.  There are currently 23 players with three cashes this year.


The $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha champion (Event #20) is John “Tex” Barch from McKinney, TX.

Barch is originally from Texas, but spent several years living in Montana.  He was given the nickname “Tex” by friends in one of his former poker games because they knew he was from Texas.

Barch is married and has two children.

Barch earned a business degree from the University of Montana.

Barch owns a bar and restaurant called “Big Johnson’s Beer Garden,” which is located in Dallas.

Barch first began playing poker in 1993.

Barch initially burst upon the poker scene at the 2005 WSOP Main Event championship.  He finished third that year, behind Joe Hachem and Steve Dannenmann, and collected $2.5 million in prize money.

Barch took some time off from playing poker to help raise his children.  He played only a limited number of tournaments the past few years.  

Barch does play in some local poker games in and around the Dallas area.  Since poker is illegal in Texas, “we play for matchsticks,” Barch said.

This was Barch’s first WSOP gold bracelet victory.

Barch collected first-place prize money totaling $256,919.

According to official records, Tex Barch now has one win, three final table appearances, and six in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $2,846,788.

While playing at the final table, Barch used a small baby alligator head as a card protector.  


On what winning his first WSOP gold bracelet means:  “It’s nice to have one.  It really is.  We were talking earlier that we miss the old Horseshoe.  But here, the tournaments are definitely deeper and harder to get through.  I think it will be much harder for people to win multiple bracelets in the future.”

On the alligator head at the final table, which Barch used as a card protector:  “My father-in-law owns an alligator farm.  He gave a couple of gator heads to my two kids.  My youngest boy is seven.  He came into my bedroom one night and said to me, ‘Daddy, I don’t think I want to sleep with a dead skull in my room.’  So, I told him I would keep it with me and take care of it.  When I was leaving the house to come out here, I looked over at it, and I said, ‘You know, I’ve never had a chip or a card protector or anything like that.  So, I’ll just use that….maybe now after this, I’ll have to keep it around for awhile.”  

On his thoughts about Pot-Limit Omaha:  “We play a lot of Pot-Limit Omaha back home.  It’s a popular game now.”

On playing poker in Texas:  “Here, they consider people who play poker to be celebrities.  Back home, in Texas, they are felons.”

On his on-again, off-again status as a poker pro in recent years:  “After 2007, I really cut back on how much I was playing.  My kids are into sports.  And I have not been playing as much as I used to.”

On his goal coming into this year’s WSOP:  “My goal this year was to win three gold bracelets and the Main Event.  I try to set the goal high.  But the way the tournaments are structured, if you go deep in one, you miss the next five events on the schedule.  So, it’s going to be hard, I think.”

On whether his goal of three gold bracelet wins includes the Main Event, or would that be a fourth win?  “No.  No.  No.  I want three, and the Main Event.”


The final table consisted of two former WSOP gold bracelet winners – Nenad Medic and Blair Rodman.

Three different nations were represented at the final table: Canada, France, and the United States.

This was the first time in WSOP history that four Canadians made it to the same final table.  The Canadians were Nenad Medic, Trai Dang, Ashkan Razavi, and Chris Hyong.

The final table began nine-handed.

Final table participants ranged in age from 26 to 56.

The runner up was Klinghammer Thibaut, who certainly has one of the coolest names in all of poker.  Thibaut cashed for the first time at the WSOP.  He is a financial analyst from Lampertheim, France.  He now has $158,698 more in his account to invest.

The third-place finisher was Trai “Danny” Dang, from Whittier, CA.  Dang has been playing in poker tournaments for nearly 20 years.  This marked his 11th time to cash at the WSOP and was his second best finish.  He took second place in an event back in 1994.  Third place paid $102,306.

The fourth-place finisher was former WSOP gold bracelet winner Nenad Medic, from Niagara Falls, Ontario (Canada).  He had the chip lead during about half of the finale on Day Three, and appeared to be the player to beat.  In fact, at one point he was up more than 2-to-1 in chips over his closest threat.  But Medic ran bad late and ended up fourth, which paid $74,946.  Medic’s victory took place back in the 2008 Pot-Limit Omaha championship.

The fifth-place finisher was Ashkan Razavi, from New Westminster, BC (Canada).  He is a Pot-Limit Omaha specialist.  Razavi previously cashed in a number of tournaments held elsewhere, including three impressive finishes in the British Columbia Poker Championships.  But this marked his best showing yet, which paid $55,711.

The sixth-place finisher was Chris Hyong Chang, from Kelowna, BC (Canada).  This was his fifth time to cash at the WSOP.  He has more than 30 cashes at various tournaments throughout North America during the past decade.  Chang received $41,971.

The seventh-place finisher was Blair Rodman, from Las Vegas, NV.  He won his gold bracelet in the $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event, in 2007.  Rodman now has 37 WSOP cashes, which places him in the Top 50 all-time.  Rodman is also the author of one of the most successful poker strategy books written in recent years, called “Kill Phil.”  Rodman received $32,007.

The eighth-place finisher was Tyler Patterson, from Everett, WA.  He is a 27-year-old poker pro.  He has a total of 27 major cashes dating back to 2005.  That number includes five in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.  He also cashed in last year’s WSOP Main Event.  Patterson collected $24,695.

The ninth-place finisher was Denton Pfister, from Plano, TX.  He is a computer programmer who made his first WSOP cash in this tournament.  Ninth place paid $19,259.

The final table officially began on the third day of play at 2:30 pm and ended at 10:40 pm.  The final table clocked in at 8 hours and 10 minutes.


The top 81 finishers collected prize money.  Aside from those who made the final table, former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Ted Lawson (37th), Jay Heimowitz (44th), Michael Keiner (47th); Jason Mercier (64th), Robert Williamson III (77th).

Robert Williamson’s cash in this event means he now has 10 Pot-Limit Omaha cashes within the past 10 years, the most of any player.

Ted Lawson finished in-the-money, which makes him four out of four in cashes so far this year.  Lawson became the first player at this year’s WSOP to reach four cashes.

There are currently 24 players with three cashes this year.

The defending champion was Jason Mercier, from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  He entered this year’s tournament and cashed in 64th place.


This was the largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in history.  There were 885 entries, which topped the previous mark set in this event last year when there were 809 entries.

Sparked by widespread popularity in Europe, Pot-Limit Omaha tournament attendance at the WSOP continues to grow.  Since the WSOP has been played at the Rio, here are the attendance figures over the past six years:

2005 – 291 players
2006 -- 526 players
2007 – 578 players
2008 – 758 players
2009 – 809 players
2010 – 885 players

This is the 848th gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history.  Note:  This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 11 gold bracelets awarded at WSOP Europe (to date).

The final table was played on the ESPN Main Stage.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory (or some hours later when the tournament runs past midnight).  The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion, which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this year.  The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament, usually around 2:20 pm.  The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played.  The entire presentation is open to public and media.  Video and photography are permitted by both public and members of the media.

Barch requested that the national anthem of the United States be played at his WSOP gold bracelet ceremony.


Pot-Limit Omaha made its WSOP debut in 1984.  The previous year, a Limit Omaha (High) event was held.  The format changed to Pot-Limit the next year and has been part of the WSOP ever since.

The very first Pot-Limit Omaha champion was William Bennett, who won the $84,000 top cash prize in 1984.

Previous WSOP Pot-Limit Omaha champions (some years included multiple events):
(1984)    William Bennett
(1985)    “Amarillo Slim” Preston; Zoran Smijanic
(1986)    David Baxter
(1987)    Hat “Deadman” Kant
(1988)    Gilbert Gross
(1989)    Blackie Blackburn
(1990)    “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Shawqui Shunnarah
(1991)    Jay Heimowitz, An Tran
(1992)    Hoyt Corkins; Billy Thomas
(1993)    Buddy Bonnecaze
(1994)    O’Neil Longson; Huck Seed
(1995)    Phil “Doc” Earle
(1996)    Sammy Farha; Jim Huntley
(1997)    Chris Bjorin
(1998)    T.J. Cloutier
(1999)    Donn O’Dea; Hassan Komoei
(2000)    Johnny Chan
(2001)    Hassan Komoei; Galen Kester
(2002)    Robert Williamson III; Jan Hansen; Jack Duncan
(2003)    John Juanda; Johnny Chan; Erik Seidel
(2004)    Ted Lawson; Chau Giang
(2005)    Josh Arieh; Barry Greenstein; Phil Ivey; Rafi Amit
(2006)    Lee Watkinson; Ralph Perry
(2007)    Burt Boutin; Scott Clements; Alan Smurfit   
(2008)    Dario Alioto; Vanessa Selbst; Phil Galfond; Layne Flack
(2009)    Matthew Graham; Jason Mercier; J.C. Tran; Richard Austin
Players with the most WSOP gold bracelets in Omaha-related events (all variations) are – T.J. Cloutier, Scotty Nguyen, and Phil Ivey (tie), currently with three each.

The player with the most career WSOP cashes in Omaha-related events (all variations) is Brent Carter, currently with 21.

Players with the most WSOP gold bracelets (wins) in Pot-Limit Omaha are – “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey (tie), each currently with two.

The player with the most career WSOP cashes in Pot-Limit Omaha is Chau Giang, currently at 16.


The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 10-12, 2010.

Tex Barch closed out his victory in a most convincing fashion.  He won the last three hands of the tournament, which came in rapid-fire succession.  Nenad Medic, Danny Dang, and Klinghammer Thibaut where eliminated on three consecutive hands, which very well may be a WSOP first (the hands played during the early years were not recorded).

The final hand of the tournament came when Tex Barch was dealt         against Thibaut’s        .  Thibaut was all-in after the flop and the final board showed          , giving Barch a higher two pair (Js and 7s) and the victory.


Through the conclusion of Event #20, the 2010 WSOP has attracted 22,549 total entries.
$39,586,220 in prize money has been awarded to winners.

Through the conclusion of the first 20 events, WSOP tournament attendance has increased by 10 percent over last year.  (There were 20,494 entries at this same point in 2009.)

Through the conclusion of the first 20 events, WSOP tournament prize money figures have declined slightly over last year.  At this same point in 2009, the sum of total prize money won was $40,732,416.

Through the conclusion of Event #20, the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (14)
Canada (2)
England (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #20, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (10)
Vietnam (2)
Canada (2)
England (2)
China (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #20, the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (14):  Michael Chow, Michael Mizrachi, Praz Bansi, Josh Tieman, Peter Gelencser, James Dempsey, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Matt Matros, Yan R. Chen, Steve Gee, Carter Phillips, Jason DeWitt; Eric Buchman, David Baker

Semi-Pros (2):  Frank Kassela, Tex Barch

Amateurs (4):  Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt

Note:  A “pro” is defined as a player who makes the majority of his/her income from playing poker.  However, there is some debate as to whether players who have lucrative industry deals and backing should really be termed as professionals.  A “semi-pro” is defined as a player who derives some measure of income from playing poker over a reasonable period of time.  However, many semi-pros have non-poker related business interests which provide a majority of earnings.  “Amateurs” are players who have other means of support and do not play poker for income -- either part-time or full-time.  Each winner is judged on a by case basis.