Mention PLO and many players’ ears perk up. While no one claims that Omaha is the next hold’em, its increase in popularity in the last decade is nothing to be dismissed. So when the 2010 World Series of Poker offered its first pot-limit Omaha event of the season with a low buy-in of $1,500, it didn’t take any convincing to get the players to the tables. Add in the special second chance aspect of the tournament, where players were given 1,500 chips to start but three chances to request add-on chips during the first few levels of play, and the game was on.
The numbers were solid and showed an increase over the 2009 numbers, as that year attracted 809 players and the 2010 event drew 885 players. This year’s prize pool was then set at $1,194,750, and that was going to be used to pay the top 81 players, including $256,919 for the eventual winner.
Day 1 reduced the field quite significantly to 95 players, and Day 2 saw them come back and play almost directly into the money. Action moved along at a solid pace on the second day, as the nighttime hours found Peter Costa eliminated by Nenad Medic in tenth place for $15,197, and the final table was set.
Players returned on Saturday, June 12, with starting chip counts and seat assignments as follows:
It didn’t take long at all for short-stacked Pfister to get involved, and he did it with Barch to see a flop of . Pfister pushed his last 37K all-in with for a pair, but Barch called with for the better two pair. The on the turn and on the river allowed Barch to stay in the lead, and Denton Pfister was out in ninth place with $19,259.
Then it was Patterson, who pushed all-in preflop with , and Rodman made the call with . The board of gave Patterson two pair but Rodman a set, and Tyler Patterson was eliminated in eighth place with $24,695.
In fairly quick succession, a third player was soon to be at risk. Rodman tangled with Thibaut to see a flop of . Rodman bet, but Thibaut raised, and Rodman made the decision to call all-in for the rest of his chips. Thibaut showed for the flush draw and middle pair, and Rodman turned over for top pair and straight draw. The on the turn gave Thibaut two pair, and the river of refused to help Blair Rodman, who exited in seventh place with $32,007.
As Dang climbed up the chip count ladder, not all other players were able to do the same. One such player was Chang, who put everything at risk preflop in the hopes of a double-up with . Barch was the other player in the hand and went along for the ride with . The flop gave Chang a possible two pair or trips draw when it came , but the turn and river cards changed nothing. Chris Hyong Chang was sent to the cashier cage to pick up $41,971 for the sixth place finish.
Dang was at it again, this time to cripple Razavi, who then moved on the next hand, putting in another 13K on top of the small blind to be committed. Original limber Medic and big blind Thibaut called and checked down the board of . Thibaut picked up two pair, but Medic had for the straight. Razavi’s couldn’t beat that, so he left in fifth place with $55,711.
Medic was aggressive and remained chip leader, but Barch quickly moved up and surpassed the million-chip mark. Play slowed tremendously during four-handed play, though Barch had taken over the chip lead by the time the four went to dinner. Dang sat in second, but with Barch over the 2 million mark, it was going to be tough for anyone to catch him.
Upon returning from dinner, short-stacked Thibaut made moves and doubled up twice through Barch to stay alive.
Medic decided to make the same attempt. Medic raised, but when Barch reraised from the small blind, Medic called all-in for all of his chips with . Barch showed . The flop gave Medic some outs, but neither came via the on the turn or the on the river. Nenad Medic was gone in fourth place with $74,946.
|Seat 1: ||Trai "Danny" Dang ||500,000|
|Seat 2: ||Nenad Medic ||1,504,000 |
|Seat 3: ||John “Tex” Barch ||546,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Ashkan Razavi ||294,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Tyler Patterson ||139,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Blair Rodman ||272,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Chris Hyong Chang ||195,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Denton Pfister ||167,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Klinghammer Thibaut || 366,000 |
Dang then went for another double-up, but it wasn’t until he and Barch viewed the flop. Dang moved all-in with for top pair and the straight draw, but Barch called with for the overpair. The came on the turn, followed by a blank on the river, and Trai Dang was sent to the rail in third place with $102,306.
Heads-up action then began with the following chip counts:
|John Barch ||3,570,000 |
|Klinghammer Thibaut ||410,000 |
The match was over with one hand. It started when Thibaut limped and Barch checked to see a flop of . Barch bet, and Thibaut called to take them to the turn. Barch then bet again, but Thibaut pushed all-in for his last 110K with for two pair. Barch called without hesitation holding for the better two pair. The on the river changed nothing, and Klinghammer Thibaut finished the tournament in second place with $158,698.
John “Tex” Barch won his first WSOP bracelet for the Event 20 victory, and he walked away with $256,919 for the accomplishment.