John Derrick Barch is his name, but most just call him Tex. And if the McKinney, Texas native keeps things up he just might finally bring the title back to the state where the game began over a century ago. With $4 million in chips Tex carries the big gun in the field along with Maryland’s Steve Dannenmann who’s also stacking near the quad millions mark. Somewhere online the odds of Barch winning were set at 350-to-1, but with under 30 rounders to go, Tex’s odds have gone from rather slim to pretty darn good.
Elsewhere at the 4 tables left, John Juanda has finally run empty after pushing his last 340k left with 8h-4h and running into two players with wired pairs, one with queens, the other tens. The board hit K-Q-2-5-8, forcing Juanda to hit the exit, with a nice size pay out in tow and a loud applause to boot.
For Russell Salzer, the happy ending was not meant to be, at least in the poker sense (see pic), as the Muscle and his masseuse were sent to the rail courtesy of Swede Oskar Silow, who now has about $1.5 million.
At the featured table, it’s been an all-in fest with big stacks hammering short stacks as well as each other. Tiffany Williamson was the first to take a hit, calling Raymer’s all-in with an A-Jo, which was no match to the champ’s pocket kings. But Tiffany had him outstacked and was still in the game, winning an all-in race herself just a few hands later. Right now she sits just over the million mark but that’s a tough place to be when the average stack is almost twice as much and the blinds $20-40k. Also at the feature is Aussie Joe Hachem, who’s had a crowd cheering him along with soccer hooligan-like chants as he amasses 3.5 million. Phan meanwhile could use some cheering up himself as he took a hit in an all-in against Michael Kessler. Phan had pocket queens but Kessler’s big slick hit its ace on the turn, doubling him up to 2.4 million.
As I type, Cardplayer’s updated their chip count and it looks like Matusow has once again claimed the lead with $4.5 million, while Stevie D. and Tex are close behind (4.2 and 4 respectively). The Mouth’s been doing it all along, hanging in and climbing up, and it’s looking more and more likely that it will be the Mike Matusow Show when ESPN airs the final table later this October. But if Matusow somehow, someway goes down in flames prior to the final nine, well you’d have to imagine that would be must see TV just as well.
If he does make it to final table, Matusow may have a few co-hosts stealing the show, as Raymer and Ivey are still very strong; Raymer with $3,050,000 and Ivey at $3,000,000. Raymer is making big calls and big moves and they’re paying off for the defending champ who isn’t afraid to risk it all. In one particular hand, with the board showing 8d-Js-2s-7d, Radu Butan was all-in with a Queen high flush draw and Raymer called with 5d-6d for a straight flush draw. The river brought a jack of diamonds and Raymer the pot to put him up near the top once again.
Also hanging tough around the two million mark or above are Minh Ly (3,000,000), Scott Lazar (2,800,000), Irishman Andrew Black (2,200,000), Tim Phan (2,050,000), Swede Daneil Bergsdorf (2,000,000), and Cornell grad and a former chip leader Brad Kondracki (1,800,000). For the hometown Atlanta crowd, our very own Joe Connor is still in the mix with 1.3 million in chips.