Texans Battle for $1.3M at WSOP, Winner Proposes to Girlfriend

Texans Battle for $1.3M at WSOP, Winner Proposes to Girlfriend
Fact Checked by Blake Weishaar

The World Series of Poker saw a pair of Texans battle in Las Vegas on Sunday for a seven-figure payday. In the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship, San Antonio’s Lou Garza topped Plano’s Arthur Morris in heads-up action to take home $1.3 million.

If that hefty reward wasn’t enough, Garza even proposed to his girlfriend right at the poker table after winning his first gold bracelet. To make the day even better, she said yes.

“Don't think any other time would be right besides now,” he said of the win and impromptu wedding proposal, “because I don't think I would even be right here without her.”

Road to a WSOP Comeback Victory

This marks the largest win of Garza’s career in a tournament record which dates back to 2016 and now includes $3.5 million in winnings. When the final table began on Sunday, he sat on the shortest stack while Ukraine’s Stanislav Halatenko held more than half of the chips in play.

However, a short time after action got underway Garza doubled up with pocket Aces in his four-card hand to Halatenko’s pocket Kings. He raked another nice pot later after catching three of kind and slow playing before getting paid off on the river.

After about two and half hours, Garza had moved all the way up to second in chips. At three-handed, Morris also began chipping up – often at the expense of Halatenko. The Ukrainian continued to bleed chips and Morris eventually sent him to the rail in third place.

That left a Lone Star State battle with Morris holding a slight edge when heads-up play began. But Garza quickly caught a set of deuces to move into the lead. He then grabbed a set of Queens as well to pull away even more. The final hand saw both players get it all in after seeing a flop of 4d2sQs.

Morris looked to be in good shape with AdQc9d9s to Garza’s As4s3h3d. The 8c on the turn brought no help for Garza but the 4c on the river handed him the tournament. Garza’s rail exploded in celebration after the win and he quickly latched his new gold bracelet around his wrist before the proposal.

“I was the last one coming in and the last one going out,” he told PokerGO after the win. “It’s literally a dream come true.”

Texas Players on a Roll

Since its founding in 1970, players from Texas have played a major role in the WSOP. Famous Texans like Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, and Johnny Moss were some of the series’ original high stakes warriors and the Poker Hall of Fame includes several Texas players.

Texas players continued to shine over the last week. Since Wednesday, four players have chalked up wins including Garza. Midland’s Braxton Dunaway won the $1,500 Monster Stack for almost $1.2 million.

On the same day, Tyler’s William Leffingwell took down the $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi/Lo for $253,651. That same day, San Antonio’s Jay Lockett started the final table of the $500 No Limit Hold'em Freezeout and eventually secured the win in Thursday’s early morning hours.

Also on Wednesday, Highland Village’s William Linden finished runner-up in a $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty event for $167,339. Morris also adds an impressive finish to that list of Texas success after finishing second to Garza. He’d been seeking his first bracelet as well and took home $809,167 for runner-up. 



Sean Chaffin is a longtime freelance writer, editor, and former high school journalism teacher. He has covered the poker and gaming industry for many years. Follow him on Twitter at @PokerTraditions.

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