Barny Boatman Outlasts 1,747 Entries To Win European Poker Tour Paris Main Event

The prestigious European Poker Tour (EPT) Paris €5,300 Main Event reached its much-awaited finale amidst thunderous applause for one of poker’s most revered veterans. The 67-year-old British poker legend Barny Boatman emerged victorious, outlasting a staggering field of 1,747 entries to capture his first EPT Main Event title and a career-defining €1,287,800 ($1,390,824) top prize.

More impressively, the victory made Boatman the oldest winner of an EPT Main Event, an accolade that adds to his two World Series of Poker (WSOP) championship bracelets. The Englishman’s massive €1.3 million ($1.4 million) payday exceeds his previous highest win of $546,080 at the 2013 $1,500-buyin WSOP bracelet event.

Barny’s road to victory spanned two starting flights and five days of play that whittled down the massive field to the final table. He showcased his experience throughout the event, out-playing a star-studded lineup that included poker greats like David Kaufmann and rising Polish talent Aleksejs Ponakovs.

At the final table, the veteran beat the 2013 WCOOP Main Event champion in a quick heads-up duel to secure the prestigious title and lift his total lifetime earnings to nearly $5.5 million. Kaufmann took home €804,750 ($880,187) as the runner-up, while third-finisher Aleksejs Ponakovs was rewarded with €574,850 ($628,643).

Barny has been active in the live poker circuits since 1994, and the EPT win marks his first seven-figure prize in his career. He co-founded the popular live poker ranking and leaderboard platform The Hendon Mob alongside his brother Ross and fellow London poker greats Ram Vaswani and Joe Beevers.

Barny’s Road to Final Day

The EPT Paris Main Event, renowned for attracting the world’s elite poker talents, lived up to its reputation this year. The tournament kicked off on February 19th at the renowned Parisian casino, Le Palais des Congrès de Paris, drawing players from across the globe.

The €5,300-buyin tournament attracted more than 17,000 players, with a guaranteed prize pot of €8,385,600 ($9,173,930). 

During the early days of the tournament, Boatman demonstrated his signature composure and strategic skills, quickly finding his way through the complex dynamics of poker bluffs with elites. His ability to manage his stack adeptly and make calculated decisions under pressure put him ahead of rivals on chip count.

The game intensified on Day 5, with Barny coming in as the chip leader, having accumulated the majority of his chips through a hero call against Eric Afriat on Day 4.

Day 5 started with a bang right off the bat. Francesco Delfoco, sitting at the cutoff, made a daring move by going all-in with seven hearts and three diamonds despite having only twenty big blinds. 

However, Delfoco’s luck took a turn for the worse when Hans Erlandsson from Sweden, who was in the big blind, revealed a formidable pair of aces. The subsequent sequence of community cards favored Erlandsson, causing the Italian pro to crash out.

Play proceeded, and ultimately, Farid Jattin was ousted in the 10th position, necessitating a re-draw for the final table. Undoubtedly, all participants were pleased to witness Jattin’s elimination; the Colombian had been one of the most formidable contenders remaining in the competition and would have been tough had he managed to augment his chip stack.

Several pros made significant progress, such as Dimitar Danchev, a bracelet winner and EPT champion, who finished in 16th place. Eliot Hudon, the winner of the 2022 WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, secured the 11th spot. 

Farid Jattin claimed 10th place, while Ami Barer, the champion of the Aussie Millions main event, finished in 7th place. However, only six players managed to advance to the final day.

Final Day Action

By February 25th, the tournament had reached its final day, with six players remaining to battle it at the official final table. Boatman faced a stacked lineup that included poker pros like Brit Owen Dodd, Canadian Eric Afriat, and 2013 WCOOP winner David Kaufmann.

Much like the $1,100 Main Event, 2020 Mid-States Poker Tour that saw the 21-year-old Landon Tice win $201,529 prize money, the finale featured a few up-and-coming players, including the Polish youngster Aleksejs Ponakovs. The tension was thick as the final table commenced, with railbirds and audiences watching intently worldwide.

At the start of the game, David Kaufmann from Germany held a significant chip lead, possessing over 47 percent of the total chips in his stack. Boatman, on the other hand, began in the third chip position. 

Boatman’s stack received an early boost when he engaged in an all-in duel with Eric Afriat, a three-time WPT champion. The chips were put at stake on a flop consisting of a Q-Spade, 10-Spade, and 10-Club. Afriat held a Q-Club and 8-Diamond, while Boatman had a K-Heart and K-Diamond Suit, giving him an overpair. 

As the game progressed, the 8-Club turn and 2-Spade river favored Boatman’s two pairs, ultimately eliminating Afriat in sixth place with a prize of $282,582. Boatman’s career tournament earnings have reached nearly $5 million following this impressive performance.

Boatman’s Storied Career

For those unfamiliar with Barny Boatman’s name, his remarkable triumph in Paris is the most glittering achievement yet to a poker career that has witnessed both incredible and staggering lows. He has faced some of the most celebrated poker icons, including the two-time WSOP champion Doyle Brunson, who passed away last year.

The Englishman first burst onto the live tournament scene in the mid-1990s, enjoying tremendous success with wins like the 2005 Grosvenor UK Main Event for £215,000 and runner-up finishes in the 2006 Irish Masters Main Event and 2007 Grosvenor Grand Prix.

Wrapping Up

In a tournament that pushed the boundaries of endurance and skill, Barny Boatman emerged as the champion, outlasting a staggering field of 1,747 entries to claim the European Poker Tour Paris Main Event title and a life-changing €1.3 million payday.

 From shadows to triumph, Boatman’s journey inspires poker enthusiasts. His perseverance, strategy, and spirit conquered the odds, proving that legends can be reborn.

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