Barny Boatman Won EPT Paris Title for Those Who Couldn’t

At 68 years old, Barny Boatman proved he was not a poker emeritus as he won the EPT Paris Main Event and its $1,388,059 first place prize – the biggest and most significant tournament result of his long and illustrious career in this game.

Tim Fiorvanti
Jul 3, 2024
Barny Boatman has long been an institution within the U.K. poker scene, and he earned his crowning glory earlier this year when he won EPT Paris and his first seven-figure tournament cash. (Photo: Tomas Stacha)

Barny Boatman is one of the longtime champions for poker in the U.K. and Europe at large. He has tournament results dating back into the late 1990s, and before there were televised poker broadcasts in the United States with hole cards up like the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker, Boatman was making a name for himself on the innovative “Late Night Poker” broadcasts on Channel 4 in the U.K. – first as a player, and then later on commentary.

During that time, Barny, his brother Ross and close friends Ram Vaswani and Joe Beevers went on to form a quartet called “The Hendon Mob” – named after the neighborhood of the same name in London. The group is also the origin of the name of the website and player database that currently bares the Hendon Mob name.

Boatman garnered headlines back in February when he captured the most significant victory of his career in the EPT Paris Main Event. His first-place prize of $1,388,059 was the largest of Boatman’s career several times over, and at the age of 68 he’s enjoying the fruits of some of the best poker he’s played in his career.

You may wonder what Boatman attributes such success to at this stage of his career, and his answer seemed quite simple.

“Red wine and French food,” Boatman said with a smile. “It was a fabulous experience.”

Boatman was in the mix from the earliest days of the European Poker Tour in the early-to-mid 2000s, but over the years of EPT Main Events managed a single final table appearance, finishing 4th at EPT San Remo in 2011. As a matter of fact, Boatman had largely pulled back from playing such events until late 2023.

“I’ve been more or less off the EPT and the European circuit for quite a few years, and just had more time recently. I went back, I played Prague [in December], and then Paris was only the second one in quite a few years. Everything just went right. Sometimes you get a day like that, sometimes you get an hour like that, but I had a week like that. Any bluff that I made got through, the big calls were always right. Particularly on the final table, I just made some hands, which made it really easy.

“I mean, it wasn’t easy overall, but I really kind of had a lot of support and that made a big difference,” said Boatman.

One glance at replies to Boatman’s social media posts during that week in February would go a long way towards assessing the deep impact Boatman’s had on a lot of the players and industry figures during his time in poker. Add in the personal messages, and the support Boatman speaks of represents a deluge of positivity sent in Boatman’s direction.

“Obviously I’ve been around a long time,” said Boatman. “And so I’ve made a lot of friends and very few enemies, I hope. I felt like I was doing it for a lot of other people as well. There’s a lot of players in my generation who, for one reason or another, haven’t been able to continue to play at that level. I’ve been lucky enough to have enough success to keep going.

“I think my game comes from a different era,” continued Boatman. “It doesn’t really come from any era, actually, it’s just my game. But I think a lot of people felt encouraged by the fact that someone like me could compete at that level.”

Subsequently, Boatman parlayed his success in Paris and the kind of sharp wit often displayed on his social media accounts into a sponsored role as part of Team PokerStars. After long stretches in Las Vegas in previous years, Boatman played a more abbreviated schedule in 2024 leading up to the WSOP Main Event.

He’s enjoyed considerable success at the WSOP before. He’s a two-time gold bracelet winner, most notably outlasting a 2,247-entry field to win a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event back in 2013 for $546,080. In his first summer in Las Vegas, Boatman made a deep run in the 2000 WSOP Main Event, finishing 16th and warranting mention in James McManus’ book “Positively Fifth Street.”

On the back of his recent success in Paris, which represented Boatman’s longest stretch ever spent playing a single tournament, he hopes that some lessons learned in the EPT Paris Main Event might just come in handy at some point in the 2024 WSOP Main Event, which he entered on Day 1A.

But he certainly doesn’t think it’ll be easy.

“It’s much more difficult here because I have to contend with jetlag whenever I come here and I do run relatively deep in this event,” said Boatman. “Physically, it’s very grueling. But I do know now that I can work my way through the various stages of tournaments. Just knowing that it is possible, you know, it does help a lot.”