A Great Day for Poker: Legend of the Felt Barny Boatman Completes Long Road to EPT Main Event Title

A Great Day for Poker: Legend of the Felt Barny Boatman Completes Long Road to EPT Main Event Title

At the 2024 PokerStars European Poker Tour Paris, a standing ovation took place for one of poker's legends as an emotional Barny Boatman captured a long-awaited EPT Main Event title inside Les Palais des Congres.

The veteran bested the 1,717-entry field and defeated 2013 WCOOP Main Event winner David Kaufmann in a swift heads-up encounter to take home the trophy along with the 1,287,800 top prize. At 68 years of age, Boatman also became the oldest winner of an EPT Main Event but more than displayed he could hang with the young guns as shown over the last week.

Kaufmann, who recently returned to the felt after an educational hiatus, collected 804,750 for his efforts, while the final podium finisher, Aleksejs Ponakovs, was awarded 574,850.

Boatman's compatriot Owen Dodd took fourth, while last year's runner-up, Peter Jorgne bowed out in fifth. Three-time World Poker Tour champion Eric Afriat rounded out the top six finishers.

2024 EPT Paris Final Table Results

1Barny BoatmanUnited Kingdom1,287,800
2David KaufmannGermany804,750
3Aleksejs PonakovsLatvia574,850
4Owen DoddUnited Kingdom442,150
5Peter JorgneSweden340,100
6Eric AfriatCanada261,650
7Ami BarerCanada201,250
8Lorenzo ArduiniItaly154,800

Barny Boatman Reflects on His Storied Poker Career

Boatman Eyes Up Future Accolades

A fixture at EPTs since its inception, Boatman came close to Main Event glory once before, narrowly missing out on the victory in Sanremo in 2011. He'd long thought his chances of going the distance had passed him by, but, as we know, anything can happen on the felt.

"If you don't get cards like I did today, it's very, very hard. I have won tournaments, obviously, but nothing this big, and it feels unbelievable," the newly crowned champion told PokerNews.

With two World Series of Poker bracelets and now an EPT Main Event victory under his belt, Boatman is now one WPT Main Event title away from joining poker's exclusive Triple Crown club and is something that he feels would be the final ribbon of his legacy.

"It'd be great to get a Triple Crown, obviously. Who wouldn't want that? I'd love to go play the one WPT World Championship at the Wynn, which I haven't played."

"I feel kind of like vindicated a bit that I can play, you know, and I want to prove it's not a fluke and do it again."

Final Day Action

After trading words late on in Day 4, with jabs continuing over the following sessions, Afriat and Boatman had their final encounter when play got underway. Coming into the day near the bottom of the counts, Afriat flopped top pair on Q-T-T and shipped in his stack only to run into Boatman's cowboys to settle their mini-feud for once and for all.

Speaking to PokerStars in the wake of his elimination, Afriat told the camera he was routing for Jorgne and Dodd to go on and win it, but both players quickly trailed the Canadian to the payout desk.Jorgne's back-to-back final table appearance ended after his ace-nine was straightened out by Ponakovs suited eight-seven. A few hands later, Dodd's ducks were plucked by Kaufmann, who caught an ace from space on the river.

By the time the first break came around, Boatman had wrestled the chip lead from Kaufmann. Living up to his namesake, Boatman filled up and took in a sizeable pot after Kaufmann turned his hand into a bluff. More chips were added to the veteran's stack on the back of flopping a flush against Ponakovs.

When the action resumed, Boatman picked up where he left off and pulled further away from the pack. He made two more flushes on Ponakovs, who paid off on both occasions. Ponakovs reclaimed his chips after doubling through Boatman after winning a race but saw his newfound wealth head back to Boatman, who flopped a set against his top pair the following hand. Despite another brief rally, the Latvian was ejected just after the second break to set up heads-up play.

With a commanding lead, Boatman made quick work of Kaufmann. The eventual victor took down the first hand to further the and then finished him on the next deal after his top pair remained best against Kaufmann's second pair after the chips went in on the turn.

Over the last few months, poker's darker aspects had reared its head, with several cheating and real-time assistance scandals capturing the headlines. So, it was only fitting that the City of Light played host to show the brighter side of the game we all love to play.


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