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Barny Boatman Scores Career-Defining Win At EPT Paris Festival

68-Year-Old Original Hendon Mobster Becomes Oldest EPT Champ

by Erik Fast |  Published: Apr 03, 2024

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The 2024 PokerStars European Poker Tour Paris festival ran from Feb. 14-25 at the Palais des Congres de Paris, with more than $45 million in total prize money paid out across more than 30 events. The series featured everything from a record-setting €1,100 buy-in kickoff event with 4,149 entries (see our previous issue for more on that tournament which was won by Mateusz Moolhuizen) to a plethora of high roller events with buy-ins of €25,000 or higher.

GOATman: Barny Bests 1,747 Entries To Set Record As Oldest EPT Main Event Champion
Poker history was made in the €5,300 main event. The massive field of 1,747 entries was whittled down across two starting flights and five more days of play until a single champion remained in Barny Boatman. The 68-year-old British poker legend became the oldest player to ever secure an EPT main event title.

In addition to locking up that unique distinction, Boatman also took home a career-high payday of €1,287,800 ($1,390,824 USD) for the win.

This easily surpassed his previous top score of $546,080 earned for taking down a $1,500 buy-in bracelet event at the 2013 World Series of Poker. Boatman, a member of the UK poker crew ‘Hendon Mob’ that the popular results database is named after, now has more than $4.8 million in career tournament earnings.

“This doesn’t feel real. It’s the biggest result I’ve had in poker, nothing’s close,” he told PokerStars reporters after coming out on top. “I’m just very happy. I’ve been in quite a few finals where I’ve never quite got the job done. All that was needed was for me to run like god, especially three-handed.”

This was the sixth recorded tournament title for the London resident, including two bracelet wins. The 2,160 Card Player Player of the Year points that Boatman secured as the champion were enough to catapult him into first place in the 2024 POY standings, presented by Global Poker. He now leads second-ranked David Coleman by just four points.

The huge turnout for this event (sixth largest EPT main event ever) resulted in $9,038,000 in total prize money, with the top 255 finishers earning a share. Plenty of big names ran deep, including bracelet winner and EPT champion Dimitar Danchev (16th), 2022 WPT World Championship winner Eliot Hudon (11th), high-stakes crusher Farid Jattin (10th), and Aussie Millions main event champion Ami Barer (7th), but only six contenders advanced to the final day.

Germany’s David Kaufmann was the clear leader when play resumed, with more than 47% of the total chips in play. Boatman sat in third chip position, but added to his stack early when he got involved in an all-in confrontation against three-time WPT champion Eric Afriat.

The chips went in on a QSpade Suit 10Spade Suit 10Club Suit flop with Afriat holding QClub Suit 8Diamond Suit. Boatman held pocket kings for an overpair. The 8Club Suit turn and 2Spade Suit river Kept Boatman’s two pair best to send Afriat packing in sixth place ($282,582). He now has nearly $5 million in career tournament earnings after this latest deep run.

2023 EPT Paris main event runner-up Peter Jorgne came incredibly close to improving on that finish in 2024, but ultimately bowed out in fifth place when his A-9 was unable to outrun the 8-7 suited of two-time bracelet winner Aleksejs Ponakovs.

The Latvian turned an eight-high straight to leave Jorgne drawing dead going into the river. The Swede took home $367,308 for the second act of his incredible back-to-back showing in this event. He was awarded $834,707 for his second-place finish last year.

The UK’s Owen Dodd was the next to fall, with his pocket deuces being unable to outflip the A-10 of Kaufmann. The small pair remained best through the turn, but an ace on the river sent Dodd to the payout desk to collect $477,522 for his fourth-place finish.

Boatman overtook the lead during three-handed action, winning a big pot with a full house after a bluff-raise on the river from Kaufman. He continued to pull away as short-handed action continued.

Ponakovs and Kaufmann eventually got involved in a big preflop clash that saw Ponakovs fall to just a couple of big blinds when his K-J suited was unable to beat out A-8. He managed to win two all-ins, but was soon at risk again with AHeart Suit 8Club Suit against the pocket treys of Kauffman. Neither player improved on the runout and Ponakovs was eliminated in third place ($620,838). He now has nearly $17.4 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name.

Heads-up play began with Boatman holding better than a 2:1 chip lead over Kaufmann. On just the second hand of the showdown, Kaufmann raised on the button with ADiamond Suit 9Club Suit and Boatman defended his big blind with JDiamond Suit 2Diamond Suit. The flop came down JHeart Suit 9Spade Suit 6Spade Suit. Boatman bet and Kaufmann called. The 5Diamond Suit on the turn prompted Boatman to move all-in for Kaufmann’s last 10,180,000. Kaufmann made the call and the QClub Suit completed the board to lock up the title for Boatman. Kaufmann earned $869,130 as the second-place finisher.

Dvoress Dominates High Rollers

This stop featured a variety of high-roller events, including seven tournaments with a buy-in of €25,000 or higher. The very first of those was won by two-time POY award winner Stephen Chidwick. The British poker pro took home $421,006 and 420 POY points after defeating a field of 51 total entries.

He overcame a stacked final table en route to the victory, including Adrian Mateos ($278,532) heads-up. He followed this win up with an eighth-place showing in the €50,000 event just days later. With eight final-table finishes and more than $1 million in to-date POY earnings, Chidwick now sits in fifth place in the 2024 POY rankings.

The second €25,000 tournament drew an even larger turnout, with 62 entries building a $1,574,899 prize pool paid out among eight in-the-money finishers. The largest chunk was captured by Canadian poker pro Daniel Dvoress.

The two-time bracelet winner locked up $480,427 for the win, along with 504 POY points. He had also finished seventh in the first high roller, and would soon add a few more deep runs to his tally in Paris.

Michael Watson finished fifth in this event, backing up his fourth-place showing in the first €25,000 and his ninth-place finish in the €10,200 mystery bounty event earlier in the series.

The Canadian World Poker Tour winner and two-time EPT champion also won a €2,100 six-max event later on in the series for $110,160. His hot streak in Paris moved him inside the top 50 in the POY race and increased his lifetime earnings to nearly $22.7 million.

The €50,000 event drew 62 entries before registration came to an end, building a prize pool of $3,149,798 for the top eight finishers. A French player came out on top, with Thomas Santerne walking away with the trophy and $960,638.

This was the largest score yet for the native of Normandy, easily surpassing the $254,417 he earned as the runner-up in the World Series of Poker $10,000 six-max event last year. He now has more than $1.6 million in career earnings.

Two-time bracelet winner Chris Brewer finished second for $629,964. He went on to finish fourth in a later €25,000 event as well. With 800 total POY points, he now sits just outside the top 100.

Sweden’s Niklas Astedt, who finished runner-up in the second €25,000 high roller, placed seventh in this event. The online superstar known to many as ‘Lena900’ added one more high roller final table later on, placing fourth for $99,360. All told, he cashed for $571,752 across three in-the-money finishes during this festival.

The third €25,000 high roller drew 51 total entries, building a prize pool worth nearly $1.3 million. The top seven finishers made the money, with a min-cash being worth $67,986 to three-time bracelet winner Joao Vieira. The largest payout awarded went to champion Teun Mulder. The Dutch poker pro took home $421,060 for the win. This was the fifth-largest recorded tournament score of his career. It increased his lifetime earnings to nearly $8.4 million.

Mulder won the same buy-in level tournament at the 2023 EPT Paris festival, also. The longtime online crusher now has eight recorded tournament victories under his belt from 49 in-the-money finishes.

Dvoress recorded his third final-table finish of the series in this one, placing fifth for $110,106 just a few days after winning the second €25,000 offered in Paris this year. Dvoress was not yet done padding his stats at this stop, though.

The day after his fifth-place showing in the third €25,000 high roller, Dvoress managed to emerge victorious from a field of 34 entries in the fourth such event for his second title at the festival and $297,842. The very next day, he placed sixth in yet another high roller, adding $104,004. With that he increased his career earnings to more than $32 million.

The Mississauga, Ontario resident remains in fourth place on Canada’s all-time money list. He is one of just 22 players in the history of the game to have accumulated more than $30 million in recorded tournament earnings. With his two titles and five cashes for $1,060,419 in POY earnings, Dvoress has climbed to 24th place in this year’s POY standings.

With 63 total entries, the penultimate €25,000 high roller ended up with a prize pool of $1,600,301 that was paid out among the top eight finishers. The single-day affair ended with Italy’s Enrico Camosci as the champion. The bracelet winner took home $488,117 for the win, the second-largest payday of his career. He now has nearly $3.1 million in recorded lifetime earnings.

Steve O’Dwyer finished as the runner-up, earning $320,058 for his first live cash of 2024. The score pushed him over $41 million in career earnings, good for 12th on poker’s all-time money list for the time being.

The final €25,000 saw 43 entries build a $1,092,269 prize pool. Bracelet winner Santhosh Suvarna was the last player standing. He took home $376,769 after defeating Samuel Ju heads-up for the title. Suvarna, who primarily plays high stakes, has already racked up more than $7 million in tournament earnings across his first 27 in-the-money finishes.

The €10,300 high roller attracted 512 entries, building a prize pool of more than $5.3 million. Germany’s Oliver Weis came away with the title and $1,047,816. This was the only other seven-figure payout awarded during the festival besides the nearly $1.4 million that went to Boatman for taking down the main event.

This was also the first seven-figure score for Weis, blowing away his previous top payday of $406,900 earned for taking down a high roller at the 2017 PokerStars Championship Macau stop. His career earnings now exceed $3.6 million.

Weis was also awarded 2,100 POY points for the win. This was his first deep run of the year, but it was sufficient to move him into third place in the POY rankings. ♠