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

British Poker Legend Sets Record As Oldest EPT Champ At 68, Earns Career-High $1.4 Million Payday


History has been made in the 2024 PokerStars European Poker Tour Paris €5,300 no-limit hold’em 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: Barny Boatman. The 68-year-old British poker legend became the oldest player to ever emerge victorious with 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, one of the UK poker crew called the 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 way 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. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year.

The huge turnout to the Le Palais des Congrès de Paris resulted in $9,038,000 in total prize money, with the top 255 finishers each earning a share. Plenty of big names ran deep, including bracelet winner and EPT champion Dimitar Danchev (16th), 2022 WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas winner Eliot Hudon (11th), Farid Jattin (10th), and Aussie Millions main event champion Ami Barer (7th), but only six contenders advanced to the final day.

David KaufmannGermany’s David Kaufmann was the clear leader when play began, with more than 47 percent of the total chips in his stack when cards got in the air. Boatman sat in third chip position to start. He 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 Suit10Spade Suit10Club Suit flop with Afriat holding QClub Suit8Diamond Suit. Boatman held KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit 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.

Aleksejs PonakovsBoatman overtook the lead during three-handed action, winning a big pit with a full house thanks to 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 Ponakov 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 Suit8Club Suit against the 3Spade Suit3Heart Suit of Kauffman. Neither player improved on a QDiamond Suit10Heart Suit7Diamond Suit5Spade Suit10Club Suit 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 to 1,850,000 (with blinds of 250,000-500,000 and a 500,000 big blind ante) on the button with ADiamond Suit9Club Suit. Boatman defended his big blind with JDiamond Suit2Diamond Suit and the flop came down JHeart Suit9Spade Suit6Spade Suit. Boatman bet 2,000,000 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 pot and the title for Boatman. Kaufmann earned $869,130 as the second-place finisher.

Here are the payouts and POY points that were awarded on the final day:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Barny Boatman $1,390,824 2,160
2 David Kaufmann $869,130 1,800
3 Aleksejs Ponakovs $620,838 1,440
4 Owen Dodd $477,522 1,080
5 Peter Jorgne $367,308 900
6 Eric Afriat $282,582 720

Photo credits: Danny Maxwell / Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.