In an age where poker sponsorships are extremely hard to come by, getting one from one of the major online sites is a pretty rare achievement. When you perform well in the tournament arena – and have a history of excellence in the game – that makes the sponsorship somewhat easier to get. It seems the stars have aligned for poker legend Barny Boatman, who parlayed his recent victory on the European Poker Tour into a sponsorship deal from PokerStars.

Announcement Comes in 300th Episode of the “Poker in the Ears” Podcast

It was already a special night for one of the venerable poker podcasts in the business, the “Poker in the Ears” show from PokerStars announcers James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. In airing its 300th episode, the show has reached a level that very few poker broadcasts of any type have ever reached. It was made even more special with the announcement by the Chief Executive Officer of PokerStars, Kevin Harrington.

“We are delighted to welcome Barny Boatman to the PokerStars family,” Harrington said during the podcast and with Boatman in attendance. “Barny’s reputation as one of the most respected and accomplished players in the industry precedes him, and we are confident that his insights and contributions will be invaluable as we continue to innovate and evolve as a platform.”

The ever-humble Boatman accepted the accolades from Harrington by saying, “I am excited and honored to be joining PokerStars and its excellent group of ambassadors. I know that PokerStars is committed to providing the best experience and playing environment both live and online and I’m particularly looking forward to taking an active part in the Europe Poker Tour and other superb events around the world.”

A Legacy of Excellence

Boatman’s selection as the latest member of Team PokerStars Pro is yet another notch on the belt for one of poker’s legendary players. In the late Nineties/early Aughts Boatman, along with his brother Ross, Ram Vaswani, and Joe Beevers, became known as “The Hendon Mob” for their work in poker throughout the United Kingdom. The foursome terrorized the poker scene at that time with their outstanding play, which the quartet used to move further into the poker business world.

One of those business moves was moving into the poker sponsorship arena. The Hendon Mob was originally sponsored by Prima Poker, which fronted the men $2 million, an unheard-of amount at the time of the deal (2004). They also created the Hendon Mob poker database, which was bought in 2013 by the Global Poker Index and now is operated by them.

Boatman, in his own right, demonstrated a propensity for the game that his mates had a tough time matching. Boatman would cash in two events at the 2000 World Series of Poker, including the Championship Event, and finished as the runner-up in a Pot Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP in 2002. Barny’s first bracelet win would come in 2013, where he was able to outlast one of the monster fields (2247 entries) to win a $1500 No Limit Hold’em tournament.

Boatman would add in a second bracelet in 2015, but as of late the action for Boatman was sparse. In the years around the Pandemic of 2020, Boatman earned less than $75K, but he found the drive to get back in the game over the past couple of years. Barny would tack six-figure earnings in both 2022 and 2023 on his resume before earning one of the biggest scores of his career.

At the European Poker Tour stop in Paris in February, Boatman was at or near the top of the leaderboard of the tournament almost from the start. Boatman would defeat poker wunderkind David Kaufmann in heads-up play to capture the title of the tournament, taking home over $1.38 million in prize money, by far his biggest tournament prize ever. Over his career, Boatman has cashed 230 times, earning over $5.4 million, and is one World Poker Tour victory away from etching his name into poker’s “Triple Crown” of champions who have a major victory on the WPT, EPT, and WSOP circuits.

The details of the new sponsorship deal were not announced, but you can be guaranteed that Boatman will be seen at many EPT stops in the future. This time, however, along with being called an EPT champion, he can also be called a Team PokerStars Pro.

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