It isn’t like poker legend Barny Boatman hasn’t done a few things in the world of poker. A two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and one of the founders of the vaunted group The Hendon Mob, it could be said that Boatman has done it all. One thing that was still on the list, however, was a European Poker Tour championship, which Boatman took care of on Sunday in defeating start-of-day chip leader David Kaufmann for the championship of the 2024 EPT Paris Main Event.

Kaufmann Leader by a Wide Margin

When the six men came back to the felt on Sunday afternoon at Le Palais des Congres, Kaufmann was the leader by a wide margin. How much of a margin? The German had amassed a stack of 24.8 million chips, nearly equal to the entirety of the rest of the final table. Aleksejs Ponakovs held down the second-place slot (10.05 million), while Boatman lurked in third (9.675 million). Owen Dodd (2.95 million), Eric Afriat (2.525 million), and Peter Jorgne (2.4 million) rounded out the field and needed help if they were going to make a run at the title.

The sextet wasted little time in getting to business, with the first elimination coming almost as soon as the cards hit the air. Afriat, who seemingly had spats with everyone in this tournament, decided to move all-in against his adversary Boatman after flopping two pair, Queens over tens. Boatman had his measure, however, sitting on a couple of cowboys to make the call. After the board ran out blank, Afriat was gone in sixth place and Boatman began to spike up the charts.

The other short stacks did not fare well either. Jorgne, who also made this same final table a year ago, did not find anything for his A-9 against Ponakovs, while the Latvian was able to turn a straight to leave Jorgne drawing dead. The story was similar for Dodd, who started with a pair of deuces against Kaufmann’s A-10 and all of Dodd’s chips in the center. Cruelly, the K-9-6-7 flop and turn didn’t bring anything for Kaufmann, but the “Barry Greenstein” (an Ace on the river) struck like a thunderbolt to eliminate Dodd in fourth and leave the tournament three-handed.

Boatman Doesn’t Stay Short for Long

At the start of three-handed play, Boatman was on the short stack – or as short as one can be with 13.85 million in chips. Ponakovs (16.58 million) and Kaufmann (21.98 million) both had him outpaced, and repeated clashes between Ponakovs and Kaufmann drew both back to Boatman in the chip race. One hand would change the course of the tournament, and it went the way of the Englishman.

After Boatman limped in with a 10♠ 7♠ from the small blind, Kaufmann checked his Q-8 to see a 9-7-7 flop. Boatman made the appropriate play with a continuation bet and Kaufmann, not knowing that Boatman had flopped trip sevens, made the call. A ten on the turn was golden for Boatman, giving him an unbeatable full house, but he checked to Kaufmann to allow him to hang himself. Kaufmann obliged, pushing out a million-chip bet and Boatman called.

The river was meaningless, but it was one that only gave Kaufmann more reason to play. The 8 gave him two pair, eights over sevens, with a Queen kicker, but Boatman egged on Kaufmann by firing a 1.2 million chip bet. Kaufmann gave it some thought and upped the stakes to five million, at which point Boatman was done playing and pushed all in. The fifteen million-plus jam was enough to get Kaufmann to go away as Boatman scooped the massive pot and took over the chip lead.

No one would get close to the Hendon Mob legend again. Although he did double up Ponakovs once, Boatman would gain a measure of revenge by taking those chips back almost immediately. Both Kaufmann and Ponakovs bled chips through the four-hour fight, with Kaufmann eventually taking Ponakovs down to send him home in third place and go to heads up against Boatman, albeit at a massive disadvantage.

It would only take two hands of heads-up play to decide the champion. Kaufmann started heads up with 16.755 million in chips and Boatman with 35.625 million, but Kaufmann would lose some of those chips on the very first hand of action. On the second, Kaufmann raised from the button (small blind) with an A-9 and Boatman put the pressure on with a three-bet to 2.85 million. Kaufmann made the call, and the duo went to the flop.

Both hit the flop, coming down 9-J-6, but Boatman had hit it harder to take over the lead in the hand. He bet out two million in chips, which Kaufmann called, and the five on the turn was enough impetus to see Boatman push his stack to the center. With his tournament life on the line, Kaufmann took some time to ponder his predicament, eventually calling off his remaining chips and, after the cards were turned up, seeing the unfortunate news.

There was one card to come, however, and the sweat was on. The river Q♠ added nothing to either man’s fortunes, ensuring that Barny Boatman earned the biggest championship of his career in taking down the 2024 EPT Paris and its €1,287,800 first-place prize.

1. Barny Boatman (United Kingdom), €1,287,800
2. David Kaufmann (Germany), €804,750
3. Aleksejs Ponakovs (Latvia), €574,850
4. Owen Dodd (United Kingdom), €442,150
5. Peter Jorgne (Sweden), €340,100
6. Eric Afriat (Canada), €261,650
7. Ami Barer (Canada), €201,250*
8. Lorenzo Arduini (Italy), €154,800*

(* – eliminated on Saturday night, part of official EPT final table)

Boatman’s victory is certainly one for the ages. Now with two legs of poker’s “Triple Crown” (an EPT Main Event, WSOP bracelet win, and a World Poker Tour championship), Boatman admits that becoming the tenth man to perform the feat would be a fitting coda to his poker career. For now, however, enjoying the championship of the 2024 EPT Paris Main Event will be enough for the legendary pro.

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