Winning any EPT is tough, but when the biggest-ever field on the European Poker Tour outside Barcelona has assembled, that’s even more the case. Barny Boatman’s win in the 2024 EPT Paris Main Event for $1.39 million is even more impressive as he overtook the chip leader on the day, David Kaufmann, as well as outlasting top professionals like Aleksejs Ponakovs and Eric Afriat, as well as last year’s EPT Paris Main Event runner-up, Peter Jorgne.

2024 European Poker Tour Paris Main Event Final Table Results:
1stBarny BoatmanUnited Kingdom$1,396,300
2ndDavid KaufmannGermany$872,550
3rdAleksejs PonakovsLatvia$623,300
4thOwen DoddUnited Kingdom$479,400
5thPeter JorgneSweden$368,750
6thEric AfriatCanada$283,700
7thAmi BarerCanada$218,200
8thLorenzo ArduiniItaly$167,850

Kaufmann Makes a Run as Final Approaches

The record-breaking 2024 EPT Paris Main Event field saw an incredible 1,747 entries, and that meant that anyone reaching the final six places – and therefore the final day of action on Day 6 – would make a minimum of $300,000. The tension was high when the last stages of Day 4 at the felt played out and that was shown in an all-in where Barny Boatman was put to the test by Eric Afriat. Correctly hero-calling, Boatman’s words of ‘It’s for my tournament life… not my actual life.’ Resonated around the arena and the British player got a lot of credit for a brilliant play.

On Day 5, David Kaufmann built a lot of momentum and the German remained in charge as the final two players busted to just miss out on the final day. Italian player Lorenzo Arduini was busted in eighth place for $167,850. On a board of T-8-6-9-A, Arduini had tank-called pre-flop for his stack with pocket threes, losing to Kaufmann’s turned straight with queen-seven.

Minutes later, Kaufmann had the scalp of Ami Barer too. The online poker player was all-in pre-flop with pocket eights but started and ended his final hand way behind Kaufmann’s pocket aces, losing to the German’s rockets for a score worth $218,200. That hand meant Kaufmann had a massive lead going into the final day’s play, with 24.8 million chips ahead of Aleks Ponakovs (10m) and Boatman, who ended Day 5 with 9,675,000 chips.

Afriat First to Leave the Final

Eric Afriat has a World Poker Tour title to his name – ironically the only event to elude Boatman of the ‘Triple Crown’ majors – but lost his stack in sixth place to cash for $283,700 in Paris. All-in with queen-eight on a flop of Q-T-T, he was sunk by Barny Boatman’s pocket kings and departed to applause from the rail.

Next to go was last year’s EPT Paris runner-up, Peter Jorgne. All-in with ace-nine, he lost to Aleks Ponakovs’ eight-seven of clubs as a board of J-6-5-4-3 handed the Latvian a straight on the turn. Soon, four became three, with Owen Dodd crashing out in fourth for $479,400, Boatman’s fellow Brit going home after his pocket deuces couldn’t hold in a flip against Kaufmann’s ace-ten offsuit, an ace on the river a painful ending.

Three-handed play last a long time, where everyone held the chip lead and the bottom spot of three in the chipcounts at different points. Eventually, Ponakovs was the man to miss out on the final battle for the bracelet, cashing for $623,300 in third place. The Latvian called off his stack with ace-eight but couldn’t hit against the pocket threes of Kaufmann. Heads-up would see Boatman holding a 2:1 chip lead with the trophy and EPT immortality on the line.

Brilliant Boatman Achieves Epic Win

“I can’t distinguish between my tournament life and my actual life!”

It took just two hands for Barny Boatman to write his name in the record books. In the first hand, Boatman used his button to c-bet with just seven-three, trimming another million chips off Kaufmann’s stack and add them to his own. In the second hand, a flop of J-9-6 hit both men square on. Boatman had flopped top pair with jack-deuce and Kaufman hit second pair with ace-nine. The turn was a five and Boatman shoved all-in as an 89% favorite to win the hand. Kaufmann weighed it up for some time, but eventually made the call.

As the two men waited for the final card, Boatman looked at his opponent and smiled. The river was an innocuous queen and the rail was upstanding, Boatman crowned the oldest-ever EPT winner and tearful in his moment of victory.

As Joe ‘Stapes’ Stapleton asked Boatman about his “actual life not tournament life” comment on Day 4, the Londoner smiled, lost in a happy haze of a golden moment in his poker career.

“Right now, I can’t distinguish between my tournament life and my actual life!” Boatman grinned. “This doesn’t feel real.”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, old friend and two-time EPT champion Victoria Coren-Mitchell offered her congratulations.

The final word went to Barny Boatman himself who came up with an ingenious way of maintaining his GOAT status in the months and years to come.

You can watch a full final table replay of Barny Boatman’s record-breaking EPT Paris Main Event title win in the City of Light right here courtesy of the PokerStars LIVE YouTube channel.

Photographs by Global Poker Award nominee Danny Maxwell for PokerNews in Paris on the PokerStarsLIVE European Poker Tour.

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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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