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WSOP Recap: Barny Boatman & Brandon Wong are WSOP Champions

TAGs: Barny Boatman, Brandon Wong, Kristen Bicknell, Lee Davy, NLHE, world series of poker, WSOP, wsop 2013, WSOP Champions

History is important. It reminds us to be grateful, creates respect and reminds us of why we have the freedom to do the things that we do. It’s one of the reasons that Barny Boatman’s victory in Event #49: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) was so special and deserved; a moment that drew a few tears to eyes that were often as arid as the desert that surrounds us, and created a cacophony that filled every nook and cranny in the Rio.

WSOP Recap: Barny Boatman & Brandon Wong are WSOP Champions“There’s only one Barny Boatman! One Barny Boatman! Walking along…singing a song…walking in a Boatman wonderland!”

The Hendon Mob is one of the building blocks that have created modern poker: Ram Vaswani, Joe Beevers, Ross and Barny Boatman. As individuals they were an assorted array of gamblers, storytellers, actors and snooker players; but as a group they had the power to push a game of cards into the front room of every household in the UK. Their appearances on Late Night Poker helped create a revolution. Like I said history is important.

After God knows how many years, and over 100-events, Barny Boatman has eventually bagged himself that importance piece of the gold, and it was special to see his brother and all of his friends jumping, screaming and shouting in what must rank as one of the most special moments of his life.

“It wouldn’t mean a thing if he wasn’t here {Ross}. We got into poker together, we have traveled all over the world together and we have been coming here for years together. He is a great poker player and my best friend. The only thing that would top it off would be for him to get one as well, because he really deserves it.

“They won it for me today {the crowd}. They just made me feel so good, so at home, it was easy and fun and I ran good…everything fell into place.” Boatman told the PokerNews sideline reporter Sarah Grant after his win.

The last time he was staring a bracelet in the face was in 2002. Jay Sipelstein broke his heart on that occasion; Boatman finishing second on a final table containing Erik Seidel, Johnny Chan, Phil Gordon and John Juanda. This time the man standing in his way was Brian O’Donoghue, but you sensed the man stood no chance at all. It was written in the stars. It was meant to be.

“I had no idea how much this would mean to me until it happened. I was sat here playing the heads-up…enjoying myself…thinking…if I don’t win it doesn’t matter…but then when I won it – because of everyone being here. I must have played over a hundred WSOP events. I have come second once and that was a little deflating. I had no idea it would feel this good honestly.”

The win is the first WSOP bracelet for the UK, at this series, and netted Boatman over half a million dollars in the process.

Wong Stops a British One-Two

Whilst Barny Boatman was winning Event #49, Brandon Wong was doing his level best to stop Sebastian Saffari doing likewise for the British Isles in Event# 50: $2,500 10-Game Mix (Six-Handed).

372-players entered the game for the ultimate poker all-rounder and as we entered the final day of action there were a lot of talented players still in the hunt for a bracelet. Konstantin Puchkov (18th), Robert Williamson III (17th), Bruno Fitoussi (13th) and Greg Raymer (11th) all fell shy of the final table.

The three-handed play was like a handicap tag team match with both Philip Sternheimer and Saffari trying to win the bracelet for the Brits, until a Badugi hand between Wong and Sternheimer set up the heads-up encounter.

It was the Stud action that ultimately won Wong the title, despite the final hand ending in the NLHE round. Saffari moving his short-stack into the middle with the rather hopeful looking [8d] [6s] and Wong woke up with aces to seal the deal and $220,061 in prize money.

Bicknell Leads the $1k Ladies Event

Can we please stop calling the Ladies event a $10k? It was a great idea and served its purpose, but considering that not one woman, or man, paid $10k to play I think it’s time to revert to type.

954-players did decide to play $1k to participate in the ladies event and at the time of writing we have reached the final eight. Leading the way is Kristen Bicknell with 635k. Leanne Haas (450k), Chris Priday (450k), Eleanor Gudger (320k), Shana Matthews (305k), Amanda Baker (275k), Connie Bruce (254k) and Julie Monsacre (245k) are the other ladies left in an event that has $173,922 reserved for first.

Strong Final Table Looming in the $25k Six-Max

Richard Lyndaker’s ace-king has just battered Todd Terry’s ace-queen to send him to the rail in 10th place. That means we are just four eliminations away from what looks likely to be a very tough final table in Event #52: $25,000 NLHE Six-Max.

Max Lehmanski (2.2m), Steve Sung (2m), Phil Galfond (1.9m), Stephen Chidwick (1.7m), Shannon Shorr (1.6m), Dani Stern (1.4m), Kevin Eyster (500k) and Keith Lehr (460k) – one of these guys will be a bracelet winner by the days end.

Steve Bartlett Leads the $1.5k

2,816-players have created another monster prize pool in Event #53: $1,500 NLHE and as we approach the early stages of Day Two there are just 190-players remaining.

The chip leader is Steve Bartlett with 212k, the vast amount of which has just been earned after finding aces versus kings in an all-in pre-flop encounter with Andrew Taylor.

Harrison Gimbel, Humberto Brenes, Chance Kornuth and David Vamplew are just a few of the big names with chips.

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