Resurgent UK veteran pro Barny Boatman captured his second World Series of Poker bracelet in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, taking down the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe's Event #7: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha.
Boatman collected €54,725 for the win, but it appeared the WSOP hardware meant much more to him.
"You know, any mug can win one bracelet," Boatman joked. "Turns out any mug can win two."
After years of WSOP grinding in Las Vegas with dozens of cashes dating all the way back to 2002, Boatman finally made good on his goal of winning a WSOP bracelet, taking down the 2012 WSOP Event #49: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em.
Saturday in Berlin, Boatman said winning a second one felt much different.
"It was very different from the experience two years ago of winning bracelet number one," he said. "It was a huge field, it was exhausting, my brother was there, so many of my friends were there and a lot of the best young poker players from Britain were on the rail. It was really exciting.
"But what's happened since then is I've got the bug. I've had so many big stacks in big tournaments and things have gone wrong, so I never really thought it would happen for me. But once it did happen, my attitude changed. Not my game particularly, but my hunger for it. I wanted to do it again.
"I haven't been to the WSOP Europe for about four years and even then I only played one event. But I wanted to come this year and have a shot at it. This is my third or fourth final since I won the first one and I was really going after it."
The final began just after 12 p.m. local time with Canadian Doug Lee holding the chip lead. Damian Pawlak was the first player out running a pair of kings and a gutshot into Lee's top pair, flush draw and wrap. Lee hit the flush on the turn and Pawlak said goodbye in eighth.
Fellow Pole Pawel Bakiewicz hit the rail next, getting it in with a draw that never came against Grzegorz Grochulski's two pair.
Dominik Maska then went out sixth when his aces were outdrawn by Lee's jacks, and although Lee had a big lead, he dumped pot after pot until he got short and his fate was sealed fifth, running jacks into Shannon Shorr's pair and naked ace, with Shorr finding another ace on the river.
Grochulski took over after that, dominating the table and building a healthy lead. Jose Obadia gave his stack away to Boatman next, exiting fourth when he called all in with a small pair only to find Boatman had flopped trips.
Shorr could do no better than third, notching the 45th WSOP cash of his career without a bracelet win when he got it in with a suited ace-king and failed to connect versus Boatman's .
However, Grochulski still took a roughly 2:1 lead over Boatman into heads-up play. Boatman quickly erased the lead with some well-timed aggression and when Grochulski ran a big bluff into Boatman's flopped aces, suddenly he was the one with the 2:1 lead.
Grochulski inched into the lead again before getting it in with kings and Boatman at risk, only to see Boatman make two pair and turn a straight.
Crippled by that hand, Boatman's coronation and second WSOP bracelet win came just a few hands later.
Boatman actually made a deep run in the 2015 WSOP Europe's Event #3: €3,250 Eight-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha a few days ago, but bubbled the final. In this event, he vowed not to let that happen again.
"I went down all guns blazing playing a hand that a lot of the time I wouldn't play," he said. "I was chip leader 11-handed, and I walked away thinking what have I done, that was my chance to make a final table at WSOP Europe. So I came in with a shot again and there was no way I was going to bubble this final table."
Once he'd made the final, Boatman said he just seemed to be on the right side of variance this time.
"Things have just been falling into place a bit for me," said Boatman. "There was a time when the cards went on their backs that I wouldn't have been the one to win it. I had a long period of time where I was building big stacks in big events, getting close to the money and things weren't working out. I guess it's like buses, they all come along at once."
Now, he'll be looking to turn his luck around again in the 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event where he's seen two deep runs end in bad beats. And he's certainly looking forward to the chase for a third bracelet next year in Las Vegas at the 2016 WSOP.
"I don't know what it would take for me not to be there," he said. "This year we were there for about half of the festival and hopefully next year we'll be there for more of it. I'm going to be really going all out next year."
Here's how the final table finished up:
|3||Shannon Shorr||United States||€24,520|
As the 2015 WSOP Europe rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage.