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Barny Boatman
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Exploding Moles

European Poker Championship, London
£2,000 Championship Event - No Limit Hold'em
Report by Barny on Sunday, 4 July 2004 at 1:23 pm

Having missed the start of the week through illness I took a while to get going at the Vic. I had a good run in the £200 pot limit Omaha but was one of the first out of the £750 no limit having slightly over-played AK. That meant a much needed rest before the £500 Omaha which I guess paid off.

Ram had had a long day having made it to the money in the holdem but he started brightly in the Omaha and came to my table with a lot of chips. Two tables out, he bluffed twice when I was behind him with a big hand. I got all his chips in those two pots and that was enough to take me to yesterday’s final lieing second behind Brian Johnson.

The final was a gruelling five hour slog. I didn’t win a hand in the first two levels and my chips dwindled as the low stacks went out. It was Peter Costa who was making all the running and Brian went right down to the felt before making an amazing come back. We were five handed for two hours until Peter, who had looked like winning it, lost his chips to top French Omaha specialist Emanuel Seebag. Now it looked like it would be Emanuel’s day but he lost a huge pot to Brain and was out in fourth. Three handed, I moved up a gear and took the chip lead for the first time. But Brian found a couple of big hands at the right time and when we got to heads up I needed to win the first hand we played. I didn’t, and congratulations to Brian for a gutsy performance which won him his first ever major trophy. Could this mean next years title defence will be televised?

We had half an hour before the main event started. I will never understand why the Vic kicks off these big two day events at 8.00pm on a Saturday so that about a third of the field have to return, exhausted, on Sunday afternoon. Or have I just answered my own question?

Ram and Joe made early exits, leaving the Boatman brothers to slog it out into the early hours. Ross came to my table and showed in two pots why he is a winning player. In the first he found Aces against AK and won maximum. In the second he found AK against Aces and lost the minimum.

As the 3.00am deadline approached it was if players had been randomly booby-trapped. People who had been playing a steady game all night would suddenly ‘go off’ and shove their whole stack in with A,2 or 9,10. It reminded me off the game at the fair ground where the moles pop out of the holes and you whack ‘em with a stick. It was as if the last thing anyone wanted to do was come back the next day unless they could double up in the last half hour. As I neither went off, nor managed to whack a mole, I will be returning this afternoon with slightly under average chips. Ross did find a mole but the mole hit his Ace in the hole and Ross is unlucky not to be there with me. I’m hoping for another long day.

Vicky Coren told me a very impressive statistic yesterday. In the £750 NLH limit event there were six women in the 170 strong field.
Between them they took first, third and twelth. Maybe those of you who don\'t think they play as well as the men are right...

Full results: £500 Pot Limit Omaha

1st Brian Johnson (USA) £24,320
2nd Barny Boatman (Hendon) £13,440
3rd P King 8,320 (England) £8,320
4th E Sebag 5,120 (France) £5,120
5th Peter Costa (England) £3,200
6th R Yong £2,880
7th Graham 'Kiwi G' Putt (New Zealand) £2,560
8th S Alkado £2,240
9th C Kola £1,920
10th Garry Bush (England) £500

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