17/11/2003

What a way to Finnish !

Ross Boatman

Helsinki Freezeout 2003, Helsinki
€200 Pot Limit 5 Card Stud (SOKO)
Report by Ross on Monday, 17 November 2003 at 1:54 am

At last! It was a long time coming, but finally Barny Boatman widely considered to be one of the best no-limit hold-em players in the world has won his first no limit trophy in a main event. I’ve watched him play in countless finals over the years, and somehow things have never gone his way. I know only too well how heartbreaking it can be to make it all that way to the final table only to have your hopes crushed at the eleventh hour by some freaky back door flush, or more likely, that crucial evens shot, and I’ve seen this happen to Barny more times than I want to remember. But Barny has a resilience, character and determination matched by no-one else I know, and nothing keeps him down for long. His catch phrase is ‘They can’t keep escaping’ and yesterday there was nowhere left for them to hide. When I arrived in the card room it was three handed, but as far as I was concerned barring any nasty accidents, it was already over. Barny looked relaxed and in total control. Janne Lamsa sitting on Barny’s left, tried several times to bluff, but Barny was obviously inside his head and called him every time. The most impressive call was when with the board showing Q 9 A 5 2 with three diamonds, that had been checked to the river Barny called a bet of 50,000 with 10 high. The young Finn was completely outclassed. Five minutes later Barny called with deuces on the button, the flop was checked came A 9 6 and the turn brought a two. Lamsa bet and Barny called. He bet again when an Ace hit the river and Barny set him in. Barny had made so many marginal calls that Lamsa thought his nine was good. He called and they were down to two.
Heads up now with another young Finn, Tero Kilkanen, it was only a matter of time. Barny’s plan was to break him down slowly, which he did. He chipped away at him for half an hour or so before delivering the final blow with AK versus KQ and it was all over. A huge cheer went up when Barny lifted the trophy, no-one deserved that victory more than him. So congratulations Barn, I’m sure this is just the first of many.

Today was the final of the EU 1,000 Omaha, Ram’s third final this week. It was already heads up when I got there. Ram versus Johan Strorakas. Johan had the chip lead and after a bit of to-ing and frow-ing, Johan raised on the button, the flop came AQ9 Ram had flopped a set of nines and checked expecting Johan to bet the Ace, but he checked with him and the turn brought a Jack to give Johan a set. He bet it and Ram called, the river came a blank and the rest of the chips went in. Three finals and he couldn’t win one of them. Ram, you’re rubbish !

Did I say rubbish? The Soko Stud final has just taken place. There was one player there who could prevent Ram from winning the best overall trophy. Ram has scored points in no less than four events including three final table finishes. What a player. His rival for the trophy had to win the event and we were all standing around watching. It’s not normal to be funking for someone to lose, but it was nothing personal. We wanted Ram to get the trophy and the three grand prize. The award ceremony has just fininshed and Ram is taking home a beautiful trophy. Nice one Ram.

Next stop Walsall, where hopefully I’ll give the boys something to say about me.