Throughout Europe, Barny Boatman is known as "The Voice of Poker" for his expert commentary on broadcasts like Late Night Poker on Fox Sports Net, Celebrity Poker and the World Heads-Up Tournament.
His younger brother Ross is another champion poker player and member of the Hendon Mob. They and the other Mob members, Joe Beevers and Ram Vaswani, started playing together on Late Night Poker in England. They founded a Web site to promote their group and it quickly grew; sure enough, advertising dollars rolled in and it became one of the most-visited poker sites. In 2003, Barney was approached by Prima Poker apropos a sponsorship. And, over a cup of coffee in London's Paddington Station, they struck a very lucrative deal and have been going great guns ever since.
Barney and Ross have already gone down in poker history as the first two brothers to make a final together in Omaha at the World Series of Poker in 2002. At the Four Queens Poker Classic in 2003, Barney came in first, and Ross, second.
One word that frequently comes up when describing Barney's poker play is "unreadable." Though he wouldn't necessarily want that said about the articles he writes as a freelancer, in the poker world "unreadable" helps bring in the big bucks.
Despite his celebrity, Barney Boatman has a democratic view of his chosen game. "Poker is a great leveler," he says. Indeed, "Once you sit at the poker table, you're on equal footing. Chances are, the next great player is playing somewhere on the Internet. It's about figuring people out, fooling them, listening and trying to pick things up. It's very, very social."
And, Barney is certainly social, at least enough to participate in the "home games" that appear on The Poker Channel. Filmed on location in real-life kitchens and dens, with players ranging from big city high-rollers to more conservative players just having fun, the shows feature Barney giving people a few pointers and just plain enjoying an evening of poker.
Away from the poker table, Barney is an adventurous sportsman who has tried parachuting, snowboarding and scuba diving over the years. His daredevilry in those areas is reflected in his poker play, which has led some to say that he is "tricky, unreadable and a daring opponent, best avoided."
If, however, you have the opportunity to watch Barney play poker you should not avoid it, as he is a fascinating presence at any table.
- Member of the Hendon Mob
- Poker Commentator in Europe
- 1999, Europe's top Seven-Card Stud player
- Fluent in Spanish
- Freelance Writer