Poker players of the early 1900s are perhaps the most famous right now. Names like Amarillo Slim, Bugsy Siegel and others are often on the tip of our tongues when we are asked who some of the best gamblers were in history. There are countless others of course, but for many these names have risen higher in fame than others of the same time period. It might not have been due to huge winnings. Siegel has more fame for being a gangster while Slim was known for his poker abilities. This leads us to an infamous player by the name of Barney Boatman that has managed to gain more fame due to his Poker TV playing.
Boatman is a UK countryman living in St. Pancras London during the 60s. For those living in the UK he is perhaps more known than Siegel or Slim because he is an English player. He has also gained fame due to his part in a foursome of poker players. These professionals have been called the Hendon Mob. This is a bit of an interesting moniker considering the use of “mob”, when all it means is that they are poker players on the professional circuit. Boatman was always joined in his foursome by his brother Ross.
Barney’s career is not the only interesting thing about him. His early life is of interest too considering just how much he hated school. He hated it so much that at the earliest chance he ran away from it. He started playing poker and other games in order to support his lifestyle of travelling. He tended to go between Europe and Pacific Asia with a bit of time in Australia. During all of this time he also worked as more than a poker player. It was careers in English, journalism, building, computer programming, and legal advice that have shown how brilliant such a young man was without all the schooling of traditional programs.
There was a turning point in Boatman’s life that is perhaps why he started taking on more challenging hobbies such as sky diving or scuba diving. You see, Barney was enjoying travels and work but he almost died in a motorcycle incident. He lost his sister not long after this to cancer which turned him towards taking risks in order to live a full life.
So turning to poker he started making TV appearances and World Series of Poker wins. The unfortunate part of his career is that he has only come close to winning bracelets at the WSOP. He has won tournaments, but most are UK based and through his TV appearances on shows like Late Night Poker. It is not that the game is better than him or that he lacks skills. Sometimes it is all about the players you are against. It can also be in which cards are finally dealt that make you a winner and a near winner. Barney Boatman is more of a TV persona and interesting man due to a travelling lifestyle than a winner of WSOP bracelets.