Barny Boatman Looks Back at 'Late Night Poker' –

In 1999, a pioneering poker show on British television changed the face of the game we all now enjoy.

Under-the-table ‘lipstick’ cameras, atmosphere as thick as the smoke in the studio and Jesse May’s electric commentary brought character to cardplay in a way televised poker had never done before.

“Late Night Poker” was a revolutionary program that inspired many of Britain and Europe’s elite poker players of today. PokerNews caught up with one of the main men involved from the start, Barny Boatman.

A member of the infamous ‘Hendon Mob,’ Boatman wasn’t just a player, but also a commentator in later series. He was there from the beginning and very quickly noticed that the project could be a shot in the arm to poker, which was not yet an industry but a game.

“There were one or two of us who saw it coming a bit,” he said. “I was hawking a treatment around for a poker show not long before ‘Late Night Poker’ happened. I was therefore very pleased when the word went out that they were looking for players.”

The Initial Response to the Cameras

Although Boatman was enthused, that feeling wasn’t a general one.

“A lot of the established players in Europe were understandably wary of the idea of cameras,” Boatman said. “I was up for it for a couple of reasons. I could see the value in terms of pushing poker on into the mainstream where it might become more like a sport, where sponsorship might become possible. I also realized that what people were going to see wasn’t going to be how the game is, for a numbers of reasons, editing, format and the way people play differently when they know they’re being filmed.”

The potential was there, but what were the criteria for

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