Barny Boatman Looks Back on the Poker Million – Part 1 –

November 08, 2018


The Poker Million (branded as Poker Mi££ion) hosted the first-ever live televised final table, showing the hole cards without delay. It was broadcasted to an estimated 300 million viewers worldwide according to the BBC, and rerun on prime time in the United States the next day.

The concept was simple: the winner would take home a million dollars.

Barny Boatman has been there and seen it all in poker. In the year 2000, he was at that table.

This is the story of the first Poker Million.

“In my life, I’ve been in about four or five finals where the first prize was a million. Two of them were the original Poker Million final and the last Poker Million final.”

“I felt like if I put a gun to my own head, I might make the right decision.”

The final Poker Million was won in 2010 by Gus Hansen for a million dollars, with no-one else at the table winning so much as their taxi fare home. It wasn’t that different in the year 2000. The Millenium bug was poker, and everyone was going to catch it. TV had come calling for cards.

“The original Poker Million in the Isle of Man was almost the same [as all or nothing]. The winner got a million; second prize was £100k. I came sixth and received £14k. It was painful. Twice in those finals, I’ve been four or five places away from the million and won $14k, less than the buy-in between the two events.”

While the 2010 version would end up costing $25,000 to enter, a decade earlier it was £6,670. The organizers, Ladbrokes and Sky Sports according to the book Cowboys Full – The Story of Poker by Jim McManus, had

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