Kevin "Phwap" Boudreau suffered a life-threatening brain injury in 2013 during a break in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event. Against all odds, he made a remarkable recovery, heading back to the felt to play in the 2015 WSOP Main Event in wheelchair and unable to talk. Canadian filmmaker and poker player Ian Tuason recently told Boudreau's story in a short documentary titled, Phwap's Back - A Poker Comeback Story.
The documentary, financed and produced by 888poker, starts off by showing moments of the 2010 WSOP Main Event when Boudreau was wearing a huge button with the face of good friend and fellow poker player Peter Jetten. Jetten and Boudreau met when they were younger on the TwoPlusTwo poker forum and were part of the well-known group called Ship it Holla Ballas along with fellow poker pros Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond, Andrew Robl, David Benefield, Gabe Patgorski, and Mario Silvestri III.
During a break in the $3,000 Mixed Max No Limit Hold’em in June 2013, Boudreau collapsed and was hospitalized after suffering a serious brain hemorrhage with doctors giving a bleak prognosis.
Boudreau's recovery has been slow but steady, and Jetten heaped praise on those close to Boudreau.
"It can't be understated that, by far, the most important thing for Kevin was his girlfriend Sam and his very loving family." Jetten said in an article posted by 888poker. They have done so much to help and encourage and support Kevin, and they are ones who deserve the most credit for Kevin's amazing progress."
One year later, Boudreau went back to visit his friends in Las Vegas during the WSOP and was itching to get back into the action. Instead, he was convinced to play a 10-man sit-and-go with his friends and family.
Shortly afterwards, Boudreau played in a few poker events and made the final table in two Mid-States Poker Tour tournaments. Following that, Boudreau got back in action at poker's biggest tournament, playing in the 2015 WSOP Main Event. 888poker, moved by his story, put up the $10,000 entry fee to get Boudreau back in the WSOP in style.
Tuason decided this was a story worth telling after learning from Jetten about the first of the MSPT final-table runs.
“When Peter told me that Kevin final tabled at the MSPT, I knew this was the story I wanted to tell,” Tuason said. “Peter connected me with Kevin, and I reached out to 888 for financing.”
Tuason hopes his documentary delivers Boudreau's inspirational story.
“I hope people will be inspired and love Kevin's comeback story as much as Kevin loves life,” he said.
Here's a look at the documentary: