Posts Tagged ‘Awards’

Nominees Announced for 2018 American Poker Awards

 Nominees Announced for 2018 American Poker Awards

After taking nominations for the different awards that will be offered, officials with the Global Poker Index announced the final nominations for their Fourth Annual American Poker Awards.

There is a slew of familiar names that dot the different awards that are being offered. Joe Ingram, who for years has offered up his views on the poker world through his “Poker Life Podcast,” is up for a couple of awards this year (Podcast of the Year and Video Blogger of the Year), joined by Daniel Negreanu (Biggest Influencer and Video Blogger) and Matt Savage (Biggest Influencer and Industry Person). By far, however, the output from the stables of Poker Central dominated the nominations.

Poker Central topped everyone in the field with six nominations, ranging from their “made for television” events such as the Super High Roller Bowl and the Poker Masters to their broadcasting team of Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman. Even their financial backer, Cary Katz, was named one of “Poker’s Biggest Influencers,” an award which should garner a great deal of attention.

These awards will be voted on by a blue-ribbon committee the day of the 2018 American Poker Awards on February 22:

Breakout Player

DJ Alexander
Michael Del Vecchio
Alex Foxen
Art Papazyan

Tournament Performance of the Year

Scott Blumstein (WSOP Main Event)
Darren Elias (WPT Fallsview)
Bryn Kenney (PSC Monte Carlo Super High Roller)
Doug Polk (WSOP One Drop High Roller)

Moment of the Year

70-year old John Smith makes back-to-back WSOP $ 10K Heads-Up Final Table
Ema Zajmovic – First female player to win an open Main Event on the WPT
Vanessa Selbst and Gaelle Baumann – Selbst loses full house to Baumann’s quads during first round of WSOP Championship Event)
Tom Dwan Returns to the States of America on “Poker After Dark”

Event of the Year

Super High Roller Bowl
partypoker MILLIONS North America
Poker Masters Event #1
WSOP Championship Event

Mid-Major Circuit

Mid-States Poker Tour
RUNGOOD Poker Series
WPTDeepStacks
WSOP Circuit

Journalist of the Year

Drew Amato
Lance Bradley
Bj Nemeth
Steve Ruddock
Jessica Welman

Broadcaster of the Year

Nick Schulman
Joe Stapleton
Lon McEachern
Ali Nejad

Media Content of the Year

Adrian Moreno in Tears following Win in WSOP Little One for One Drop (Amato)
Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (Poker Central)
Poker Brat: The Phil Hellmuth Story (Phil Hellmuth)
Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising his Two Boys (Bradley)

Podcast of the Year

PokerCentral Podcast
PokerNews Podcast
Poker Life Podcast
TwoPlusTwo Podcast

Video Blogger of the Year

Joe Ingram
Daniel Negreanu
Andrew Neeme
Doug Polk

Poker Streamer of the Year

Jeff Gross
Bill Perkins
Jason Somerville
Jaime Staples
Parker Talbot

Industry Person of the Year

Tony Burns
Sean McCormick
Adam Pliska
Matt Savage

Poker’s Biggest Influencer

Cary Katz
Daniel Negreanu
Doug Polk
Matt Savage

There will be other awards handed out the night of the American Poker Awards that have already been determined:

2017 GPI American Player of the Year:  Bryn Kenney
2017 GPI Female Player of the Year:  Kristen Bicknell
Award for Lifetime Achievement
Award for Charitable Initiative
Jury Prize
PocketFives Legacy Award
People’s Choice Award – Poker Personality of the Year

The People’s Choice Award is being voted on at this time by the general public. Visit the dedicated page for this award and be sure to cast your vote. It is also the only vote that is handled by the voice of the poker community. Counting that award, there is a total of 20 awards that will be handed out during a very busy ceremony!

The 2018 American Poker Awards will be handed out on February 22 at Andaz in West Hollywood, CA, beginning at 7PM.

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2018 American Poker Awards Nominations – One Writer’s Choices

 2018 American Poker Awards Nominations – One Writer’s Choices

In just a bit more than two weeks, the Fourth Annual American Poker Awards will take place at Andaz in West Hollywood, CA. The yearly celebration of the best in North American poker – and a day of discussion about the state of the game – is presented by PokerStars and has become one of the more highly respected honors that can be received in the game of poker. To be able to honor the best, you must have nominations…and that’s where the process currently is.

Last week ballots were sent out to members of the nomination panel, one of which was this writer, to determine who would be officially nominated for on of the 13 awards up for grabs (Kristen Bicknell will be awarded 2017 Female Poker Player of the Year and Bryn Kenney will be awarded the 2017 American Poker Player of the Year award). I’ve never taken these nominations lightly, but I do look to offer my vote to those who might be on the fringe of making it into one of the nomination slots. As such, as I went through the nomination ballot, I went with choices that, while they may not win, they have the honor of being nominated.

For Breakout Player of the Year, there are a couple of choices that are hard to overlook. Art Papazyan won two World Poker Tour events in the past year to firmly establish himself as one of the up and coming stars in the game. Another player who also showed his mettle was Mike Del Vecchio, as witnessed by his recent run at the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event. Either one of these men would be outstanding choices.

For Poker Moment of the Year, here’s where I was looking a bit deeper. It is tough to overlook Papazyan’s two WPT victories, Harrison Gimbel’s completion of poker’s Triple Crown or Scott Blumstein’s dominant performance at the World Series of Poker Championship Event final table, but these two choices deserved to be noted. First, Ema Zajmovic’s effort in becoming the first woman to win an open event on the MAIN WPT tour was groundbreaking, especially as it came more than 15 years into the tour’s existence. The other choice I made was the clash between Gaelle Baumann and Vanessa Selbst at the 2017 WSOP Championship Event, which eventually saw Selbst sent to the rail during the first level after Selbst’s full house was routed by Baumann’s quads.

Podcast of the Year is always difficult because of the number of quality podcasts out there. For years Joe Ingram’s Poker Life Podcast has been the benchmark (and he will be nominated), but Bernard Lee’s “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” has also delivered some excellent quality. My second choice was not talking about the game per se, but talking about the mental aspect. “Poker on the Mind” from Dr. Tricia Cardner and Gareth James offers outstanding advice for improving the mental approach to the game, something that isn’t always seen in our business.

For Best Tournament Performance, World Champion Blumstein’s run is a lock for the nominees. Thus, I went with Darren Elias’ WPT Fallsview championship, which put him in the pantheon of players who have won three WPT titles (Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno and David ‘Chino’ Rheem are the others). My second choice was Christian Harder and his breakout win at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event, an outstanding victory over a tough field.

For Poker Media Content of the Year, there were two choices that stood out. First was Martin Harris’ work at PokerNews and his interview with Jack Binion. In that interview, Harris got the definitive story as to the Johnny Moss/Nick Dandalos “heads up match” in 1949 (it is well worth the look for the historical implications). Second was Chad Holloway’s story on poker player Matt Jarvis’ move into the business world. Although this writer wrote about Jarvis’ new calling five months earlier, Holloway brought a great story in Jarvis as he looked to make sure he has a good life for he and his family rather than chasing the tournament circuit.

For the rest of the nominations…OK, maybe I didn’t deviate from the norm that much! Here’s a look at my choices for nominations in the other categories, with some commentary:

Industry Person of the Year

Bryan Mileski, Mid-States Poker Tour founder/operator
Bill Mason, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Director of Poker Operations

Event of the Year

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Hollywood, FL
partypoker MILLIONS North America, Playground Poker Club, Montreal

(Hey, ANYONE can pick the WSOP Championship Event!)

Mid-Major Circuit of the Year

Mid-States Poker Tour
Heartland Poker Tour

Poker Journalist of the Year

Allen Rash
Jessica Welman

(Two people that I have worked with over the 15 years I’ve been in this business that deserve recognition for their outstanding achievements in the realm of poker journalism)

Video Blogger of the Year

Daniel Negreanu
Joe Ingram

Streamer of the Year

Dutch Boyd
Jason Somerville

(If you’re not checking out Dutch Boyd’s streaming efforts, you’re missing out)

Biggest Influencer on Poker

Cary Katz
Daniel Negreanu

Broadcaster of the Year

Lon McEachern
Mike Sexton

(This will be the final time that Sexton might be recognized for his groundbreaking work with the WPT)

So, who will be the nominees? We’ll have to have some patience as the nomination process will conclude next week and the announcement of the nominees will follow. Then, on February 22, poker’s biggest awards night will take place in Tinseltown, complete with the fanfare that it deserves.

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3rd Annual GPI American Poker Awards Winners Celebrated

 3rd Annual GPI American Poker Awards Winners Celebrated

The important poker people were in Beverly Hills last Thursday receiving their shimmering trophies at the 3rd Annual GPI American Poker Awards. It was kind of like Sunday night’s Oscars except nobody posted about it on Facebook and David Peters was correctly announced as GPI Player of the Year on the first try.

Many of the usual awards were handed out (if a two-year precedent can establish the “usual”) like GPI Player of the Year, Female Player of the Year, Moment of the Year, and Tournament Performance of the Year. Times change, though, and so do the awards. One sign of the times was the addition of Twitch Poker Streamer of the Year and Poker Podcast of the Year.

Some awards were eliminated: Poker Presenter of the Year and Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year are gone. Event of the Year was also consolidated into one award, rather than having two separate ones for tournaments with different price points.

It should also be noted that the two Player of the Year awards were based on the Global Poker Index’s scoring rankings in 2016. It was a completely objective award; everyone already knew who won it, as opposed to several awards whose winners were up to the voting committee.

The winners of the categories with multiple nominees are indicated in italics.

GPI Player of the Year

David Peters

GPI Female Player of the Year

Cate Hall

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mori Eskandani

Charitable Initiative of the Year

Dan Smith Charity Drive

PocketFives Legacy Award

Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy

The Hendon Mob Award

John Holley

Jury Prize

Matt Savage

Tournament Performance of the Year

Kristen Bicknell wins 2nd WSOP bracelet ($ 1,500 Bounty)
Ari Engel wins Aussie Millions
Maurice Hawkins wins WSOPC Cherokee, back-to-back WSOPC
Mike Sexton wins WPT Montreal

Moment of the Year

Griffin Benger’s AA vs William Kassouf’s KK showdown at the WSOP Main Event
Jason Mercier goes on heater: captures (2) WSOP bracelets and a 2nd in a week to secure WSOP PoY
David Peters needing 3rd at EPT Prague to win GPI PoY does exactly that and takes the title from Fedor Holz
Mike Sexton mounts unbelievable comeback to win his first WPT title at WPT Montreal

Breakout Performance of the Year

Ari Engel
Maurice Hawkins
Ankush Mandavia
Sam Soverel

Event of the Year

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Super High Roller Bowl
WSOP Main Event
WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Mid-Major Circuit of the Year

Heartland Poker Tour (HPT)
Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT)
World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC)
WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS)

Industry Person of the Year

Tony Burns (Seminole Hard Rock Tournament Director)
Jack Effel (WSOP VP Intl’ Poker Operations, WSOP Director)
Sean McCormack (ARIA Director of Poker Operations)
Matt Savage (WPT Executive Tour Director, TDA Founder)

Media Person of the Year

Lance Bradley
Sarah Herring
Joseph Stapleton
David Tuchman

Media Content of the Year

Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey (Lance Bradley, PocketFives)
Life’s a Gamble (Mike Sexton, D&B Poker)
Stu Ungar’s Last Chance Gone Wrong Documentary (Matthew Showell, PokerListings)
Jason Somerville provides live Aussie Millions coverage on his Twitch channel

Twitch Poker Streamer of the Year

Kevin Martin “kevinmartin987”
Jason Somerville “jcarverpoker“
Jaime Staples “pokerstaples”
Parker Talbot “tonkaaaaP”

Poker Podcast of the Year

Poker Life Podcast with Joe Ingram
Full Contact Poker with Daniel Negreanu
PokerNews Podcast
TwoPlusTwo Pokercast

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David Peters Stuns Fedor Holz, Takes Major Poker Player of the Year Awards

 David Peters Stuns Fedor Holz, Takes Major Poker Player of the Year Awards

After leading the two races for Poker Player of the Year pretty much since the World Series of Poker concluded in July, it was assumed that German poker superstar Fedor Holz was a lock to take down those awards come the end of December. Well, you know what they say about “assume?” Instead of reveling in the dual victories, Holz had to watch helplessly as David Peters used a late surge literally in the final tournament of the year to pass him and win both major POY races.

Peters was a good distance back of Holz on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race in mid-November, in the second-place slot by almost 1300 points. Peters would then go on a rampage that saw him win an event and finish as the runner up in the November 18-19 Aria High Roller and Super High Roller tournaments to pull within roughly 500 points of Holz. With only December left on the calendar, Peters continued storming the felt in both the States and Europe.

By finishing at the final table in two events during the running of the Bellagio’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Peters knocked another 250 points off Holz’s lead, but he was still short. With the POY award within his reach, Peters went to the final-ever European Poker Tour event in Prague, Czech Republic, and finished in third place for the final EPT event in history. The 1280 points he picked up for that tournament allowed him to pass Holz by a healthy margin with his 8181 points.

So where did it go bad for Holz? From the end of October on to the end of the year, Holz failed to score a single point on the CardPlayer rankings. In a normal circumstance, Holz’s 7058 points would have been more than enough to earn him the POY championship. With the advent of major tournaments going to the end of the calendar year – and the high roller tournaments that normally come along with them – it wasn’t enough in 2016 for Holz to win the CardPlayer POY.

How far from the pack were Peters and Holz? The third-place finisher, Justin Bonomo, could only muster 6020 points to finish in third place, more than 2000 points behind Peters and more than 1000 behind Holz. Two other players, fourth place Ari Engel (5653 points) and fifth place Jake Schindler (5178 points) both used big December rushes to reach their positions. Engel made a final run at the title with his final table finish at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Rock n’ Roll Poker Open, but was unable to cash for points from his six money finishes in Prague, while Schindler made a big move with his third-place finish at the World Poker Tour’s Main Event during the Bellagio tournament series.

Rounding out the Top Ten on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year rankings are Sam Soverel (4989 points, sixth place), Chance Kornuth (4838, seventh), Dan Smith (4799, eighth), Connor Drinan (4637, ninth) and Ankush Mandavia (4460, tenth).

With the more complex scoring of the Global Poker Index rankings, it was going to be tougher for Peters to pass Holz, but he would do it. His final two cashes of 2016 – his third-place finish in the EPT Prague Main Event (worth 482.16 points) and the fifth-place finish at the Five Diamond High Roller (203.68 points) – replaced two of his other top 13 finishes to push him by Holz by the closest of margins. When the final totals were put together, Peters’ 3666.31 points had managed to eclipse Holz’s 3644.8 points (remember, no cashes in the last two months of the year) and give Peters the GPI POY award.

Bonomo was once again the odd-man out in the triumvirate of players at the top, finishing in third place with his very respectable 3479.7 points. On the GPI rankings, Kornuth’s finishes got more love than on the CardPlayer board, with Kornuth hitting the fourth-place spot with 3336.54 points. Even former WSOP Europe and EPT Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos, who didn’t even show up in the Top Ten for CardPlayer, got his name in at fifth place with 3316.07 points.

Engel dropped in the rankings in the comparison between the GPI and CardPlayer Magazine, with the winner of the 2016 Aussie Millions (we’re less than a month away from the 2017 version) settling for sixth place on the GPI poll with 3290.43 points. Rounding out the next four spots are Paul Volpe (3192.88 points, seventh place), Nick Petrangelo (3176.03, eighth), Mandavia (3138.97, ninth) and Samuel Panzica (3114.66, tenth); three of those four men weren’t even mentioned on the CardPlayer Top Ten.

Although it may be the end of 2016 and the beginning of the New Year, poker professionals and amateurs alike aren’t going to be given a very long break. On January 6, the very first PokerStars Championship Bahamas (formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) will kick off, featuring a plethora of poker for those in attendance at the Atlantis Hotel. The 2017 Aussie Millions will open for play on January 11, perhaps setting up for a clash between two popular international tournaments. The WPT also gets into the mix with the start of the L. A. Poker Classic schedule on January 13 and the Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, NJ, on January 17. Add in the various smaller tours with stops on the schedule (the WSOP Circuit, the Heartland Poker Tour, and others) and the race for 2017 Player of the Year will be off and running!

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Nominees Named for 15th Annual GPI European Poker Awards

 Nominees Named for 15th Annual GPI European Poker Awards

In preparation for the fifteenth annual awards ceremonies, the powers that be with the Global Poker Index have announced the nominees for the 2016 GPI European Poker Awards. Much like their counterpart in the United States that honors the best in the Americas, the European Poker Awards looks to honor the best in European poker over the previous 12 months. In 11 categories, the crème of European poker will be honored on May 3 during the European Poker Tour Grand Final festivities in Monte Carlo with a prize that has come to be recognized as a very prestigious award.

Two of the awards – for GPI Player of the Year and GPI Female Player of the Year – are actually determined before the awards are even handed out. By usage of the Global Poker Index’s tabulation system, points are awarded to players for their best 13 finishes over the course of a calendar year. Overall in 2015, the GPI POY was Germany’s Fedor Holz, who will be honored alongside the GPI Female Player of the Year, the United Kingdom’s Liv Boeree, during this year’s ceremonies.

In the other nine categories, a selection committee will determine who will receive the European Poker Award. In some of these categories, the competition will be as fierce as if they were battling it out on the baize for a championship.

For Tournament Performance of the Year, these are the four nominees:

Adrian Mateos’ victory at the 2015 EPT Grand Final
Barny Boatman’s second World Series of Poker bracelet win at the WSOP-Europe
Fedor Holz Wins World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas
Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller

Of these four selections, Mateos’ victory at last year’s Grand Final solidified his place as one of the true up and coming stars of the tournament poker world. With that victory and his WSOP-Europe victory in 2013, Mateos is now two-thirds of the way towards completing poker’s “Triple Crown,” something that only five men have completed in the annals of poker (Mateos needs a WPT title to complete the trifecta). While Boatman’s win was a nice one for the “Old Guard,” Mateos’ win was a significant one for the future.

There is an interesting caveat laid out for anyone that is looking to be able to vie for the award of being Breakout Player of the Year, one that should be used in considering any “Rookie of the Year” award in poker. According to the rules, any player who, prior to December 31, 2014, made a final table of a WPT or EPT Main event and/or of a WSOP bracelet, High Roller or Super High Roller tournament, was not eligible for this award. As such, there were some competitors who weren’t considered because they had achieved one of those goals. Still, the battle for Breakout Player of the Year should be an interesting one with these men:

Charles Carrel
Dzmitry Urbanovich
Fedor Holz
Rainer Kempe

With Holz taking down the GPI Player of the Year honors, will the panel be more apt to give the Breakout Player trophy to someone else? Could Urbanovich, who has been one of the true breakouts of 2015, take down the award, or could it go to Kempe, who really snuck in under the radar over the course of last year? Nothing against Carrel, but he is up against some extremely long odds if he is going to be walking away from Monte Carlo with a European Poker Award for 2015.

As with the American Poker Awards, the European Poker Awards will also hand out the following honors:

Media Person of the Year
Industry Person of the Year
Event of the Year (Buy-in under €2000)
Event of the Year (Buy-in over €2000)
Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year
Moment of the Year
Poker Media Content of the Year

For a full list of the nominees, be sure to check out the European Poker Awards website and, if a person is interested in registering to attend the ceremonies, that same website can service your needs.

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