Posts Tagged ‘Awards’

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

Poker News Daily

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!

Poker News Daily

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.

Poker News Daily

2nd Annual American Poker Awards Honors Best in North American Poker

 2nd Annual American Poker Awards Honors Best in North American Poker

In front of a packed ballroom at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, the 2nd Annual American Poker Awards were held on Thursday evening. Created by the chairman of the Global Poker Index, Alexandre Dreyfus, to celebrate the best of North American poker (much like its counterpart in the European Poker Awards), the ceremonies didn’t disappoint anyone as the crème of the poker world in 2015 were honored for their achievements.

Two awards were already determined before the statues were handed out. The GPI Player of the Year, Byron Kaverman, accepted his award for being the best player in North American for 2015 and Kelly Minkin picked up her trophy for being the GPL Female Player of the Year. After that, it was off to the voted awards, of which 11 were up for grabs.

Joe Giron defeated some excellent competition in one of the toughest categories in Media Content of the Year to take home the trophy. Giron’s work as the photojournalist for the World Series of Poker – and in particular his in-the-moment shot of a collapsed Daniel Negreanu upon his knockout from the Championship Event of the WSOP – was able to defeat 2014 AMA winner Brad Willis and his four-part series on the South Carolina underground poker scene, Faraz Jaka’s autobiographical CNN story on his nomadic tournament poker journeys and Jason Somerville’s record-setting Twitch broadcast of his WCOOP final table to capture the top prize.

One of the surprises of the 2015 APAs was in the Tournament Performance of the Year category. Going up against such powerhouse moments as Joe McKeehen’s domination of the WSOP “November Nine,” Mike Gorodinsky’s Poker Players’ Championship win at the WSOP and Jonathan Duhamel’s “Big One for One Drop” victory, Anthony Zinno’s second part of a back-to-back win on the World Poker Tour at the L. A. Poker Classic was thought to be a long shot. That long shot came home, however, as Zinno picked up the statue and the honors for the best tournament performance of 2015.

Another deserving victor was Matt Stout and the Charity Series of Poker. In the Charitable Initiative of the Year category, Stout and the CSOP faced off against other very qualified charitable causes in the Chad Brown Memorial Tournament, Tiger Woods’ Poker Night and the WSOP One Drop High Roller/Little One for One Drop and were able to emerge with the APA trophy. “Thank you so much to the players, casino and sponsors that have gotten behind this thing in a way I could only dream of,” Stout said to his supporters over his Facebook page. “You are quite literally helping me complete my life’s work.”

In addition to these awards, these were the other eight awards that were handed out during the ceremonies on Thursday night:

Event of the Year (Buy-in under $ 2000) – The Colossus at the WSOP Event of the Year (Buy-in over $ 2000) – The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Moment of the Year – Daniel Negreanu’s elimination in 11th place, WSOP Championship Event Breakout Performance of the Year – Joshua Beckley Poker Presenter of the Year – Kara Scott Media Person of the Year – Donnie Peters Industry Person of the Year – Matt Savage Poker Innovation of the Year – WSOP, Online Bracelet Event

A select panel also took the time to choose two “lifetime achievement” awards, and the only reason that those words are in parenthesis are because the people that the awards were given to have so much yet to give to the poker community. For his variety of work in the poker world, Kevin ‘Kevmath’ Mathers was the recipient of a 2015 APA. For his longtime efforts as an ambassador for the game of poker, WPT host Mike Sexton also was honored with a 2015 APA. The audience was more than appreciative of these awards and both men were extremely humbled about being honored by their peers.

With that, the 2015 American Poker Awards are in the books. Now we can start looking towards 2016 and wondering what special moments in North American poker may be honored a year from now when the ceremony’s roll around again.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars 100 Millionth Customer Promo Awards Some StarsCoin

 PokerStars 100 Millionth Customer Promo Awards Some StarsCoin

Historically, a PokerStars promotion has been something people can get excited about. So when I tell you that PokerStars is running a promo to celebrate the site’s 100 millionth player (including Full Tilt and all country-specific sites), you wouldn’t be crazy to get your hopes up. But don’t. I mean, yes, it is a promotion and yes, you can win something of value, but frankly, it’s a bit of a disappointment. But you know what? If you are going to play at PokerStars, anyway, and these promos end up fitting in to your game selection, go for it.

For the first two weeks of the month (starting yesterday, of course, but don’t worry about it – it shouldn’t be a bid deal), PokerStars has a couple VIP Steps Challenges for its players. Those who complete VIP Steps Challenge 1 by leveling up three VIP Steps during the two weeks will have a chance to win up to 1 million StarsCoin. VIP Steps Challenge 2 is similar, but it requires the completion of 10 VIP Steps for up to 2 million StarsCoin.

“Up to” is the operative phrase here as the chances of winning a million or two StarsCoin are extremely low. Like with Spin & Go jackpots, the prizes are determined by a probability table. The odds get better the higher up in the VIP tiers a player is, but don’t count on any sort of StarsCoin windfall.

For example, at the BronzeStar level, there is a 54.695 percent chance to win 5 StarsCoin for VIP Steps Challenge 1, a 27.50 percent chance to win 50, a 15 percent chance to win 100, so on and so forth until the 1 million chip prize, which has a .005 percent chance of hitting. The minimum prize is 100 starting with ChromeStars. ChromeStars and up will win 100 or 1,000 StarsCoin the vast majority of the time. The odds for the grand prize only elevate to 0.15 percent at best.

The VIP Steps Challenge 2 prizes are bigger, ranging from 50 to 2 million rather than 5 to 1 million. Odds are a little better to win something of note, but again, whatever.

For the final two weeks of the month, including Leap Day, PokerStars will offer challenges associated with milestones from the site’s history. PokerStars has not revealed what the actual challenges will be, but here are the milestones:

2001 – Launch of Real Money Poker Games
2002 – First WCOOP Main Event
2003 – Moneymaker wins the World Series
2004 – Launch of the EPT
2006 – The Sunday Million is Born
2007 – Daniel Negreanu joins Team PokerStars Pro
2008 – PokerStars hosts World Record Online Poker Tournament
2012 – Launch of the Mobile App
2013 – Launch of Zoom
2013 – 100 Billionth Hand
2014 – $ 10 Million Guaranteed in PCA Main Event
2015 – Football Stars join PokerStars
2015 – 13 Millionaires Made in Spin & Go’s
2015 – 253,692 Players in an Online Poker Tournament
2016 – PokerStars obtains license in New Jersey, USA

Once again, there is a prize probability chart for the challenges, which come in two flavors: Silver and Gold. Most of the time, the prize will be a seat in an All-in Shootout tournament (77.294 percent for Silver, 60.299 percent for Gold), but the rest are cash prizes. For the Silver challenge, the cash prizes range from $ 2 to $ 10,000 (.001 percent chance at the $ 10,000) and for Gold it’s $ 5 to $ 100,000.

The last part of the promo is a simple tournament. For 50 StarsCoin (guess you can use what you earned form the promo the rest of the month), players can enter a $ 100,000 Added VIP Club tournament.

Poker News Daily

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