4th Annual American Poker Awards Finalists Revealed

The nominees for the 4th Annual American Poker Awards, presented by PokerStars, were announced Thursday; the finalists will now have to keep their fingers crossed until February 22nd, when they will find out who wins at the ceremony held at Andaz West Hollywood in Los Angeles.

A panel of 102 media members (I’m STILL not one of the – BIG POKER keeping me down), poker players, and industry heavyweights submitted ballots over the past week, writing down no more than two names per category. The leading vote getters were named as finalists.

Between now and February 22nd, a special jury will decide on the winner from the list of nominees in each category. The composition of the jury will be kept a secret until after the awards are handed out, presumably to keep anyone from influencing them (but would anyone really do that for poker awards?).

For reference, here were the members of last year’s jury and their positions in the industry at the time:

Garry Gates – Live Events Consultant, PokerStars
Christian Harder – 2017 PSC Bahamas Champion
Joe Ingram – Host, Poker Life Podcast
Kevin Mathers – Community Manager, Pocketfives
Kelly Minkin – 2016 GPI Female Player of the Year
Sam Simmons – Vice President of Content, Poker Central
Eric Danis – Head of Poker Content, GPI
Alexandre Dreyfus – CEO, GPI

There are seven awards that do not have nominees. Two of them – the 2017 GPI American Player of the Year and the 2017 GPI American Female Player of the Year – were simply determined by the year-end Global Poker Index rankings. Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell will take home the hardware for those.

The jury will select the winner of the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker and the Jury Prize, the latter of which is described as an award for “a person, group or organization who deserve special recognition for their contributions to poker in 2017.”

Representatives from PocketFives and GPI will select who wins the PocketFives Legacy Award, an interesting award given to “an online poker legend who has also made significant contributions on the live tournament circuit.”

The GPI will also name the Charitable Initiative of the Year and the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year will be chosen by, you guessed it, the people. Voting for that award is currently open, so if you would like to submit a name (DAN KATZ), you can do so here.

The complete list of nominees for the 4th Annual American Poker Awards is as follows:

Breakout Player

Dejuante “DJ” Alexander
Michael Del Vecchio
William Alex Foxen
Artur Papazyan

Tournament Performance

Scott Blumstein (WSOP Main Event)
Darren Elias (WPT Fallsview)
Bryn Kenney (PokerStars Championship 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 finals
Ema Zajmovic becomes first female player to win open event on World Poker Tour
Vanessa Selbst’s Full House loses to Gaelle Baumann’s Quads early in the WSOP Main Event
Tom Dwan makes his return to America, stars on Poker After Dark reboot on PokerGo

Event of the Year

Super High Roller Bowl (ARIA Las Vegas)
partypoker MILLIONS North America (Playground Poker Club Montreal)
Poker Masters Event #1 (ARIA Las Vegas)
World Series of Poker Main Event (Rio Las Vegas)

Mid-Major Circuit

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

Journalist of the Year

Drew Amato
Lance Bradley
BJ Nemeth
Steve Ruddock
Jessica Welman

Broadcaster of the Year

Nick Schulman
Joseph Stapleton
Lon McEachern
Ali Nejad

Media Content

Adrian Moreno in tears after Little One for One Drop win; days after losing his friend (Drew Amato, photo for WSOP.com)
Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (PokerCentral documentary)
Poker Brat: The Phill Hellmuth Story (Phil Hellmuth, published by D&B Publishing)
Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising his Two Boys #ForCathy (Lance Bradley, article for PocketFives)


PokerCentral Podcast (Brent Hanks, Will O’Connor, Remko Rinkema)
PokerNews Podcast (Brent Harrington, Sarah Herring, Matt Parvis)
Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram)
TwoPlusTwo Podcast (Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz)

Video Blogger

Joe Ingram
Daniel Negreanu
Andrew Neeme
Doug Polk

Poker Streamer

Jeff Gross
Bill Perkins
Jason Somerville
Jaime Staples
Parker Talbot

Industry Person

Tony Burns
Sean McCormack
Adam Pliska
Matt Savage

Poker’s Biggest Influencer

Cary Katz
Daniel Negreanu
Doug Polk
Matt Savage

Other Trophies to be Presented at the Awards

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


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