Global Poker Index announces the launch of the American Poker Awards
Yesterday saw a flurry of activity from the Global Poker Index, as they announced the inaugural American Poker Awards are to take place in Los Angeles in early 2015.
GPI also runs the European Poker Awards, and GPI Founder and CEO, Alex Dreyfus, said in a statement on their website “The European Poker Awards have set a benchmark of success and the American Poker Awards will follow in its footsteps, featuring a similar structure that employs expert nomination panels and independent juries to decide winners, and best players determined impartially using GPI scores.” He went on to say “This is a game-wide celebration too – we’re not just looking to reward players and contributors, but everything from North America’s best poker venues and poker events, to major online initiatives and game innovations, among others.”
Dreyfus has said in interviews that he believes the GPI acquisition of the European Poker Awards helped ensure it’s legitimacy and the GPI is going to be able to expand the brand globally. It seems that this is the first step on this path, and the GPI has already registered several other web addresses that could be used for future expansions on this idea.
The European Awards are decided by an independent Jury, which Dreyfus has made known he feels is the best way to ensure that fairness and transparency are adhered to, so it can only be assumed that the American Poker Awards will be handled in the same way, opening up thoughts as to who will be invited to join the jury. The last European Awards were decided by a panel including Edgar Stuchly (The EPT President), Warren Lush (Marketing Manager at Party Poker) and Simon Trumper (Live Poker Director at the Dusk Till Dawn Casino). The poker media was also represented in the form of Jesse May and our own Matthew Pitt. I can see players such as Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth being invited to join in along with Poker Media personalities such as Mike Sexton and Nolan Dalla, but with the current issues with PokerStars and the US Regulators, will PokerStars sponsored players such as Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Selbst be invited to join in? Only time will tell.
The GPI has become of the few poker brands in recent history to be undergoing a significant expansion. They have a significant presence in the Rio Casino during this year’s World Series of Poker, and have launched a free magazine which is available in a large number of Las Vegas Casinos. Added to this, the GPI website has recently had a full redesign, and now includes information from recently acquired Hendon Mob and the GPI Fantasy Poker Manager. The newly launched Poker Calendar is also available on the site, making it an even more valuable resource for both the Poker Media, and poker fans alike.
The GPI fantasy Poker game is already the official fantasy partner for both the WSOP and the EPT, making it one of the few things that these two of the biggest poker tours agree on. The game all ready has over 80,000 regular players, and with no competition, these numbers are set t grow as long as Alex and the GPI continue to expand.
With the American Poker Awards being held in Los Angeles, the home of the Oscars, the Grammys and the Emmy’s, this new award show is going to be among some tough competition. The date set for the handing out of the first awards is the 27th of February 2015. This date was apparently selected as it worked for the awards to run for the calendar year, and the Commerce’s LAPC event will be in town at the same time, making it a lot more likely that players will be available to pick up their awards in person.
In an interview with PokerNews, Alex Dreyfus said “I think we are at the eve of a new boom,” and this is “the perfect time” for the American Poker Awards to begin it’s life. That statement does seem to be a little out of step with a shrinking poker player base in New Jersey and Nevada, but with the expected regulation of Online poker in California within the next 12 months, it certainly could turn out to be prophetic.