American Poker Awards Nominees Announced

The nominees for the 2nd Annual American Poker Awards were announced Wednesday; a total of 44 honorees spanning eleven categories. The awards, presented by the Global Poker Index, will be handed out on February 25th at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, the same day as the first team draft for the Global Poker League.

(Photo courtesy GPI)

(Photo courtesy GPI)

The nominees were determined by ballots collected from over 80 members of the poker community, including poker players, media members, and poker industry executives. A jury – the composition of which has not been published – will convene the day before the award ceremony to select the winners.

The complete list of nominees for the 2nd Annual American Poker Awards is as follows:

Tournament Performance of the Year
Jonathan Duhamel, WSOP One Drop High Roller
Mike Gorodinsky, WSOP Poker Players’ Championship
Joseph McKeehen, WSOP Main Event
Anthony Zinno, WPT L.A. Poker Classic

Moment of the Year
Anthony Zinno goes back-to-back winning WPT Fallsview, WPT L.A. Poker Classic
Over 22,000 players enter WSOP Colossus for chance at a gold bracelet
Phil Hellmuth wins bracelet #14 – WSOP 10K Razz Championship
Daniel Negreanu busts 11th in the WSOP Main Event

Breakout Performance of the Year
Joshua Beckley
Asher Conniff
Cate Hall
Kelly Minkin

Event of the Year (Buy-In Up To $2,000)
WSOP The Colossus, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
WPT500 at ARIA, Las Vegas
WSOP Millionaire Maker, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
WPTDeepStacks – DSPT Championship, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, Calgary

Event of the Year (Buy-In Over $2,000)
Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas
WSOP Main Event, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
WSOP One Drop High Roller, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Hollywood, FL

Industry Person of the Year
Jack Effel, WSOP Vice President and Tournament Director
William Mason, Seminole Hard Rock Director of Poker
John Pappas, Poker Players Alliance Executive Director
Matt Savage, TDA Founder, WPT Executive Director

Charitable Initiative of the Year
Chad Brown Memorial Tournament (Maria Ho, Vanessa Rousso)
Charity Series of Poker (Matthew Stout)
Tiger’s Poker Night (hosted by Tiger Woods, WPT Foundation)
WSOP One Drop High Roller / Little One for One Drop

Media Person of the Year
Joey Ingram
Kevin Mathers
Donnie Peters
Jason Somerville

Poker Presenter of the Year

Sarah Herring
Kara Scott
Joseph Stapleton
David Tuchman

Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year
Poker Central launches 24/7 television network
SHRPO (in conjunction with PNIA) livestreams four FT’s in same room/at same time
WSOP adds online bracelet event (with live final table)
WSOP introduces ‘The Colossus’

Media Content of the Year
BUST, an Insider’s Account of Greenville’s Underground Poker Scene (Brad Willis)
Faraz Jaka Homeless Poker Millionaire, CNN Money (Jaka, Gayles, Carson)
Jason Somerville’s record Twitch Broadcast during WCOOP in September 2015
Joe Giron shoots photo of Negreanu crumbled on the floor after ME elimination

Frankly, it is a farce that I was not nominated for Media Person of the Year, nor was anything I wrote nominated for Media Content of the Year. I blame the bureaucrats at BIG POKER.

As this is the title of the awards has “2nd Annual” in it, that would mean last year was the inaugural American Poker Awards (called the GPI American Poker Awards at the time). Not that people expected it to be a bust, but it was a huge hit, as the awards instantly appeared to carry a serious amount of prestige with them. The ceremony was also an opportunity for players to get dressed up and come together for a celebration, which is not something they do very often.

Some notable winners included Mark Newhouse, who won Tournament Performance of the Year for his second consecutive World Series of Poker Main Event ninth place finish, Brandon Shack-Harris for Breakout Player of the Year, and Twitch streaming for Poker Innovation of the Year.

Daniel Negreanu won the Poker’s Best Ambassador award, which was voted on by the public, and World Poker Tour founder Steve Lipscomb won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

As was the case last year, the American Poker conference will be held at the same venue in conjunction with the American Poker Awards. Topics of discussion will include poker media, women in poker, and e-sports. In addition to those panels, the players’ panel will also be held.


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