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Global Poker Awards Announces 2020 Ceremony, Reconfigures Voting Process

A few days ago, Poker Central and the Global Poker Index announced the date for the second annual Global Poker Awards. The second iteration of the GPA will be held on Friday, March 6, 2020, and like the 2019 debut, it will take place in the PokerGO Studio at Las Vegas’s ARIA Resort & Casino. The ceremony will also be live-streamed on PokerGO.

The 2020 edition will feature a few new wrinkles, building on the success of the GPA’s debut effort. First, the awards will be a bit expanded, with more than 20 awards to be presented. The 2019 debut offered about 17 awards, if memory serves, though the GPA received some mild criticism over the way a couple of last year’s categories were defined. (I thought the supposed criticisms were much ado about not very much, given that these awards are just to be an enjoyable entertainment for the poker world. They also help build the Global Poker Index’s brand recognition, which is part of the reason for the awards’ existence.

The Global Poker Awards team, led by Eric Danis, has yet to release the revised and expanded list of award categories. However, one new category has been announced, and it’s sure to be popular with fans: the Player’s Choice Award for Best All-Around Poker Player.

Other prominent categories that will return in 2020 are the GPI Poker Player of the Year, Event of the Year, Industry Person of the Year, and People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year. The full awards slate will likely be made public in a few weeks.

“The Global Poker Index team is hard at work on this expanded Global Poker Awards event, filled with new awards and experiences for attendees and the viewing audience,” said Danis, the GPI’s president. “We’re delighted that the Global Poker Awards have become a repeating annual event that is growing in scope and significance among the poker industry.”

“The first annual Global Poker Awards were a tremendous success and an important moment for us as an industry to recognize our best and brightest,” said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. “The second annual event is an important opportunity for Poker Central to once again partner with the Global Poker Index and to stream our community’s biggest night on PokerGO for the fans at home.”

One wrinkle not included in the GPI’s presser — but quickly made public via social media — is that the Global Poker Awards will prune its voting process this time around. This will be a good thing. One of the complaints lobbed at the GPA last year was that a couple of the categories included questionable nominees and finalists; the prime example was the high-profile Doug Polk being named a finalist in the podcaster of the year category despite not actually doing any poker podcasts in 2018.

The problem, perhaps, was that the GPA was a little too generous and open in how it allowed its voters to cast their votes. For instance, I was one of the selected industry voters last year, and I was very honored to be so chosen, but there were a small number of categories in which I didn’t feel particularly knowledgeable. The “podcaster” category was among those categories for me, though I did a few hours of research into the categories before voting. I just don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, for lack of a longer explanation. I didn’t vote for Doug, by the way, because I was aware of his non-volume in that space in 2018.

Yet I’m sure I’m not the only voter who faced the same dilemma, being knowledgeable in most (but not all) of the categories. And that’s why the GPA team will introduce an extra step this time around. Instead of allowing every voter to vote on every category, they’ll instead do some pre-screening. Invited voters will be allowed to vote on only a certain number of categories in which they can be presumed to have sufficient knowledge of the category. That’ll eliminate one of the major sources of last year’s controversy.

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