The first-ever awards for the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour have been announced, with the purpose of honoring the most exceptional people and performances during the EPT's outstanding fourth season. Over the next month, the nominees in seven different categories will be announced, including two categories in which the voting is open either to the general public or to all EPT accredited media. The other five categories will be voted upon by a four-person panel of poker experts. The winners in all seven categories will be announced at the first-ever EPT Awards ceremony, to be held at Barcelona's Opium Mar on September 9th, 2008, on the eve of the EPT's Season 5 opening event, the Barcelona Open. PokerNews is proud to be the official media partner of the EPT Awards.
Interested fans and accredited writers can now visit the official EPT Awards voting site. Open to any and all visitors is the vote for the People's Choice Award, which, as the EPT notes, "is the public's chance to pick any player who competed in EPT Season 4, and vote for them to win this special award." Voting in this category will remain open through August 29, 2008.
Also now open is the voting for the Poker Writers Award, with accredited writers able to vote for the player each writer most enjoyed writing about or interviewing or found exceptional in other ways during EPT Season 4. As with the People's Choice Award, voting will remain open through August 29th, with the winners in both categories to be announced at the September 9th awards ceremony.
Five more categories will be voted on by the select panel of judges. Those five categories, all concerning EPT Season 4 play, are: Best Newcomer, Best Performance, Best Overseas Player, Best PokerStars Qualifier, and Player of the Year. The nominees in each of these categories will be announced in the near future.
Brief bios of the four judges who will select the remaining five award winners follow:
Before he launched the European Poker Tour, John Duthie worked as a TV producer and director. His poker career kicked off in style when he became the first player to win $1,000,000 in a televised poker tournament. He used his knowledge of TV production and poker to create the EPT, and it's through his hard work and dedication that the tour has developed into the huge success it is today.
Lee Jones is a highly respected poker player and author. He is also the former poker room manager at PokerStars.com, a role he held for five successful years. The job gave Lee the chance to work closely with the European Poker Tour, helping it to grow into the Europe's richest tour. Lee left PokerStars in 2007 to return back home to the United States, and currently lives in North Carolina.
Writer and TV presenter Victoria Coren is a popular face on the European poker scene, traveling to many major events as part of Team PokerStars Pro. She has published several books, newspaper and magazine articles, and also hosted TV and radio shows. Victoria proved her skill at the poker table when she won the London leg of the EPT in 2006, a victory that was all the more sweet because it was at her local card room, at the famous Victoria Casino in London.
John Caldwell is Editor-in-Chief of PokerNews, a leading poker information portal. Before joining the company, John spent 15 years in music management, working with artists such as the Stone Temple Pilots and Hootie & the Blowfish. Originally from Redondo Beach, CA, John currently lives in California, and spends about three months a year in Las Vegas.
Editors note: Want more EPT Awards info? If so, check out our EPT Awards Page complete with exclusive video and news on the upcoming awards show.