The winners in the inaugural PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Awards were announced at a ceremony in Barcelona Tuesday night, kicking off the festivities for the EPT Barcelona Main Event, which began play yesterday. The ceremony honored the best and most distinguished performances of the EPT's fourth season, with the winners in seven different categories announced on the night. Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu and PokerNews' own Gloria Balding served as hosts for the award ceremony, which was held at Barcelona's Opium Mar.
Five of the seven awards were voted on by a four-person panel of executive judges: John Duthie, Executive Producer of the EPT; Lee Jones, former PokerStars.com Card Room Manager; Victoria Coren, writer, TV presenter & Team PokerStars Pro member, and John Caldwell, PokerNews' Editor-in-Chief of PokerNews. (PokerNews is the official media partner of the EPT Awards.) Two other categories were open to public or general-media voting. Said Duthie, about the night's festivities: "The EPT awards, which we expect to become a regular fixture on the EPT, look back at last season's record breaking tour and acknowledge the achievements of the players who once again dazzled us all with their exceptional poker skills."
When the evening's presentations had concluded, five different players had divvied up the seven awards, with Julian Thew and Mike "timex" McDonald snaring two honors each. Thew captured both the "Best Performance" and the "Poker Writers" awards, while McDonald won out in the "Best Overseas Player" and "People's Choice" categories. Meanwhile, Team PokerStars' own Luca Pagano pulled down the honors in the coveted "Player of the Year" category.
Luca Pagano captured the EPT 'Player of the Year' Honor
(photos courtesy Neil Stoddart, European Poker Tour)</center>
The complete list of EPT award winners:
Best Newcomer: Trond Erik Eidsvig – Honoring the biggest entrance into the EPT's Season Four. Other nominees: Denes Kalo, Jason Mercier, Annette Obrestad and Mike McDonald.
Best Performance: Julian Thew, EPT Baden Champion - Honoring the player who gave the best individual performance during a single EPT Season Four tournament. Also nominated for this award were: Jason Mercier, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Glen Chorny and Mike McDonald.
Best Overseas Player: Mike McDonald (Canada) – Honoring the non-European player who has had the most impact on the EPT Season Four. Also nominated for this award were: Tim Vance, Isaac Baron, Mike McDonald, Raymond Rahme and Danny Ryan.
Best PokerStars Qualifier: Danny Ryan - Honoring the PokerStars online qualifier who made the biggest impact on the EPT during Season Four. Also nominated for this award were: Mike McDonald, Glen Chorny, Christian Harder and Isaac Baron.
The Poker Writer's Award: Julien Thew – Voted on by all accredited media, this award honored the player they have most enjoyed writing about, interviewing or watching during the EPT's Season 4.
The People's Choice Award: Mike McDonald – Voted on by the general public, to pick their favorite among all EPT Season Four players. McDonald captured over 25% of the vote.
Player of the Year Award: Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano – Honoring the player who achieved the most over the entire EPT Season Four. Also nominated for this award were: Trond Erik Eidsvig, Johannes Strassmann, Jan Heitmann and Thierry van den Berg.