The Global Poker Index (GPI) is gearing up to host the first annual American Poker Awards to be held in Los Angeles, California, on Feb. 27, 2015.
GPI founder Alex Dreyfus explained on the GPI website that the new awards are a natural progression to the European Poker Awards, which has been rewarding European poker players and leaders in the poker industry for more than a decade.
"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. 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."
Categories for the first-ever GPI American Poker Awards include GPI Player of the Year, GPI Female Player of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, Tournament Performance of the Year, Event of the Year (Category Buy-in Over $2,000), Event of the Year (Category Buy-in Under $2,000), Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year, Charitable Initiative of the Year, Industry Person of the Year, Media Person of the Year, Poker's Best Ambassador, and Poker Media Content of the Year.
Members of the Nomination Panel have until Feb. 1, 2015 to place their votes on each of these categories. While the official nominees are still undetermined, the Eric Danis of the GPI recently discussed some of the candidates that could be considered for the Event of the Year (Category Buy-in Over $2,000) award.
First on GPI's list of potential nominees is the $10,000 buy-in 2014 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic, which featured 534 players and a huge $5,126,400 prize pool.
What makes this event memorable is the fact that online poker legend and 24-time PocketFives Triple Crown winner Chris Moorman logged his first major tournament win and his first seven-digit payday when he won the event for $1,015,460.
The next tournament on the list is a lock to make the list of nominees. The 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event featured 6,683 players playing for $62,820,200. This also was the first time $10,000,000 was guaranteed for the first-place prize.
This year's Main Event provided the poker world with an additional buzz due to Mark Newhouse working his way to back-to-back Main Event final tables. While Newhouse bowed out in ninth place, it was poker sensation Martin Jacobson who came out on top of the Main Event marking his first major live tournament win in style with an eight-digit payday.
Next up on the list of potential nominees takes us to Canada, where 732 players competed for a share of the C$2,485,140 ($2,192,893) prize pool in the 2014 WPT Montreal Main Event. The WPT Montreal Main Event marked the second year in a row, where a player made back-to-back final tables.
As it turned out, the 2013 WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja was unable to improve on his runner up finish when he took third place in last year's Main Event. It was Jonathan Jaffe's day in the sun when he won the event for C$464,252 ($409,657).
The 2014 Borgata Fall Poker Open Main Event is certainly a tournament to be considered where 548 players ponied up the $2,700 buy-in competing for a $1,370,000 prize pool. 2014 WSOP bracelet winner Steven Wolansky came out on top of this event for a $330,887 payday.
The last tournament the GPI discussed was the $3,500 buy-in 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open, featuring a $2,000,000 prize pool. Christopher Bolek outlasted a field of 601 players and added a $480,200 payday to his poker resume with the win.