Members of the North American poker industry and players are gathering at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on Feb. 25, 2016, for the second annual Global Poker Index American Poker Awards, where their achievements during the past 12 months are set to be celebrated.
A carefully selection panel of poker's greatest minds will vote for a winner across 11 categories including Tournament Performance of the Year, Breakout Performance of the Year, and Moment of the Year.
Two of PokerNews' staff are nominated for awards. Editor-in-chief Donnie Peters finds himself battling with Joey Ingram, Kevin Mathers, and Jason Somerville for the title of Media Person of the Year, while Sarah Herring is nominated for Poker Presenter of the Year alongside newly-announced 888poker ambassador Kara Scott, Joe Stapleton, and David Tuchman.
Byron Kaverman and Kelly Minkin are the only people guaranteed to collect awards, as they finished top of their respective GPI Player of the Year tables, and will be honored with a coveted American Poker Awards trophy and have their names written into poker’s history books.
In full, the 11 categories in the 2nd Annual GPI American Poker Awards are:
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 in WSOP Razz Championship
- Daniel Negreanu busts 11th in 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 / Litte 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 WSOP Main Event elimination
American Poker Conference
On the morning of the awards ceremony, the American Poker Conference takes place and sees subjects such as live poker’s ecosystem, E-Sports, women in poker, and the poker media discussed among guest speakers including PokerStars Online Team Pro Randy "Nanonoko" Lew, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, Rebecca McAdam, and John Caldwell.
Busy Day Continues with Global Poker League Draft
The excitement continues thanks to the NHL-style draft of the inaugural Global Poker League teams taking place on the same day as the American Poker Awards.
Max Pescatori’s Rome Emperors have the first pick during the first and third rounds before being last to pick on Rounds 2 and 4. The Hong Kong Stars, run by Celina Lin, have the last pick during Round 1 and 3, but first picks during the second and fourth rounds.
The poker world is waiting with baited breath for the GPL draft as they look forward to seeing which of the 203 players are drafted into the GPL franchise for the upcoming inaugural season.
Follow All of the Action from the American Poker Awards
If you’re not one of the 200 guests invited to attend the American Poker Awards celebrations, you can still get in on the action by using social media. Follow PokerNews' Twitter account for plenty of updates throughout the day, and while you’re on Twitter it is worthwhile following the Global Poker Index account, or head to Twitch.tv./GPL for coverage of the GPL Draft.