Los Angeles, California – Awards season concluded in Los Angeles over the weekend, as it was a night of firsts as the Global Poker Index presented the inaugural GPI American Poker Awards, sponsored by PokerStars and Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis. By all accounts, the presenters hit it out of the park as players and industry leaders raved about the event’s success.
The festivities started early in the day with the presentation of the American Poker Conference, where many of the brightest minds in the game all congregated to discuss, amongst other topics, the future of the game. The “Players Perspective” Panel was, according to many, the highlight of the morning as two-time World Poker Tour champion Mohsin Charania and WSOP bracelet winners Daniel Negreanu, Jason Somerville and Bernard Lee wowed those in attendance discussing some of the hotter topics in the game they love.
Following a short break, the beautiful people in poker all gathered inside the ballroom at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills to celebrate the game’s best as the coveted GPI trophies would be handed out for the very first time on American soil.
2014 GPI Poker Player of the Year Dan Colman would be the first player celebrated. Although Colman wasn’t in attendance, World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart was on hand to accept the award on Colman’s behalf and debuted a short video of Colman, winner of the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop at the WSOP last summer, visiting El Salvador and helping locals in his efforts to support the One Drop initiative, ensuring everyone has access to water.
Stewart would also be on hand to pick up a pair of trophies on behalf of the World Series of Poker, including the award for “Event of the Year” in the $2,000 and above category for the Main Event. Mark Newhouse, who famously survived major fields for back-to-back final tables at the WSOP Main Event, would be presented the trophy for “Tournament Performance of the Year”.
To no one’s surprise, Daniel Negreanu was elected “Poker’s Best Ambassador” as the power was in the hands of the poker fans, who were able to have their say in an open vote for the game’s top ambassador in North America. In a special moment, Negreanu was emotional in accepting the award, remembering his parents. Negreanu’s mother was very popular on the poker circuit, preparing meals for several of the game’s best while they battled it out on the felt.
Negreanu was also one of several in attendance thanking Global Poker Index Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Dreyfus and his hard-working team for presenting the Awards: “Thanks again to visionary Alex Dreyfus for putting on a great event.”
Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton added: “Congrats to all the winners (and losers) at the American Poker Awards & thanks to Alex Dreyfus for making it happen. It was a great evening” while poker media legend Nolan Dalla noted: “One of the most exciting nights in poker history due to Alex Dreyfus and GPI staff. Thanks for elevating the game.”
A packed house saw over 230 of poker’s best and most influential in attendance. Some who missed out, like 13-time WSOP bracelet holder Phil Hellmuth, will be sure to make it in 2016.
No rest for the GPI team as they head to Europe next for the presentation of the first Global Poker Masters, poker’s World Cup, and the 14th edition of the GPI European Poker Awards, all happening later this month in Malta.
2014 GPI AMERICAN POKER AWARD WINNERS
|Top Player in the World
||Dan Smith – Award Presented by Roger Dubuis|
|Tournament Performance of the Year||Mark Newhouse, WSOP Main Event, 9th Place Finisher|
|Breakout Player of the Year||Brandon Shack-Harris|
|Poker’s Best Ambassador||Daniel Negreanu|
|GPI Player of the Year||Daniel Colman|
|GPI Female Player of the Year||Vanessa Selbst|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Steve Lipscomb, WPT co-Founder|
|Poker Media Content of the Year||Brad Willis, WSOP 2014: Stages/Never stop fighting for PokerStars Blog|
|Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year||Twitch Opens it’s Doors to Live Streaming Poker|
|Industry Person of the Year
||Adam Pliska, WPT President – Presented by Live Hold’em Pro|
|Media Person of the Year
||Chris Grove – Presented by PokerUpdate|
|Charitable Initiative of the Year||“All In” for Kids Poker Tournament Presented by CHOP & the WPT Foundation|
|Event of the Year (Buy-In more than $2,000)||WSOP Monster Stack (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)|
|Event of the Year (Buy-In up to $2,000)||World Series of Poker Main Event (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)|
About the Global Poker Index
Global Poker Index (GPI) and The Hendon Mob (THM) feature 400,000+ live poker player profiles and 203,000+ tournament results. Known as the Poker Ranking Authority, GPI acquired THM in July, 2013 under the guidance of Mediarex Sports & Entertainment. These two sites are heavily integrated and feature up to date poker news, casino listings, and fantasy poker gaming. GPI coordinates and runs an array of industry wide Poker initiatives as well including the American Poker Awards, European Poker Awards, the Global Poker Masters and the Global Poker League.