Posts Tagged ‘Nominees’

Nominees Announced for 2018 American Poker Awards

 Nominees Announced for 2018 American Poker Awards

After taking nominations for the different awards that will be offered, officials with the Global Poker Index announced the final nominations for their Fourth Annual American Poker Awards.

There is a slew of familiar names that dot the different awards that are being offered. Joe Ingram, who for years has offered up his views on the poker world through his “Poker Life Podcast,” is up for a couple of awards this year (Podcast of the Year and Video Blogger of the Year), joined by Daniel Negreanu (Biggest Influencer and Video Blogger) and Matt Savage (Biggest Influencer and Industry Person). By far, however, the output from the stables of Poker Central dominated the nominations.

Poker Central topped everyone in the field with six nominations, ranging from their “made for television” events such as the Super High Roller Bowl and the Poker Masters to their broadcasting team of Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman. Even their financial backer, Cary Katz, was named one of “Poker’s Biggest Influencers,” an award which should garner a great deal of attention.

These awards will be voted on by a blue-ribbon committee the day of the 2018 American Poker Awards on February 22:

Breakout Player

DJ Alexander
Michael Del Vecchio
Alex Foxen
Art Papazyan

Tournament Performance of the Year

Scott Blumstein (WSOP Main Event)
Darren Elias (WPT Fallsview)
Bryn Kenney (PSC Monte Carlo Super High Roller)
Doug Polk (WSOP One Drop High Roller)

Moment of the Year

70-year old John Smith makes back-to-back WSOP $ 10K Heads-Up Final Table
Ema Zajmovic – First female player to win an open Main Event on the WPT
Vanessa Selbst and Gaelle Baumann – Selbst loses full house to Baumann’s quads during first round of WSOP Championship Event)
Tom Dwan Returns to the States of America on “Poker After Dark”

Event of the Year

Super High Roller Bowl
partypoker MILLIONS North America
Poker Masters Event #1
WSOP Championship Event

Mid-Major Circuit

Mid-States Poker Tour
RUNGOOD Poker Series
WSOP Circuit

Journalist of the Year

Drew Amato
Lance Bradley
Bj Nemeth
Steve Ruddock
Jessica Welman

Broadcaster of the Year

Nick Schulman
Joe Stapleton
Lon McEachern
Ali Nejad

Media Content of the Year

Adrian Moreno in Tears following Win in WSOP Little One for One Drop (Amato)
Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (Poker Central)
Poker Brat: The Phil Hellmuth Story (Phil Hellmuth)
Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising his Two Boys (Bradley)

Podcast of the Year

PokerCentral Podcast
PokerNews Podcast
Poker Life Podcast
TwoPlusTwo Podcast

Video Blogger of the Year

Joe Ingram
Daniel Negreanu
Andrew Neeme
Doug Polk

Poker Streamer of the Year

Jeff Gross
Bill Perkins
Jason Somerville
Jaime Staples
Parker Talbot

Industry Person of the Year

Tony Burns
Sean McCormick
Adam Pliska
Matt Savage

Poker’s Biggest Influencer

Cary Katz
Daniel Negreanu
Doug Polk
Matt Savage

There will be other awards handed out the night of the American Poker Awards that have already been determined:

2017 GPI American Player of the Year:  Bryn Kenney
2017 GPI Female Player of the Year:  Kristen Bicknell
Award for Lifetime Achievement
Award for Charitable Initiative
Jury Prize
PocketFives Legacy Award
People’s Choice Award – Poker Personality of the Year

The People’s Choice Award is being voted on at this time by the general public. Visit the dedicated page for this award and be sure to cast your vote. It is also the only vote that is handled by the voice of the poker community. Counting that award, there is a total of 20 awards that will be handed out during a very busy ceremony!

The 2018 American Poker Awards will be handed out on February 22 at Andaz in West Hollywood, CA, beginning at 7PM.

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Ten Nominees Announced for 2017 Poker Hall of Fame Seats

 Ten Nominees Announced for 2017 Poker Hall of Fame Seats

After the compilation of the fans’ selections for consideration, the Poker Hall of Fame have announced the top ten nominees, with two of the men on the list being enshrined in the ‘Valhalla of poker’ during the final table play of the World Series of Poker Championship Event.

The ten men on the list run the gamut of poker history. There are two newcomers to the field – players who haven’t been nominated prior to 2017 – along with eight other men, three of which were nominated last year and five who have previously been nominated. Additionally, there are five foreign-born players – players born outside the States of America – although a couple of them have become naturalized citizens of the U. S.

Here are the ten men who will vie for the honor of induction with the 2017 class of the Poker Hall of Fame, presented in alphabetical order:

David Chiu
Mori Eskandani
Ted Forrest
Thor Hansen
Phil Ivey
Mike Matusow
Max Pescatori
Matt Savage
Huckleberry Seed
David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott

Of the two new names on the list, one is all but guaranteed to be a first ballot induction. Ivey, the holder of 10 WSOP bracelets, a World Poker Tour championship (and 10 final tables, a record), various other major championships (including back-to-back wins in the Aussie Millions $ 250,000 Challenge) and a terror on the high stakes cash game circuit, should be a shoo-in for one of the seats at the table come the induction ceremonies. The big question will be who joins him.

A large segment of the international community would like to see Ulliott get recognition for his exploits on the felt and his impact on the game in the United Kingdom and Europe, but Hansen has had just as great an effect on Norway and in Europe. Eskandani, who emigrated from Iran at the age of 18 and has become a naturalized U. S. citizen, is the other newcomer in 2017 who is being recognized not only for his play but for his work “behind the scenes” in some of the best poker television productions created that the “rest of the world” would like to see inducted. Both having been previous nominees, there isn’t much call for Pescatori’s or Chiu’s induction into the Hall (odd because both are outstanding players worthy of induction).

For the North American contingency, the odds-on favorite seems to be Savage, for the lengthy resume of work he has as a tournament director. Savage was the lead TD for the WSOP and currently is the Executive Tour Director for the WPT and calls the Commerce Casino his home base. Along the way, Savage has introduced some of the biggest innovations in tournament poker – for better (the Ironman Tournament, played with no stoppages) or for worse (re-entry tournaments) – and been the leader of the Tournament Directors Association, which is seeking to coordinate tournament rules at casinos around the world. Forrest, Matusow and Seed all have resumes that are Hall worthy, but there doesn’t seem to be the clamor for their induction.

With the 10 men nominated, the rest of the process is in the hands of the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame – 27 men and women – and an 18-member panel of poker journalists. Although the actual process is a closely guarded secret, in previous years each of the voters had 10 votes to allocate. Under those previous rules, the individual voter could give all ten votes to one player or break them up amongst three players. The top two vote-getters (if they meet a requirement that they received 50% of the vote) earn induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.

The 45-person voting bloc has their work cut out for them. They must return their ballot to the WSOP Governing Council by July 15 and, after the votes have been tallied, the new members of the Hall of Fame will be announced. Those new members will be honored during the play of the WSOP Championship Event final table on July 21 during ESPN’s broadcast of the tournament.

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“Devilfish,” Moneymaker Head 2016 Poker Hall of Fame Nominees

 “Devilfish,” Moneymaker Head 2016 Poker Hall of Fame Nominees

After a two-month period, the public nomination period has closed and the final ballots have been tabulated. In an announcement from the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council on Friday afternoon, the final nominees for the Class of 2016 has been determined and, from a look at the overall list, it is going to be a difficult choice for the selection committee.

Overall, the ten men who make up the list of nominees for the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame have no flaws and all deserve induction. However, it is thought that only two of these ten men will be inducted during ceremonies surrounding the 2016 World Series of Poker “November Nine.” Of the ten men, seven have been previously nominated and three are new nominees.

Topping the list of new nominees (Phil Ivey, it was found after some research, was ineligible for election in 2016 due to the “Chip Reese Rule” of not being 40 years old at the time of nomination) is 2003 WSOP Championship Event victor Chris Moneymaker, who arguably sparked the “poker boom” of the early Aughts. Joining him on the “new nominee” list is Eli Elezra and Todd Brunson, two mixed game wizards who have been a longtime threat on the table.

Six of the remaining seven men – Chris Bjorin, Bruno Fitoussi, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage and David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott – were nominated for induction in 2015, giving them potentially a leg up as they are fresh in the minds of the voters. A previous nominee, Humberto Brenes, fills out the 10-man list for induction into the Hall.

So who has the best shot at making it to the dais come the beginning of November for induction?

Unfortunately, both Brenes and Bjorin are going to get overlooked due to the quality of the field that exists. This is one reason why there should be an expansion of the Hall’s rules to allow for three inductees per year; in the next decade, there’s going to be a tremendous backlog of players and contributors that should be in the Hall that won’t be there simply because of a silly cap (and, to add a thought, if the National Football League can come up with six nominees every year, think the history of poker can come up with three!).

The same comment made about Brenes and Bjorin could be said for Fitoussi and Pescatori. These two men, any other year, might be at the front of the line for induction. With some of the names up for induction this year, however, the “godfathers” of poker for both France and Italy will have to wait for another time to be inducted.

Both Brunson and Elezra are intriguing choices for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame. While he has a lengthy career of high stakes play (the battle against billionaire Andy Beal as documented by Michael Craig’s The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King), Brunson isn’t exactly first-ballot induction worthy. That could be said as well for Elezra, who has had a strong career of high stakes cash game play and tournament success (three WSOP bracelets), but lacks that “must be in the Hall” panache that you have to have to be voted in on the first ballot.

These eliminations leave us with four men –

Chris Moneymaker
Carlos Mortensen
Matt Savage
David Ulliott

Savage is more than deserving of the nomination, but even he I believe would contend that he’s not done writing his career book as of yet. Hence, he would even say “wait” on his induction into the Hall. With both Linda Johnson and Jack McClelland in front of him for their contributions to the poker world as tournament directors and innovators overall, it is only right that Savage join them…eventually.

This is going to be a controversial choice to some but, to me, this is a no brainer and you might even question if he deserves the nomination (nothing against him personally). Moneymaker’s inclusion on the nominee list is more of a tribute to his contribution for the “poker boom” rather than any outstanding achievement in the world of poker. Of his $ 3.6 million in career earnings, $ 2.5 million of them were garnered in his WSOP win in 2003. Moneymaker also has no other “major” tournament achievements to hang his hat on. While he has been an outstanding ambassador for the game, I would question whether Moneymaker belongs in the pantheon of the game.

With this method of elimination, we’ve now come to the two choices that I believe will be standing on the stage for induction into the Hall this fall.

I was against Ulliott’s induction last year simply because it was more of an emotional vote following his death from cancer in April 2015 than that of voting on his poker achievements. A year removed from the Devilfish’s untimely passing, it is now time to put him into the Hall for his “any game, anywhere in the world” attitude, his WSOP bracelet and World Poker Tour win and his general contribution to the game in the United Kingdom. (I’ve also come to the realization that it is going to be very difficult to get any historical Europeans, such as Terry Rogers or even Thor Hansen, into the Hall because few remember them.)

If Ulliott is going to go into the Hall, let’s make it an entirely European affair by also putting in Mortensen (as if he doesn’t deserve to go on his own merits). Mortensen is the only man to win both World Championship events at the WSOP and the WPT and he also holds the record for most WPT titles (three). Mortensen has also traversed the world playing at the highest stakes possible while being an ambassador of the game of poker to his fellow Spaniards. Alongside Ulliott, Mortensen is the only logical choice for induction.

So who do you see as the two inductees for the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame (and wouldn’t it be nice if there were a PHYSICAL Hall of Fame to visit and honor these inductees…but I digress)? It will definitely give us something to talk about over the next couple of months but, after the votes of the 25 living members of the Hall and a 20-member media panel are compiled, we will know for sure.

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Nominees Named for 15th Annual GPI European Poker Awards

 Nominees Named for 15th Annual GPI European Poker Awards

In preparation for the fifteenth annual awards ceremonies, the powers that be with the Global Poker Index have announced the nominees for the 2016 GPI European Poker Awards. Much like their counterpart in the United States that honors the best in the Americas, the European Poker Awards looks to honor the best in European poker over the previous 12 months. In 11 categories, the crème of European poker will be honored on May 3 during the European Poker Tour Grand Final festivities in Monte Carlo with a prize that has come to be recognized as a very prestigious award.

Two of the awards – for GPI Player of the Year and GPI Female Player of the Year – are actually determined before the awards are even handed out. By usage of the Global Poker Index’s tabulation system, points are awarded to players for their best 13 finishes over the course of a calendar year. Overall in 2015, the GPI POY was Germany’s Fedor Holz, who will be honored alongside the GPI Female Player of the Year, the United Kingdom’s Liv Boeree, during this year’s ceremonies.

In the other nine categories, a selection committee will determine who will receive the European Poker Award. In some of these categories, the competition will be as fierce as if they were battling it out on the baize for a championship.

For Tournament Performance of the Year, these are the four nominees:

Adrian Mateos’ victory at the 2015 EPT Grand Final
Barny Boatman’s second World Series of Poker bracelet win at the WSOP-Europe
Fedor Holz Wins World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas
Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller

Of these four selections, Mateos’ victory at last year’s Grand Final solidified his place as one of the true up and coming stars of the tournament poker world. With that victory and his WSOP-Europe victory in 2013, Mateos is now two-thirds of the way towards completing poker’s “Triple Crown,” something that only five men have completed in the annals of poker (Mateos needs a WPT title to complete the trifecta). While Boatman’s win was a nice one for the “Old Guard,” Mateos’ win was a significant one for the future.

There is an interesting caveat laid out for anyone that is looking to be able to vie for the award of being Breakout Player of the Year, one that should be used in considering any “Rookie of the Year” award in poker. According to the rules, any player who, prior to December 31, 2014, made a final table of a WPT or EPT Main event and/or of a WSOP bracelet, High Roller or Super High Roller tournament, was not eligible for this award. As such, there were some competitors who weren’t considered because they had achieved one of those goals. Still, the battle for Breakout Player of the Year should be an interesting one with these men:

Charles Carrel
Dzmitry Urbanovich
Fedor Holz
Rainer Kempe

With Holz taking down the GPI Player of the Year honors, will the panel be more apt to give the Breakout Player trophy to someone else? Could Urbanovich, who has been one of the true breakouts of 2015, take down the award, or could it go to Kempe, who really snuck in under the radar over the course of last year? Nothing against Carrel, but he is up against some extremely long odds if he is going to be walking away from Monte Carlo with a European Poker Award for 2015.

As with the American Poker Awards, the European Poker Awards will also hand out the following honors:

Media Person of the Year
Industry Person of the Year
Event of the Year (Buy-in under €2000)
Event of the Year (Buy-in over €2000)
Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year
Moment of the Year
Poker Media Content of the Year

For a full list of the nominees, be sure to check out the European Poker Awards website and, if a person is interested in registering to attend the ceremonies, that same website can service your needs.

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Women in Poker Hall of Fame Seeking Nominees for 2016 Class

 Women in Poker Hall of Fame Seeking Nominees for 2016 Class

After taking a couple of years away from nominations, the Women in Poker Hall of Fame is back in 2016 to induct a new class of nominees. As the Poker Hall of Fame does, the WiPHoF looks to the general public to nominate players for the prestigious honor of joining the rolls of some of the greatest ladies to have ever graced the felt.

In a change from past years, people who visit the Women in Poker Hall of Fame website to nominate potential candidates will have the opportunity to name two people. Previous to this year, it was limited to one candidate per e-mail address. With the extra candidate listing, it is possible that the Women’s Hall can put together a solid list of candidates that might be utilized in the future for candidacy.

Again like their counterpart in the Poker Hall of Fame, there are a few criteria that a candidate must meet. The candidate must have been a player or an “industry leader” for a minimum of ten (10) years prior to their potential induction into the Hall and a minimum of 35 years old. Second, the candidate must have contributed to the poker community in some meaningful way, either by winning a major tournament or through another avenue. The candidate also must have supported women in the game of poker through their comments and actions.

The final two (and a third one that isn’t mentioned) are a bit questionable. The nominees must be approved by a “committee of the Board of Directors and the previous Inductees of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame” (not quite sure why the Board of Directors or the previous inductees would disqualify a nominee if they meet the qualifications). Second, the nominee must “agree to the terms and conditions of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame” (once again, if they meet the qualification guidelines, I don’t think they’ll rock the boat too much once inducted; this rule seems a bit petty). Finally – and this is an interesting one – there is no rule on the books that indicate that a WOMAN has to be nominated to be in the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.

The person nominating the candidates will have to offer a brief paragraph as to the reasons that a person should be nominated. Mentioning the potential nominee’s achievements in the game or what they have added to the world of poker is what is required here, but this should be fairly easy for some of the more qualified women out there who haven’t made the Women in Poker Hall of Fame as of yet.

At the top of that list has to be two-time European Poker Tour champion Victoria Coren-Mitchell. The only player in the twelve-year history of the EPT to ever win two Main Event crowns, Coren-Mitchell has also been one of the preeminent ambassadors of the game as a television presenter throughout Europe and has written about the game extensively in both newspapers and in literature (her book For Richer, For Poorer is one of the best autobiographies in the poker world). The WiPHoF would be greatly amiss if it didn’t put “Queen” Victoria in a prominent place in its annals.

A second choice would harken back to the early days of poker itself. Betty Carey was one of the first women to journey to the felt against the “big boys” during the 1970s and 1980s, often playing in the World Series of Poker and in the largest cash games around. It would be a nod to the history of the game of poker if the WiPHoF were to induct someone from the past into its rolls, something that seems to get overlooked in our rapidly changing world overall and especially in the poker world.

The new nominees to the Women in Poker Hall of Fame will join a list of luminaries that truly embody the excellence of women in the game of poker. The inaugural class of Poker Hall of Famers Barbara Enright and Linda Johnson and Marsha Waggoner and Susie Isaacs (2008) have since been joined by such players as Cyndi Violette (2009), 2015 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Jennifer Harman and Kathy Liebert (2010), Kristy Gazes (2011), J. J. Liu (2012) and Allyn Jaffrey Shulman (2013) and industry insiders as Phyllis Caro (2011), Kathy Raymond (2012) and Deborah Giardina (2013). The new inductees will be enshrined on July 5th in ceremonies that will be held at a location that has yet to be announced.

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