PokerStars and the Global Poker Index (GPI) have partnered to create what they hope will become the premier awards ceremony for poker players in North America, andÂ Wednesday saw the announcement of the nominees for the first batch of awards.
Nominees for the GPI American Poker Awards were released, honoring the best players, events and media personalities of the year.
According to GPI CEO Alexandre Dreyfus, the awards are modelled after the successful European Poker Awards.
“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,” Dreyfus said. “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.”
To come up with the nomination lists, a panel of 60 individuals from the poker industry screened potential inclusions to come up with the final lists.
A special jury panel (members have yet to be announced) will then meet on the morning of February 27 to determine the winners. The ceremony will be held that night at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and will be hosted by Kara Scott.
The Player of the Year and Female Player of the Year awards have already been determined for 2014, as they are solely based on GPI points: Dan Colman and Vanessa Selbst will walk away with those honors, respectively.
A special award that goes to the best poker ambassador of 2014 will be voted on by fans. In the nine other categories, the four finalists have been announced, with the jury picking among them to select a winner.
Several awards are going directly to players.
For instance, the Tournament Performance of the Year could go to Daniel Colman for his victory in the Seminole Hard Rock Open Main Event, or to Mark Newhouse for finishing 9th at the World Series of Poker Main Event for the second consecutive year.
Colman is also up for Breakout Player of the Year, where he’s competing against Mukul Pahuja, Jake Schindler and Brandon Shack-Harris.
There are also two Event of the Year awards, one for tournaments with buy-ins of more than $2,000, and the other covering smaller buy-in events.
The WSOP is well-represented here: the Main Event is nominated in the high buy-in category, while both the Millionaire Maker and the Monster Stack are up for the low buy-in award.
Their main competition comes from the World Poker Tour, which has two events in the over $2,000 category (WPT Montreal and the WPT World Championship) along with the WPT500 at the ARIA on the low buy-in side.
Other awards will honor the best in media content and journalism, the “Industry Person of the Year,” and the top innovation of 2014, for which nominees include Twitch’s embracing of live streaming poker.
“I wish to thank each and every member of the Nomination Panel for taking part in the selection process for this very first edition of the GPI American Poker Awards,” Dreyfus said. “We noticed some very interesting trends and I do believe that their selections reflect perfectly with what happened in the North American poker landscape in 2014.”