The third annual Global Poker Index (GPI) American Poker Awards recently named its class of 2017 and leading the way with two awards was Jason Mercier.
As part of the GPI’s ongoing mission to recognize talent and turn poker into a sport with rankings akin to the ATP in tennis, the great and the good made their way to LA on February 23rd.
Taking place inside the Sofitel Beverly Hills, the ceremony saw everyone from GPI leader Alex Dreyfus to Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu pay homage to 2016’s top industry figures.
In the lead up to the event, Mike Sexton was the talk of the town thanks to his three nominations.
But when the trophies had been handed out, it was Mercier who walked away as the man of the moment.
Nominated in the Moment of the Year category for his impressive run at the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Mercier got the nod over Sexton, Griffin Benger and David Peters.
The American kicked off his 2016 WSOP campaign with a 35th place finish in Event 15, the $1,500 Eight Game Mix event (10 June).
From there he went on to win Event 16 ($10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball) on June 11, take second in Event 20 ($10,000 Seven Card Razz) on June 13 and the clinch another win just two days later in Event 24 on June 15 ($10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship).
Just 14 days after winning his second bracelet of the years, Mercier had racked up another six cashes and, by the time the Series was over, he’d notched up 11 in-the-money finishes.
Thanks to that run, Mercier not only won the Moment of the Year Award, but he was named the WSOP GPI Player of the Year.
Elsewhere at the ceremony, Jason Somerville (Twitch Streamer of the Year) and Joey Ingram (Poker Podcast of the Year) won awards for the social media efforts.
Beyond the new breed of players picking up wins, poker player and TV producer Mori Eskandani was acknowledged for his services to poker with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The man behind shows such as Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker has long been close with the game’s top players, including Phil Hellmuth who congratulated his friend via Twitter.
“Mori gets the only standing ovation at the #AmericanPokerAwards!! The poker world KNOWS what he Mori has done for us. Thanks Mori,” Hellmuth tweeted.
Overall, the GPI American poker Awards was another success and yet another sign that poker is growing as both an industry and a sport.
GPI Player of the Year = David Peters
GPI Female Player of the Year = Cate Hall
WSOP GPI Player of the Year = Jason Mercier
Breakout Performance of the Year = Maurice Hawkins
Poker Media Content of the Year = Lance Bradley
Mid-Major Circuit of the Year = WSOP Circuit
The Hendon Mob Award = John Holley
Event of the Year = Super High Roller Bowl
Poker Podcast of the Year = Joey Ingram
Media Person of the Year = Joe Stapleton
PocketFives Legacy Award = Cliff Josephy
Twitch Streamer of the Year = Jason Somerville
Charitable Initiative of the Year = Dan Smith
Industry Person of the Year = Sean McCormack
Tournament Performance of the Year = Ari Engel
Lifetime Achievement Award = Mori Eskandani
Moment of the Year = Jason Mercier
Jury Prize = Matt Savage