Matt Savage Claims Top Honor at American Poker Awards

February 23rd, 2018 | by Jason Reynolds

The fourth annual American Poker Awards wrapped up recently and among the winners this year was veteran tournament director, Matt Savage.

Matt Savage

Veteran tournament director Matt Savage picked up one of the most coveted honors at the recent American Poker Awards. (Image: YouTube/Savage Tournaments)

In what’s becoming one of the glitziest nights in poker, the American Poker Awards saw the great and the good of the North American poker scene arrive at the Andaz Hotel, Hollywood, on February 22.

Organized by the team behind the Global Poker Index (GPI) and sponsored by PokerStars, the ceremony handed out awards to players and industry insiders alike.

Pros and Staff Honored

There were 20 trophies to giveaway in total, but two players already knew they’d won before the event got underway. For accumulating the most US GPI tournament ranking points in 2017, Bryn Kenney took home the American Player of the Year Award.

For the ladies, Canada’s Kristen Bicknell bagged the win after her top 13 results of 2017 enabled her to finish ahead of Maria Ho. As well as taking home an American Poker Award, Bicknell achieved some impressive results last year, banking $551,906 in live tournament winnings.

Also receiving recognition for their tournament exploits in 2017 was WSOP Main Event winner Scott Blumstein and Artur Papazyan who was named Breakout Player of the Year thanks to two WPT titles.

Away from North America’s most successful players, Matt Savage was awarded the Industry Person of the Year title. After falling just short in recent years, the WPT tournament organizer expressed his gratitude to the judges and the community at large for the honor.

“I was shocked to win the American Poker Awards Industry Person of the Year against friends and colleagues Adam Pliska, Sean McCormack, and Tony J Burns. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful supportive wife Maryann Portugal Savage and amazing kids Rizaann Foronda and Marko that make this possible. Thank you to the nomination voters and jury panel for the recognition, I really am honored and humbled,” Savage wrote on his Facebook page. 

Another Glittering Year for Poker

At the other end of the career spectrum, Lon McEachern and Norman Chad picked up the Lifetime Achievement in Poker Award. Over in the online arena, Ari Engel received the PocketFives Legacy Award for his contribution to internet poker.

Overall, the American Poker Awards was another successful event with many of the game’s top figures enjoying a moment in the spotlight. In summing up the evening, founder Alex Dreyfus thanked those involved and remarked on what was another positive year for poker.

“Congrats to all Nominees and Winners of the 4th #AmericanPokerAwards. Thanks to Eric, Lynn, Hans and Roland, and the GPI team in Malta & London. Thanks for helping to celebrate poker every year,” Dreyfus said on Facebook.


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