Inaugural American Poker Awards Debut Friday, Celebrities to Appear in Abundance

Inaugural American Poker Awards

The first American Poker Awards go down this Friday in Beverly Hills, a gala recognizing extraordinary accomplishments in the poker industry. CardsChat is a media partner of the event. (Image: americanpokerawards.com)

The American Poker Awards will hold its first-ever ceremony on Friday, February 27th, not in a casino or even in Las Vegas, but at the swank SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Veteran poker personality Kara Scott will serve as MC, as the industry celebrates player achievements, media contributions, operator and tournament successes, and the thriving North American poker industry as a whole.

“This is the beginning of a yearly tradition, celebrating the best in poker in Canada and in the USA,” Global Poker Index (GPI) CEO Alexandre Dreyfus said.

GPI has produced the European Poker Awards for more than a decade, with its 14th edition planned for March, but Dreyfus felt now was the time to recognize the North American poker network in a more formal manner.

With many of the biggest names scheduled to be in attendance, and key poker-related companies putting their names behind the event including sponsor PokerStars and media partner CardsChat, the night is sure to go down as nothing short of historic.

Who Will Win?

Now that the Oscars are behind us, it’s time to honor poker and the stars who made 2014 unforgettable. Thirty-five nominees are vying for nine awards, with a jury panel making the final decision on a winner the morning of the show. A 10th accolade is also up for grabs, Poker’s Best Ambassador, an award decided by online social media voting that will also be presented on Friday.

Additionally, according to American GPI rankings, the 2014 Player of the Year and 2014 Female Player of the Year will be named. Finally, the jury panel will bestow the Lifetime Achievement Award upon one deserving recipient.

Print out the nominees, challenge your friends, and discover who’s truly the biggest poker insider among your group. Categories and nominees are as follows:

GPI Player of the Year

GPI Female Player of the Year

Breakout Player of the Year Nominees:

Daniel Colman, Mukul Pahuja, Jake Schindler, Brandon Shack-Harris

Tournament Performance of the Year Nominees:

Mohsin Charania, WPT Five Diamond
Daniel Colman, Seminole Hard Rock Main Event
Darren Elias, WPT Borgata Open
Mark Newhouse, WSOP Main Event

Event of the Year (buy-in over $2,000)  Nominees:

Seminole Hard Rock Main Event
WSOP Main Event
WPT Montreal
WPT World Championship

Event of the Year (buy-in under $2,000) Nominees:

HPT Cal State Championship
WPT500 at Aria
WSOP Millionaire Maker
WSOP Monster Stack

Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year Nominees:

Twitch Opens Doors to Live Streaming Poker
Poker Night in America
WPT Partnerships with DeepStacks, Hublot, DraftKings and Monster
The WSOP Monster Stack

Charitable Initiative of the Year Nominees:

“All In” for Kids presented by CHOP and WPT
Charity Series of Poker
Raising for Effective Giving Charity
WSOP ONE DROP partnership

Poker Media Content of the Year Nominees:

All In Magazine: Mark Newhouse
Brad Willis “Stages” and “Never Stop Fighting”
PokerNews at the WSOP
Jason Somerville for Run It UP!

Media Person of the Year Nominees:

Nolan Dalla, Chris Grove, Kevin Mathers, Rich Ryan

Industry Person of the Year Nominees:

Jack Effel Adam Pliska, Matt Savage, Ty Stewart

Poker’s Best Ambassador:

To be chosen by fans

Jury Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Panel decision

Poker Conference Precedes Event

February 27th is going to be a full day for poker’s elite. The GPI Poker Conference: North America summit gets underway at 8:30 AM that morning. This separate event will run all day, leading up to the American Poker Awards.

A who’s who of the poker industry will be in attendance, including Rational, bwin.party, WPT, EPT, and Ivey League, to name a few.

During the conference, speakers will discuss a variety of current issues, from the challenges facing live poker in the digital era to harmonizing the future of live and online play. The session will conclude with a “Players’ Perspective,” with a panel of top talent professionals, including Daniel Negreanu.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to read our exclusive interview with event host Kara Scott in CardsChat tomorrow.

Devin O'Connor
Written by
Devin O'Connor
Devin O'Connor is a freelance writer and television producer who has worked with MTV, HGTV, Discovery and more. His first credit with MTV was a half-hour special to promote "Stacked with Daniel Negreanu." The experience quickly turned him on to playing poker online, and after losing his shirt, he now specializes in playing for play money.

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