The 2016 edition of the GPI American Poker Awards will be held at the SLS in Beverly Hills on February 25th. Poker fans have waited a few weeks to find out which poker players, media personnel, and events would be nominated.
Well, wait no more. More than 80 people connected to the poker industry were chosen to select this year’s nominees for each of the 11 following categories. I’ve noted who I expect to win; these projections are mine and mine alone.
Tournament Performance of the Year
-Anthony Zinno, WPT LAPC
-Jonathan Duhamel, WSOP One Drop
-Mike Gorodinsky, WSOP Poker Players’ Championship
-Joe McKeehen, WSOP Main Event
My Projected Winner: Joe McKeehen, because no one has ever dominated a final table quite like he did.
Moment of the Year
-Daniel Negreanu’s 11th place finish in WSOP Main Event
-Phil Hellmuth wins 14th career bracelet, beating his own record
-Inaugural $565 buy-in WSOP Colossus breaks world record for most players
-Anthony Zinno wins back-to-back major tournaments
My Projected Winner: Daniel Negreanu, because he is such an outspoken figure in poker, and a final table finish would have been so exciting for the November Nine.
Breakout Performance of the Year:
My Projected Winner: Kelly Minkin, because she is the top up-and-coming woman in poker right now.
Event of the Year (Buy-in Up to $2,000)
-WSOP The Colossus
-WSOP Millionaire Maker
-WPT500 at Aria
-WPTDeepstacks DSPT Championship in Calgary, Canada
My Projected Winner: The Colossus, because it set the world record for most live poker tournament entrants ever, by a landslide.
Event of the Year (Buy-in Over $2,000)
-WSOP Main Event
-WSOP One Drop High Roller
-Aria Super High Roller Bowl
-WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
My Projected Winner: WSOP Main Event, just slightly ahead of the Aria Super High Roller Bowl, simply because the Main Event is still “the granddaddy of them all.”
Industry Person of the Year
-Jack Effel (WSOP)
-Matt Savage (WPT)
-John Pappas (PPA)
-William Mason (Seminole Hard Rock Poker)
My Projected Winner: Jack Effel, because the WSOP had so many changes this year and he handled them well as the tournament director.
Charitable Initiative of the Year
-Chad Brown Memorial Tournament
-Charity Series of Poker
-Tiger’s Poker Night
-WSOP One Drop High Roller
My Projected Winner: Chad Brown Memorial Tournament, because Brown was such a well-liked poker player, and his untimely passing in 2014 was devastating to the poker community.
Media Person of the Year
My Projected Winner: Jason Somerville, because his Twitch stream has become so popular.
Poker Presenter of the Year
My Projected Winner: Kara Scott for her continued excellent coverage on events such as the Super High Roller Bowl.
Poker Initiative of the Year
-Poker Central launches first-ever 24/7 poker network
-WSOP adds Colossus
-WSOP adds first-ever online bracelet event
-SHRPO livestreams four final tables simultaneously
My Projected Winner: Poker Central, because the potential long-term impact the network might have on poker could be significant.
Media Content of the Year
-Jason Somerville’s Twitch broadcast of the WCOOP
-Brad Willis’ report on underground poker in Greenville, SC
-Faraz Jaka report on being a homeless poker millionaire
-Joe Giron’s photos of Negreanu on the floor after busting from the WSOP Main Event
My Projected Winner: Jason Somerville again, because his Twitch stream became so popular.
Byron Kaverman is automatically the winner of the 2015 GPI Player of the Year and Kelly Minkin will be awarded the 2015 Female Player of the Year trophy. These awards are based on Global Poker Index standings.
This event will be put on by Alex Dreyfus of the GPI on the same day as the first-ever Global Poker League draft.
The GPI American Poker Awards were created last year as a way of honoring the industry’s top performers and most influential people and events.