The nominations have been announced for the European Poker Awards, which, for the first time in its history, will be held outside France.
The 14th European Poker Awards, newly acquired by Alex Dreyfus and the Global Poker Index, will be held on March 25 at the Hilton Hotel in St Julian’s, Malta.
Dreyfus bought the awards last year, around the same time he announced the establishment of the American Poker Awards, which held its inaugural ceremony in Beverly Hills two weeks ago.
Dreyfus has said he was taking over the awards as part of his grand plan to “sportify” the game and legitimize the poker industry, as well as to “to ensure [the awards’] legitimacy, and expand it globally.”
And the Award Goes to…
“The event will have a similar setup to the American Poker Awards,” explained Dreyfus. “But this will be the first time the European Poker Awards has been held outside France and hopefully going to Malta while its inaugural EPT event is taking place will make it easier for more players to attend.”
Thirteen awards are up for grabs this year, in categories such as “Breakout Player of the Year” (George Danzer, Dominik Panka, Oliver Price, Jack Salter), “Performance of the Year” (Victoria Coren Mitchell, EPT San Remo; Martin Jacobson, WSOP Main Event; Davidi Kitai, WSOP Event #15; Dominik Panka, PCA Main Event), “Best Poker Ambassador Award,” to be chosen by the public, and a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Ole Schemion and Liv Boeree will no doubt be present to pick up their respective Player of the Year and Female Player of the Year Awards, having topped the Global Poker Index for 2014.
And the Online Award Goes to…?
The decision to omit an award that recognizes the achievements of online players, however, is a curious one and it certainly caused a stink on Twitter. Andreas Torbergsen even created a Twitter poll to drum up support for the inclusion of a new online player category. Dreyfus cited the difficulty in collating accurate information about players’ results as one of the reasons for the omission, due to the emergence of dot.country domains in Europe, and also the fact that it is “difficult to have a global vision of nicknames.”
However, eventually he relented: “Whatever twitter thinks, will not change anything this year,” he tweeted. “I agree next year to have online awards, again.”
While the European Poker Awards looks to have a bright future with Dreyfus at the helm, its traditional home, the iconic Aviation Club de France in Paris, has not been so lucky. It was recently put into liquidation just several weeks ago, having been closed down in September by the French authorities. French Judicial Police raided the grand old building on the Champs Elysee and charged its management with violations ranging from money laundering to irregularities in employment laws.