Mike Sexton Leads the Way at GPI American Poker Awards

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The third annual GPI American Poker Awards will be back for another round of trophy giving on February 23rd and, this year, one veteran pro looks likely to steal the show.

Mike Sexton GPI American Poker Awards.
Mike Sexton is the leading nominee at this year’s GPI American Poker Awards sponsored by PokerStars. (Image: World Poker Tour)

As was the case in 2015 and 2016, the award ceremony will recognize the top performers of the year across a number of categories.

From the Poker Moment of the Year to Tournament Performance of 2016, players from across the US will have a chance to add another trophy to their collections.

A Big Year for Sexton

Leading the nominations this year is voice of the WPT and 69-year-old pro, Mike Sexton. Following a successful 2016 that saw him win his first WPT title in the Montreal Main Event, Sexton has been nominated for three awards:

Tournament Performance of the Year

Poker Moment of the Year

Media Content of the Year

Sexton already has a Lifetime Achievement award from the GPI American Poker Awards, so a win or two later this month could make him one of the organization’s most decorated stars.

But if he is going to take home at least one more trophy, he’ll need to overcome some stiff opposition.

Also in the running for Tournament Performance of the Year is Maurice Hawkins who won back-to-back WSOP Circuit events in 2016 as well as Ari Engel who beat Tony Dunst to win the Aussie Millions Main Event.

GPI’s Top Players Honored

As well as America’s top pros battling out for an award on the night, the February 23 ceremony will also be a chance for industry members to acknowledge the efforts of David Peters and Cate Hall.

As part of the GPI’s efforts to legitimize poker as a sport, the year’s top performing male and female tournament players will receive special awards.

Helping to whittle down the potential winners this year was a panel of 70 poker experts. From players and media members to casino staff and sponsors, the diverse group of experts was responsible for determining four nominees for each of the nine categories.

From these nominees an as yet unnamed “jury” will decide who receives an award inside the Sofitel Beverly Hills later this month.

GPI American Poker Awards Highlights 

Breakout Player of the Year:

Ari Engel

Maurice Hawkins

Ankush Mandavia

Sam Soverel

Tournament Performance of the Year:

Kristen Bicknell wins 2nd WSOP bracelet ($1,500 Bounty)

Ari Engel wins Aussie Millions

Maurice Hawkins wins WSOPC Cherokee, back-to-back WSOPC

Mike Sexton wins WPT Montreal

Event of the Year:

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Super High Roller Bowl

WSOP Main Event

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Moment of the Year:

Griffin Benger’s AA vs. William Kassouf’s KK showdown at the WSOP Main Event

Jason Mercier goes on heater: captures (2) WSOP bracelets and a 2nd in a week to secure WSOP PoY

David Peters needing 3rd at EPT Prague to win GPI PoY does exactly that and takes the title from Fedor Holz

Mike Sexton mounts unbelievable comeback to win his first WPT title at WPT Montreal

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