Inaugural Global Poker Awards Set for April 5

Inaugural Global Poker Awards Set for April 5

There have been awards ceremonies in the past dedicated to honoring people and entities in the poker industry, but they were often segregated to focus on different parts of the world. In fact, two of those from the past – the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards – are being merged into one.

The Global Poker Index (GPI) and Poker Central partnered this week to announce the Global Poker Awards. The two will collaborate to highlight those in the poker world deserving of public honors, and it will all be broadcast live from Las Vegas on April 5.

While the announcement seemed to come out of nowhere, as many of the Global Poker Index-related initiatives of the past several years have fallen from the radar. Of course, the GPI continues to rank players from around the world and track their tournament activity via its Hendon Mob Poker Database, but this awards ceremony news may be a way to put the GPI back on center stage.

One Month Away

The March 7 announcement informed the poker community that the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards would be merged to “celebrate excellence both on and off the felt” via a “star-studded ceremony.”

The inaugural Global Poker Awards will be held on April 5 at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, and the ceremony will be broadcast live on PokerGO for subscribers to the poker-focused web channel.

In the month leading up to the awards, GPI will release a full list of categories and nominations for the 20 awards, with the final list of nominees determined by a nomination panel and a voting process. From there, a jury of poker industry representatives will select the award winners. Details of how the panels and jury will be chosen, their identities, and more about the process will likely be revealed in the coming weeks as it all plays out.

GPI President Eric Danis said, “We’re excited to bring recognition to the poker world’s best players and most prominent industry contributors on an unprecedented scale.”

And Poker Central President Sam Simmons added, “We look forward to celebrating the achievements of the industry’s best and brightest while providing PokerGO subscribers a front row seat for all the festivities.”

PokerStars is named as the presenter for the Global Poker Awards.

European and American Awards Combined

The awards ceremony with the longest history of the two combined into the Global Poker Awards is the European Poker Awards. It was first held in 2001, when its organizers honored Marcel Luske as the player of the year, Alex Kravchenko as the rookie of the year, and Pascal Perrault won a lifetime achievement award.

The last several years that it was held, GPI hosted the European Poker Awards, with its last iteration taking place in 2016 to honor players, events, and industry personalities from 2015. Some awards were based on GPI rankings, while others were decided by juries and panels. For example, Neil Stoddart won the special industry achievement award, Hermance Blum was the industry person of the year, John Gale was honored for winning a WSOP bracelet after battling a brain tumor.

The American Poker Awards didn’t begin until the first ceremony was held in 2015 to show appreciation for people and events of 2014. That year, Daniel Negreanu was dubbed poker’s best ambassador, WPT President Adam Pliska was the industry person of the year, and Brandon Shack-Harris was the breakout player of 2014.

The last time the American Poker Awards was held was in early 2018 as a reflection of the best of 2017. Eric Danis won the jury prize, Lance Bradley was the poker journalist of the year, Cary Katz was the biggest influencer in poker, and Matt Savage was the industry person of 2017.




About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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