March 01 2015, by Eric Danis
Drama, glitz and glamor highlight first edition of GPI #AmericanPokerAwards
(March 1, 2015) Los Angeles, California – Awards season concluded in Los Angeles over the weekend, as it was a night of firsts as the Global Poker Index presented the inaugural GPI American Poker Awards, sponsored by PokerStars and Switch watchmaker Roger Dubuis. By all accounts, the presenters hit it out of the park as players and industry leaders raved about the event’s success.
The festivities started early in the day with the presentation of the American Poker Conference, where many of the brightest minds in the game all congregated to discuss, amongst other topics, the future of the game. The “Players Perspective” Panel was, according to many, the highlight of the morning as two-time World Poker Tour champion Mohsin Charania and WSOP bracelet winners Daniel Negreanu, Jason Somerville and Bernard Lee wowed those in attendance discussing some of the hotter topics in the game they love.
Following a short break, the beautiful people in poker all gathered inside the ballroom at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills to celebrate the game’s best as the coveted GPI trophies would be handed out for the very first time on American soil.
2014 GPI Poker Player of the Year Dan Colman would be the first player celebrated. Although Colman wasn’t in attendance, World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart was on hand to accept the award on Colman’s behalf and debuted a short video of Colman, winner of the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop at the WSOP last summer, visiting El Salvador and helping locals in his efforts to support the One Drop initiative, ensuring everyone has access to water.
Stewart would also be on hand to pickup a pair of trophies on behalf of the World Series of Poker, including the award for “Event of the Year” in the $2,000 and above category for the Main Event. Mark Newhouse, who famously survived major fields for back-to-back final tables at the WSOP Main Event, would be presented the trophy for “Tourmanent Performance of the Year”.
To no one’s surprise, Daniel Negreanu was elected “Poker’s Best Ambassador” as the power was in the hands of the poker fans, who were able to have their say in an open vote for the game’s top ambassador in North America. In a special moment, Negreanu was emotional in accepting the award, remembering his parents. Negreanu’s mother was very popular on the poker circuit, preparing meals for several of the game’s best while they battled it out on the felt.
Negreanu was also one of several in attendance thanking Global Poker Index Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Dreyfus and his hard-working team for presenting the Awards: “Thanks again to visionary Alex Dreyfus for putting on a great event.”
Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton added: “Congrats to all the winners (and losers) at the American Poker Awards & thanks to Alex Dreyfus for making it happen. It was a great evening” while poker media legend Nolan Dalla noted: “One of the most exciting nights in poker history due to Alex Dreyfus and GPI staff. Thanks for elevating the game.”
A packed house saw over 230 of poker’s best and most influential in attendance. Some who missed out, like 13-time WSOP bracelet holder Phil Hellmuth, will be sure to make it in 2016.
Video courtesy of PokerNews
No rest for the GPI team as they head to Europe next for the presentation of the first Global Poker Masters, poker’s World Cup, and the 14th edition of the GPI European Poker Awards, all happening later this month in Malta.
2014 GPI AMERICAN POKER AWARD WINNERS
TOP PLAYER IN THE WORLD TO END 2014, presented by Roger Dubuis
TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Mark Newhouse, WSOP Main Event, 9th place finisher
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR
EVENT OF THE YEAR (CATEGORY BUY-IN OVER $2,000)
World Series of Poker Main Event (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)
EVENT OF THE YEAR (CATEGORY BUY-IN UP TO $2,000)
WSOP Monster Stack (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)
INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR, presented by Live Hold’em Pro
Adam Pliska, WPT President
POKER MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR
Brad Willis, WSOP 2014: Stages/Never stop fighting for PokerStars Blog
CHARITABLE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
“All In” for Kids Poker Tournament presented by CHOP and the WPT Foundation
POKER INNOVATION OR INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Twitch opens its doors to live streaming poker
MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR, presented by PokerUpdate
POKER’S BEST AMBASSADOR
2014 POKER PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2014 FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Steve Lipscomb, WPT co-Founder
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