Poker Central & Andrew Neeme Win Big at American Poker Awards

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The American Poker Awards honored poker's best from 2017. (GPI photo)

The Global Poker Index and PokerStars presented the 4th Annual American Poker Awards on Thursday night in Los Angeles, CA. The collection of the best in the poker world offered a year’s worth of awards handed out to players, media, and everything else encompassing the game.

Poker Central Wins Big

Cary Katz and Poker Central lead the unofficial group category for most winners. “Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story” took home honors for Media Content of the year. Matt Berkey’s story of his road to playing the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl captured the voting audience’s attention.

Katz himself took down the title of Poker’s Biggest Influencer. The development of Poker Central and PokerGO all happened under the watch as Katz as the businessman continues to grow the game through is new ventures.

Poker Central wrapped up its trio of wins with the Best Podcast award. Host Remko Rinkema accepted on behalf of his co-hosts, Brent Hanks, and Will O’Connor.

Young Talent Gets Their Due

The new generation of poker received their fair share of accolades from the APA voting body. A pair of 25-year-old received hard-earned awards. Two-time WPT Season XVI Champion Art Papazyan collected the Breakout Player award. Papazyan’s wins came in his first two WPT events ever played.

Scott Blumstein beat an elite group to score the Tournament Performance trophy. Blumstein’s win in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event defeated Darren Elias, 2018 GPI American Player of the Year Bryn Kenney, and Doug Polk.

Other members of poker’s new generation also did well for themselves.

Ema Zajmovic’s win at WPT Montreal last February to become the first female champion in an open event in WPT history was recognized for Moment of the Year.

Jaime Staples notched a tough group of nominees to emerge with the Streamer of the Year honors.

Kristen Bicknell was formally awarded the 2017 GPI Female Player of the Year.

Andrew Neeme Cleans up

The new age of poker is here and Andrew Neeme is in the center of it. The vlogger shipped two wins to further certify himself as one of poker’s new-age godfathers.

Neeme won the award for Video Blogger and the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality. Over 10,000 turned out to vote for the latter award and Joe Ingram accepted on behalf of Neeme on both occasions.

Telling it like it is

PocketFives held their own at the American Poker Awards with site Editor-in-Chief Lance Bradley walking away with Journalist of the Year. Bradley was also nominated for Media Content of the Year for “Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising His Two Boys #ForCathy.”

Nick Schulman’s rousing rise to the top of the poker broadcasting ranks was made official with his win for Broadcaster of the Year.

Longtime ESPN poker commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachern received the award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker.

Good day for the World Poker Tour

The World Poker Tour had themselves a day with Matt Savage and WPTDeepStacks receiving hardware. The WPT’s Executive Tour Director triumphed in the Industry Person of the Year category.

WPTDeepStacks completed their rise from the U.S. circuit to the global stage by taking down the Mid-Major Circuit award.

Special Awards and Prizes

The venerable Jury Prize went to long-time poker media member and contributor Eric Danis. Joining Danis in the achievement award section was fellow Canadian Ari Engel, who shipped the PocketFives Legacy Award.

In a category where literally all nominees are a winner, Jacob Zalewski won the prize for Charitable Initiative for the One Step Closer Foundation. The foundation is a charity whose main goal is to positively impact the lives of those who suffer from cerebral palsy. To date, Zalewski’s foundation has raised over $1 million. 

The American Poker Awards put a bow on 2017 and gave a look ahead at what’s to come this year. If the this year’s awards are any indication, the poker world is in for a great 2018.