Holz, Gale and Urbanovich Win 2016 European Poker Awards


Dzmitry Urbanovich won Breakout Player of the Year at the 2015 European Poker Awards

The 15th edition of the European Poker Awards was held on Tuesday night at the Blue Gin Bar at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel in Monaco. After a 60-minute happy hour for all attendees, 11 awards were doled out.

Emcee Joe Stapleton opened by telling the crowd of about 100 people, “Thank you to Kara Scott for not being able to host.” Scott hosted the first two editions of the American Poker Awards as well as the 2015 European Poker Awards.

Global Poker Index and European Poker Awards head Alex Dreyfus then took the mic.

“There can only be one winner for every award,” said Dreyfus. “These awards mean more year after year.”

Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz was given his award for 2015 GPI Player of the Year, telling the assembled crowd, “I’m overwhelmed by this. I want to thank my friends. I started playing because of them. I wouldn’t be here without them.” Holz won the WPT Alpha8 in December and had eight six-figure live scores last year.

The Female GPI Player of the Year went to PokerStars pro Liv Boeree.

“It’s a huge honor. Thank you so much to everyone who was supportive of me,” said Boeree, who finished third in the EPT Barcelona High Roller in 2015. “Thank you to Igor Kurganov for being my everything and my best supporter ever.”

Breakout Player of the Year went to Dzmitry Urbanovich. The then-21-year-old cashed 23 times in 2015 including winning four events during EPT Malta in March.

“It was an awesome year for me,” Urbanovich said. “Thank you to all of you who voted for me. I’m very happy to get this.”

The award for Event of the Year with a Buy-In of Up to €2,000 went to the Norwegian Championships Norway Cup, which was held in November. Awarded after that was the gold for the Tournament Performance of the Year, which went to Adrian Mateos for winning the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event.

The 2015 European Poker Awards winners

The award for Media Content of the Year went to Jesse May and Mickey May for a PokerNews article called “Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold.”

“Mickey [May] and I want to dedicate this to the Devilfish. This award shows that European poker players know how important he was for poker,” said Jesse May. “If he were here, he’d say: ‘Fucking joke, mate. I die and you get a prize for the obituary.'” May compared Ulliott to Chris Moneymaker.

The award for Industry Person of the Year went to Hermance Blum, General Manager of WPT Europe, who said, “I’m really overwhelmed. This is teamwork. I have a tremendous respect for EPT.”

The award for Event of the Year with a Buy-In of More than €2,000 was awarded to EPT Barcelona, and Media Person of the Year went to Remko Rinkema of PokerNews. Rinkema beat out longtime friend and fellow PokerNews writer Frank Op de Woerd for the award..

Poker Innovation of the Year went to the Norwegian Championship broadcast. A representative told the crowd, “We started broadcasting poker in 2015. We want to get up close and we want to get personal. We feel that is the way forward with poker on TV.”

Photographer Neil Stoddart, who was also nominated in the Media Person of the Year category, took home the Special Achievement in Industry Award, a category decided upon by only the jury.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Stoddart said. “Thank you to the PokerStars Blog. They do a fantastic job. Thank you to Mad Harper for disseminating my work. Thank you to the players. Thank you for letting me capture your moments of triumph and your agonies of defeat.”

To close out the evening, John Gale won Moment of the Year for returning from three years off because of a brain tumor to win his second career WSOP bracelet. “Thank you very much to the jury,” Gale said in a short speech. “Thank you again.”