After two rounds of voting by both a voting panel consisting of poker industry insiders, poker media and fans alike, the nominations for the 3rd Global Poker Awards have been finalized. The ceremony, which takes place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on Friday, February 18, will hand out 26 awards in a variety of categories, including three People’s Choice awards determined solely by the fans.
The field of finalist includes plenty of poker’s biggest stars including Doug Polk, Michael Addamo, Ali Imsirovic, Daniel Cates, Lex Veldhuis, and Brad Owen. Polk also leads the list of those with multiple nominations, a select group that features Imsirovic, Cates, Jeff Platt, Joe Stapleton, Jamie Kerstetter, and Johan ‘YoH ViraL’ Guilbert.
Three of the winners have previously been announced with Imsirovic earning the 2021 GPI Player of the Year Awards, Nadya Magnus taking home the 2021 Female Player of the Year Awards, and David Mzareulov claiming the inaugural 2021 Mid-Major Player of the Year awards.
And the 2021 GPA nominees are…
BEST FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE
- Koray Aldemir – WSOP Main Event
- Jeremy Ausmus – WSOP PLO High Roller
- Daniel Cates – WSOP $50K Poker Players Championship
- Adam Friedman – WSOP $10K Dealer’s Choice 6-Max
As usual, the World Series of Poker had an incredible impact on the poker world this year with some of the most gripping moments coming out of the series. Aldemir’s domination of the WSOP Main Event, Cates epic comeback from on big blind in the $50K PPC, and Friedman’s back-to-back-to-back $10K Dealer’s Choice titles are all history-making performances.
GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Chris Brewer
- Kyna England
- Johan Guilbert
- Vanessa Kade
PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT
- Michael Addamo
- Stephen Chidwick
- Ali Imsirovic
- David Peters
Four of the toughest high-roller players on the planet make this an intimidating category. Chidwick won this award at the last awards, Imsirovic is the 2021 GPI Player of the Year and PokerGO Tour 2021 Player of the Year, and David Peters is the 2021 U.S. Poker Open champ and sits fifth on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List.
That said, no one really came close to Michael Addamo in 2021 and all eyes will be on him as the favorite.
- Will Jaffe (@dankness3)
- Jamie Kerstetter (@JamieKetstetter)
- Kitty Kuo (@kittykuopoker)
- Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath)
- Kevin ‘kevinmartin’ Martin
- Benjamin ‘Spraggy’ Spragg
- Jonathan ‘apestylespoker’ Van Fleet
- Lex ‘LexVeldhuis’ Veldhuis
The poker world is in a golden era of online streaming where not only can someone learn the game quickly and cheaper than ever, but can become a part of a community helmed by one of their favorite poker personalities. The strength of these nominations is only bolstered by a long list of quality streamers who are not included.
BEST INDUSTRY PERSON
- Tony Burns
- Jack Effel
- Mori Eskandani
- Matt Savage
BEST TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
- Paul Campbell
- Justin Hammer
- Ray Pulford
- Andy Tilman
- Seminole Hard Rock Rock ’N’ Roll Open Opening Event
- World Series of Poker Main Event
- Wynn Mystery Bounty
- Wynn Millions
The Wynn showing up twice on this list is a nod to how the Las Vegas poker room took a giant leap forward this year in stepping up for the tournament community in the face of the pandemic. But know that the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida has also been making waves when it comes to must-play events. In order to win, one of them will have to usurp the event that many, year-in and year-out, capture the hearts of poker players from all over the world – the WSOP Main Event.
- Poker In The Ears (James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton)
- The Chip Race Podcast (David Lappin, Dara O’Kearney)
- The Doug Polk Podcast (Doug Polk)
- The Heart of Poker (Kara Scott)
- Jamie Kerstetter
- Ali Nejad
- Jeff Platt
- Joe Stapleton
Another can’t miss category with Kerstetter as the emerging voice on the WSOP broadcast, Jeff Platt shining as the WSOP’s sideline reporter, and commentary vets Ali Nejad and Joe Stapleton consistently delivering the goods whenever they are on the air.
BEST LIVE REPORTER
- Merom ‘Mickey’ Doft
- Timothy Duckworth
- Chad Holloway
- Christian Zetszche
BEST MEDIA CONTENT: WRITTEN
- Lance Bradley: Isai Scheinberg: His Company, His Legacy, and How Black Friday Impacted Both
- Alex O’Brien: How a $10k poker win changed how I think
- D’Arcy Maine: While battling brain cancer, Michael Graydon lives World Series of Poker dream
- Charles Rabin: From immigration ‘cage’ to newest poker champ at Hard Rock. An Afghan refugee’s luck turns (paywall)
Read all of the nominated stories – including and especially Lance Bradley’s piece on PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg for PocketFives – at the links above. (Except for Rabin’s piece which is behind a paywall.)
BEST MEDIA CONTENT: PHOTO
- Antonio Abrego: Adam Friedman Defeats Phil Hellmuth for 3rd straight WSOP 10K Dealer’s Choice Title
- Hayley Hochstetler: The End of an Era
- Enrique Malfavon: The WSOP Main Event Bubble Bursts
- Danny Maxwell: Brandon Shack-Harris and his Umbrella at WSOP
BEST MEDIA CONTENT: VIDEO
- Andrew Neeme and Paul Graydon: The Villain Who Stole Christmas
- Last Call Pokeridokumentii
- Jeff Platt “Stand Up For Me, Please!”
- Remko Rinkema: Run It Back with Stefanie Ungar
- Run It Once: Meet The Jungleman
Watch all of the nominated videos at the links above.
FANS CHOICE: BEST HAND
- Daniel Cates gets Leng to fold in $50K PPC
- Doug Polk makes epic fold vs. Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Poker
- Nicholas Rigby pulls monster bluff during late stages of WSOP Main Event
- Quads over quads on Day 3 of the WSOP Main Event
There were a number of amazing hands captured live this year and which of the above (which you can view) you enjoy the most depends on if you like pleasure or pain. For those who enjoy being the hero, Polk’s hero fold and Rigby’s bluff are the stuff poker dreams of are made of. On the opposite side, the pain inflicted on Leng and Chang Liu, is some of the most memorable of the year.
FANS CHOICE: BEST TROPHY
- Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup
- MSPT South Dakota State Championship
- Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship
- WPTDeepstacks Gold Coast
FANS CHOICE: POKER PERSONALITY
- Johan ‘YoH ViraL’ Guilbert
- Greg ‘Greg Goes All In’ Liow
- Jonathan Little
- Masato Yokosawa
Fans have until Wednesday, January 26th to vote for their favorite Poker Personality, even if they voted in the first round.