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Found 14 results

  1. In just two years, the Global Poker Index (GPI) has made huge strides in positioning itself as the authority on poker rankings. But that was only one piece of the puzzle, never the end game. Now, CEO Alexandre Dreyfus has announced the next step in GPI's plan to "sportify" poker and bring the game a whole new level of exposure. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. PocketFivers will love playing in the site's €1 million guaranteed iPOPS series, which runs through November 9. Visit William Hill today! --- In a recent blog post, the serial entrepreneur laid out his plans to fully capitalize on the "genuine legitimacy" that GPI rankings have achieved. The first comes in the form of the Global Poker Masters (GPM), the company's vision for a World Cup of Poker. Slated to be held in early 2015, Dreyfus explains that the GPM will bring together the top eight poker countries in the world. The team of each country will be comprised of five of that nation's top poker players and events will be live-streamed across the web through different media outlets. "We have clear precedents: tennis has the Davis Cup, football has the World Cup, and poker has the Global Poker Masters," he said. "On a personal level, I can't wait to see what happens when 'Team France' runs into 'Team USA.'" The last, and most "risky" part to GPI's plan is to create a professional poker league structured similarly to other major sports franchises. Dubbed the Global Poker League (GPL), teams will compete during a series of live events over the course of a season. Initially, six to eight teams will be created under the direction of a franchise owner, with the first season taking place over three to four months. "Unlike the Global Poker Masters… GPL teams will consist of 'draftable' players from GPI's rankings and wildcard entries," continued Dreyfus (pictured). "I've already presented this concept and terms for participation to a number of prospective future team owners." The GPI CEO understands that turning an inherently individualistic game like poker into a team sport could be a tough sell, but he is confident that the idea will catch on. "Reception has been warm across the board and we've already had a number of commitments from intrigued future 'franchise' owners," he said. "Commitments from leading figures from in front of and behind the felt are rolling in too." To back up the rationale behind his big gamble, Dreyfus was quick to point out the huge mainstream success that other individualistic "sports" have had. "NASCAR is owned by one family, Formula1 is owned by Bernie Ecclestone," he told PokerNews. "We, as the GPI, can own poker in this very specific vertical. I believe it's possible and I think the GPI is also fully legitimate to have that role." Dreyfus believes that star poker players and big events are undervalued and not reaching their marketing potential. "Let's say that you will be the owner of one team and that the project will go well and it will get the exposure we want it to get from mainstream sports media," he said. "This would open to a lot of marketing opportunities for you. You could turn your team into a brand or get big international companies to sign sponsorship deals that you, as the team's owner, would definitely benefit from." To achieve the exposure he believes poker deserves, Dreyfus wants to make sure to stay away from associating the game purely with money and online grinders who view the game is nothing more than a job. "That's not what mainstream media care about," he said. Using its poker rankings as the backbone for its future ventures, the GPI could be well on its way to turning poker into a game with mass-market sports appeal. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. The first edition of the Global Poker Masters World Cup took place over the weekend at the Hilton Portomaso in Malta, pitting the top eight GPI ranked teams against each other. After two days of play, sixth ranked Team Italy, represented by Mustapha Kanit, Rocco Palumbo, Dario Sammartino, Andrea Dato, and Giuliano Bendinelli, defied the odds and were crowned the first champions of the event. GPI scheduled the Global Poker Masters World Cup to coincide with the European Poker Tour's stop in Malta, which kicked off Day 1A of its Main Event on Sunday at the neighboring Portomaso Casino. This assured that most of the game's biggest names were already nearby, increasing the likelihood of the attendance. The World Cup consisted of four stages, with the Playoffs on March 21 and the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals all taking place on March 22. The festivities kicked off on Saturday and were available for anyone to watch live via Twitch, PokerStars.tv, and dozens of other outlets. "The real-time live stream will allow us to cooperate with some bookmakers and give you the opportunity to do live betting on the Masters," GPI CEO Alex Dreyfus told PokerNews in February. "I believe that the best way to engage more people is actually to allow everyone to follow it live, which is what happens with any other sport." The action on the felts began with the Playoff round, where each of the 40 players from the eight teams faced off in eight-max sit and gos. Each round was capped at 2.5 hours, with teams being awarded points based on the finishing positions of each player. The United Kingdom's team, represented by Jack Salter, Simon Deadman, Oliver Price, Sam Tricket, and Louis Salter, was the sole team eliminated in the Playoffs, while the United States' team, consisting of Bryn Kenney, Oliver Busquet, Dan Smith, Vanessa Selbst (pictured), and Isaac Haxton, were awarded a bye in the Quarterfinals after finishing in first place in the Playoff round. The remaining six teams picked their best three players each to face off in heads-up matches in the Quarterfinals. France, represented by Erwann Pecheux, Bertrand Grospeller, Sylvain Loosli, Paul Tedeschi, and Patrick Bruel, was the only team not to make it past this round. Point totals from the Quarterfinals round were combined with the point totals in the Playoffs round to determine the stack sizes for each team in the Semifinals. This round uniquely featured a single six-max sit and go where players were allowed to tag in and out for each other. Ukrainewas the first team to bow out in the Quarterfinals. According to PokerNews, Oleksander Gnatenko flopped a set with his pocket sevens, only to be sent to the rail after USA's Dan Smith hit a set of kings on the river. Canadaalso exited the Global Poker Masters at the hands of the United States when Ami Barer was unable to outrace against Smith's pocket sevens. Germanybowed out in fourth place after Ole Schemion lost back-to-back races against Italy's Bendinelli. The top-ranked US team was the next to exit the Masters, as Smith got into a pre-flop raising war with Italy's Sammartino only to find out that his pocket sevens were dominated by his opponent's pocket aces. After Italy knocked out USA in a huge pot, they also were able to take a huge chip advantage against Russia, represented by Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Ivan Soshnikov, Anatoly Filatov, Vitaly Lunking, and Alex Bilokur. The finals consisted of a best of five heads-up matches with Italy starting with 404,900 chips to Russia's 148,100 chips. Italy was able to use this chip lead to their advantage and won the Global Poker Masters World Cup in style, shutting out Russia 3-0 in heads-up play. Here were the final results: 1. Italy 2. Russia 3. United States of America 4. Germany 5. Canada 6. Ukraine 7. France 8. United Kingdom Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. Mediarex Sports & Entertainment(MSE), the parent company of the Global Poker Index (GPI), announced Tuesday that it had raised$4.9 million in Series A funding from private investors to further its goal of uniting the poker industry's disparate entities and further "sportify" the game. "Poker is an old game, but a young industry," said MSE CEO Alex Dreyfus (pictured) in a press release. "It's a game that continues to grow too." The French entrepreneur claims that the game grew 17% globally from 2012 to 2013, with 2014 live tournament entries increasing 9.4%. Digital interest in poker is also on the rise, according to Dreyfus, up 12% in 2013, 25% in 2014, and 31% in the first half of 2015. Dreyfus acquired GPI in 2012 and has since turned the business into a popular site for poker tournament results and rankings. GPI serves as the official ranking system of the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, Asia-Pacific Poker Tour, and many other tours and events. Mediarex also operates the Global Poker Masters, which it describes as poker's World Cup, and drew more than a million viewers on Twitch to watch coverage of its inaugural event last year. After the successful broadcast, Dreyfus took a keen interest in the platform and plans to use some of the recent investment to develop the company's own in-house video streaming production facility. "China will likely be the epicenter of the next poker boom and this time the boom looks to be powered by eSports, the video game, media, and sports industries," said Dreyfus. "Thanks to our new investors, we'll be able to reach new strategic partnerships in China to help develop the sport of poker there, creating a domino effect that has globally positive effects." Indeed, among the list of investors are a Beijing-based private equity fund, investment banker Donald Tang, and Hong Kong businessman Dr. Stanley Choi. During his bid to secure financing, Dreyfus noted how differently poker was viewed in Asia compared with the West. "Most of [the Asian investors], they already see it as a sport," he told PokerNews. "During the last six months, I did meet with a lot of investors from all over the world, from China to the US and Europe, and the majority of them understood the product that I want to create and were keen to invest. The only issue, for some, is that we are at an early stage right now. But I believe there will be a 'snowball effect': once things will start working, more investors will come." MSE hopes that its forthcoming Global Poker League will become the crown jewel of the business. With the GPL, the company will create teams of GPI-ranked players who will face off against each other in a season comprised of different poker events. "Poker is an individual sport, such as tennis or golf," Dreyfus said. "So, if tennis has the Davis Cup and golf has the Ryder Cup, why shouldn't we have our poker league?" The French entrepreneur looked to the Ultimate Fighting Championship for inspiration for his own league. He highlights how UFC creates narratives around fighters who engage the audience and increase interest in the league's different characters. "We will spend millions to do that and to invest in the image of the players that will be part of our League," assured Dreyfus. "This will all be done to create that kind of engagement that we believe will make the competition interesting to watch and, consequently, drive more people to the poker world." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. The Global Poker Index (GPI) and Mediarex Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced further details about the upcoming Global Poker League (GPL) on Tuesday, part of the GPI's CEO Alex Dreyfus' attempt to "sportify" poker. Not every detail was revealed in the press release issued by MSE, but it did give us a much better idea of how the Global Poker League will work. The first season will begin in the first quarter of 2016 and feature 12 teams of five players each. The league will be comprised of two conferences: the Americas Conference, which is expected to field teams from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Sao Paolo, and the Eurasia Conference, which will likely consist of London, Paris, Barcelona, Prague, Hong Kong, and Moscow. The first three players on each team will be acquired via a draft and the top 1,000 ranked players in the GPI will be eligible. The remaining two spots on each team will be filled via "Wild Card" players, though no details were given as to how those players will be selected. The teams will compete for "at least" 14 consecutive weeks in matches that will take place online, in live venues, and in television studios. One game type that was revealed is the "duel match," which will consist of 30- to 40-minute timed contests using digital cards and real chips outfitted with RFID technology. The idea is to have many more hands played than normal through the combination of the game clock and technology that will allow for cards to be dealt faster and chips to be counted faster. Details about other game formats were not announced. Players will also be standing throughout the games, which will supposedly provide "a more dynamic approach to game play." The Global Poker League is attempting to make the competitions spectator events and, as such, will be locating them in "iconic venues across the globe" rather than just in casinos. The GPL World Championships "will be staged at one of the most renowned sport and entertainment venues in the USA." Along those lines, the Global Poker League competitions will take place in a specially designed, 20-foot, one-way, sound-proofed, transparent cube called, appropriately enough, "The Cube" (pictured). It will be outfitted with all of the technological trappings to give the live audience a show: LED lighting, 3-D projection mapping, a video screen, and cameras. The goal of this whole thing, as mentioned earlier, is to "sportify" poker, to bring it out of its niche market and get casual sports and entertainment fans involved. It appears that by having teams represent different cities, the hope is that casual poker fans will get emotionally invested in their team even if they don't really know much about the players. As the saying goes, sports fans root for "laundry" rather than individual players, so the Global Poker League is trying to apply the same idea to poker. In a survey of poker fans taken last month, 30% supposedly said that they were interested in buying tickets to GPL events, while 25% said they would buy GPL and team merchandise. Almost two-thirds said they would watch the GPL World Championships. Participants in the Global Poker League will not have to put up their own money to play. Prize money will be derived from various revenue streams like advertising, merchandising, and ticket sales. All contests will be streamed online and some will be broadcast on television. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  5. The poker world's elite will gather Thursday night in Beverly Hills at a swank $500-per-night hotel to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of some of their own. The second annual GPI American Poker Awards are designed to recognize the people who have made an impact on the poker industry in 2015. PocketFives Editor in Chief Lance Bradley, Managing Editor Dan Cypra and Community Manager Kevin Mathers were part of the nominating committee that was responsible for helping put together a list of four nominees in each of the 11 categories this year. Picking a winner in each category is extremely difficult but Bradley, Cypra and Mathers have put together their picks and thoughts on each category this year. CATEGORY: Media Person of the Year The Nominees: Joey Ingram, Kevin Mathers, Donnie Peters, Jason Somerville Mathers: Personally, this is a tough category to predict, even if I'm one of the nominees. The idea of "media" has certainly changed in the past few years with the rapid growth of Twitch. Jason Somerville will be the king of poker on Twitch for as long as he likes, and for that, he's my pick to win this year. CATEGORY: Industry Person of the Year The Nominees: Jack Effel, William Mason, John Pappas, Matt Savage Mathers: This is really a two-horse race between Effel and Savage. While Effel has done an admirable job with the WSOP in the US and Europe, Savage remains a favorite among the poker community. If you've got a question about tournament rulings, nearly everyone turns to Savage for the answer. CATEGORY: Breakout Player of the Year The Nominees:Joshua Beckley, Asher Conniff, Cate Hall, Kelly Minkin Bradley: Some great nominees here including Beckley who went from small buy-in event grinder to Main Event runner-up, but Cate Hall really stands out for me. With no recorded cashes prior to 2015, she really came from nowhere. She finished 2015 by cashing in every World Poker Tour event that she played, four in total, including two final tables. CATEGORY: Tournament Performance of the Year The Nominees: Jonathan Duhamel (WSOP One Drop High Roller), Mike Gorodinsky (WSOP Poker Players’ Championship), Joseph McKeehen (WSOP Main Event), Anthony Zinno (WPT L.A. Poker Classic) Cypra: Anthony Zinno's run through the L.A. Poker Classic, the second of back-to-back victories, was impressive. The final table was stacked with guys like Chris Klodnicki, Mike Leah, and Peter Neff - and zinno started the final table fifth out of six. CATEGORY: Event of the Year (Buy-in up to $2,000) The Nominees: WSOP Colossus, WPT500 at ARIA, WSOP Millionaire Maker, WPTDeepStacks – DSPT Championship Mathers: A tournament that draws a field of 22,373 total players seems like the easy choice. If you were at a casino that had a poker room, the crowds flocked to play when they weren't part of the Colossus. Issues did come up in regards to payouts and pre-registration, but the stunning success warranted a return for 2016. CATEGORY: Event of the Year (Buy-in over $2,000) The Nominees: Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, WSOP Main Event, WSOP One Drop High Roller, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Bradley: This one is a little tougher. The Main Event is its own spectacle for sure, but not sure this year stands out over any of the last four or five. The Super High Roller Bowl was shiny and new but the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown had almost 1,500 entries thanks to a booming poker market in Florida and the great work of the Seminole staff. It's probably the underdog in this category, but it gets my vote. CATEGORY: Poker Innovation or Initiative The Nominees: Poker Central launches 24/7 television network, SHRPO (in conjunction with PNIA) livestreams four FT’s in same room at same time, WSOP adds online bracelet event (with live final table), WSOP introduces ‘The Colossus’ Cypra: Any time the Colossus is an option, I'm going to pick it. 22,000+ entrants. one of the biggest live poker tournaments ever held. Yes, a lower buy-in tournament attracting plenty of players isn't exactly new, but the fact that WSOP staff were able to pull it off, and bring it back for 2016, speaks volumes about just how innovative the idea and execution of the Colossus were. CATEGORY: Charitable Initiative of the Year The Nominees: Chad Brown Memorial Tournament (Maria Ho, Vanessa Rousso), Charity Series of Poker (Matthew Stout), Tiger’s Poker Night (hosted by Tiger Woods, WPT Foundation), WSOP One Drop High Roller / Litte One for One Drop Bradley: Hate having to say one of these is better than the other, so let me just pick the Chad Brown Memorial Tournament since I was honored to be a part of it this year. All great initiatives here and all worthy of the award. CATEGORY: Poker Presenter of the Year The Nominees: Sarah Herring, Kara Scott, Joe Stapleton, David Tuchman Mathers: Four nominees who do great work in vastly different ways, so it's hard to make a choice. However, my vote goes to David Tuchman. From humble beginnings on Live at the Bike!, Tuchman put in hundreds of hours into the World Series of Poker live streams, along with his tireless efforts for Poker Night in America has served as the voice of poker. CATEGORY: Poker Moment of the Year The Nominees: Anthony Zinno goes back-to-back winning WPT Fallsview and WPT L.A. Poker Classic, Over 22,000 players enter WSOP Colossus for chance at a gold bracelet, Phil Hellmuth wins bracelet #14, Daniel Negreanu busts 11th in the WSOP Main Event Cypra: This is a tough choice between Anthony Zinno and The Colossus. Zinno's run was incredible, one like we haven't seen for a while on the WPT. I said I would auto-pick Colossus if it were an option and I'm going to continue to do that. 22,000 players entering a live event that ended in a reasonable amount of time and with few major hiccups and is being brought back this year. CATEGORY: Poker Content of the Year The Nominees: BUST, an Insider’s Account of Greenville’s Underground Poker Scene (Brad Willis), Faraz Jaka Homeless Poker Millionaire, CNN Money (Jaka, Gayles, Carson), Jason Somerville’s record Twitch Broadcast during WCOOP in September 2015, Joe Giron shoots photo of Negreanu crumbled on the floor after ME elimination Bradley: Brad Willis won this last year and may have topped himself this year with BUST, but longtime photog Joe Giron captured one of the most iconic poker photos of all time when he got Negreanu crumpled on the floor after being eliminated in 11th place from the WSOP Main Event. Give it to Joe.
  6. [caption width="550"] Chris 'moorman1' Moorman is one of 203 players eligible for the Global Poker League Draft[/caption] The draft is one of the highlights of any sporting event's season. The NFL Draft is spread over multiple days and attracts hundreds of reporters and thousands of fans. The NBA Draft is only two rounds, upping the drama. Fantasy football enthusiasts probably already have next season's draft date circled on their calendars. The Global Poker League will hold its first ever player draft later this month in Los Angeles. On Friday, the league released the list of 203 players, including many longstanding and successful members of the online poker community, who have made themselves eligible for the GPL Draft. Last month, the GPL announced a dozen franchises, whose rosters will now be filled out with players from around the world: the Berlin Bears, Hong Kong Dragons, Los Angeles Sunset, Las Vegas Moneymakers, London Royals, Montreal Nationals, Moscow Wolverines, New York Rounders, Paris Aviators, Rome Emperors, San Francisco Rush, and Sao Paulo Metropolitans. Members of the online poker community like Faraz 'The-Toilet' Jaka and Bryn Kenney were tasked with managing teams. Now for the draft. The 203 draftable players boast earnings in excess of $560 million and include six of the top 10 players in the Global Poker Index (GPI). They hail from 33 countries around the world. Online poker players in the top 10 of the GPI who have signed up for the draft include Jason 'treysfull21' Mercier, who has $16.3 million in live tournament winnings according to the Hendon Mob, and over $2 million online. Mercier is #6 in the GPI and is the fourth highest ranked player to register for the GPL draft. "I'm excited to do anything that has the potential to grow the game of poker," Mercier said of his entry into the draft. Also in the top 10 of the GPI and draftable for the GPL is Kevin 'ImaLuckSac' MacPhee, who boasts $5.4 million in career live winnings and another $7.1 million online. MacPhee was ranked as high as #7 worldwide on PocketFives in 2009. The most successful online poker player to enter the fray is, without question, Chris 'moorman1' Moorman, who has almost $13 million in career online tournament winnings, the most of any player. Moorman has also piled up a record 25 PocketFives Triple Crowns and won the Monthly PocketFives Leaderboard four times. Moorman is a former #1 online player and will be a valuable commodity for whichever GPL team drafts him. Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz, who has been on a tear of biblical proportions, also threw his hat into the ring. Holz won the 2014 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event and has taken down a litany of high-profile online tournaments over the years, including the Sunday 500 and Full Tilt Sunday Major. He hit #1 on PocketFives in late 2014 and won High Roller events in December and January for $5 million total. Managers can also select from the likes of Scott 'BigRiskky' Clements, Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah, Shannon Shorr, Mohsin 'chicagocards1' Charania, Justin 'ZeeJustin" Bonomo, Christian 'charder' Harder, Jonathan 'FieryJustice' Little, Sorel 'Imper1um' Mizzi, Sam 'KingKobeMVP' Stein, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Dani 'ansky451' Stern, Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen, Joe 'ender555' Ebanks, Isaac 'mr. menlo' Baron, Chad 'evechad' Eveslage, Matt 'mcmatto' Affleck, Chris 'SLOPPYKLOD' Klodnicki, and Bryan 'bparis' Paris. Needless to say, the field is stacked with talent borne out of the online poker world. Well-known live pros that will take part on the GPL draft include Allen Kessler, Jeff Madsen, Anthony Zinno, and Byron Kaverman, the latter of whom is the #1 ranked player in the GPI and the owner of almost $7 million in live tournament winnings. Kaverman banked $3.4 million from live events in 2015 and is approaching $7 million for his career. Zinno is the second highest-ranked GPI player in the draft and has three World Poker Tour titles, tied for the most by anyone. Antonio Esfandiari is arguably the most successful live pro to be draftable come February 25. He's #3 on the all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob, trailing only Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel, neither of whom entered their names into the GPL sorting hat. Esfandiari has over $26 million in career live winnings. Former World Series of Poker Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel could be drafted as well. The Canadian won the Main Event in Las Vegas six years ago and is #10 on poker's all-time money list. Duhamel has $17.5 million in live winnings and earned two bracelets last year, proving he's still highly relevant. Also likely to be taken off the board early is Vanessa Selbst, #23 on poker's all-time money list. Selbst is the highest-earning female poker player and won the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout in mid-2015 for a million bucks. She has a GPI ranking of #447. GPL managers will field a five-man squad, which may or may not include themselves. The draft will take place on February 25 from the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and will be live-streamed on Twitch starting at 2pm Pacific Time for those who can't make it out to LA. Only players in the top 1,000 of the GPI were eligible for the draft, and player contracts have been a hot topic on Twitter. The draft order will be drawn on February 18. Players do not need to be connected in any way to the city their team represents. Matches in a specially-designed "cube" will take place as part of the GPL. Heads-up and six-man games will also occur as the season plays out, as will online events.
  7. [caption width="640"] The 2nd Annual American Poker Awards are February 25 in Beverly Hills[/caption] After collecting votes from over 80 industry heavyweights, the Global Poker Index has chosen the nominees for its 2nd Annual American Poker Awards. The event returns to the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on February 25, and will recognize North America’s standout poker players, industry professionals and tournaments of 2015. Here is the full list of this year’s nominees by category: Tournament Performance of the Year Vying for the tournament performance award are four pros with over $35 million in total live cashes between them. Jonathan Duhamel, Mike Gorodinsky and Joe McKeehen were nominated for their showing during the 2015 WSOP, while Anthony Zinno joins the list for his win at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic. Jonathan Duhamel, WSOP One Drop High Roller Mike Gorodinsky, WSOP Poker Players’ Championship Joseph McKeehen, WSOP Main Event Anthony Zinno, WPT L.A. Poker Classic Moment of the Year Zinno’s spectacular back-to-back WPT title wins in February and March also puts him in the running for the Moment of the Year award. The smashing success of the inaugural WSOP Colossus tournament is also recognized, along with Phil Hellmuth’s bracelet win #14. Daniel Negreanu’s 11th place finish in the WSOP Main Event could be considered both impressive and heartbreaking at the same time, and takes the fourth nomination for the category. Breakout Performance of the Year Joshua Beckley (2015 earnings: $4,612,957) Asher Conniff (2015 earnings: $1,317,619) Kelly Minkin (2015 earnings: $603,680) Cate Hall (2015 earnings: $396,686) Event of the Year (Buy-In up to $2,000) WSOP The Colossus, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas WPT500 at ARIA, Las Vegas WSOP Millionaire Maker, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas WPTDeepStacks – DSPT Championship, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, Calgary Event of the Year (Buy-In over $2,000) Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas WSOP Main Event, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas WSOP One Drop High Roller, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Hollywood, FL Industry Person of the Year Jack Effel, WSOP Vice President and Tournament Director William Mason, Seminole Hard Rock Director of Poker John Pappas, Poker Players Alliance Executive Director Matt Savage, TDA Founder, WPT Executive Director Charitable Initiative of the Year Chad Brown Memorial Tournament (Maria Ho, Vanessa Rousso) Charity Series of Poker (Matthew Stout) Tiger’s Poker Night (hosted by Tiger Woods, WPT Foundation) WSOP One Drop High Roller / Little One for One Drop Media Person of the Year PocketFives’ own Kevin Mathers, Twitch pioneer Jason Somerville, poker podcaster Joey ‘Chicago Joey’ Ingram and PokerNews Editor-In-Chief Donnie Peters are all up for the Media Person of the Year award. Poker Presenter of the Year Sarah Herring Kara Scott Joe Stapleton David Tuchman Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year Poker Central launches 24/7 television network SHRPO (in conjunction with PNIA) livestreams four FTs in same room/at same time WSOP adds online bracelet event (with live final table) WSOP introduces ‘The Colossus’ Media Content of the Year BUST, an Insider’s Account of Greenville’s Underground Poker Scene (Brad Willis) Faraz Jaka Homeless Poker Millionaire, CNN Money (Jaka, Gayles, Carson) Jason Somerville’s record Twitch Broadcast during WCOOP in September 2015 Joe Giron shoots photo of Negreanu crumbled on the floor after ME elimination Last but not least, Kelly Minkin will receive the award for the 2015 GPI Female Player of the Year, while Byron Kaverman will take home the honor of the overall 2015 GPI Player of the Year. GPI’s American Poker Conference will be held earlier in the day and will feature discussions on Poker Media, Women in Poker and eSports. Also scheduled for that day is the inaugural Global Poker League draft, in which managers from the league’s 12 teams will choose players to fill out their 2016 season rosters. A jury will convene one day before the awards to decide the winners of each category. Visit the American Poker Awards website to find out more information or to register for the event.
  8. Global Poker Index(GPI) CEO Alex Dreyfus is on a mission to take poker entertainment to the next level by "sportifying" the game, using his poker rankings site as the backbone. This week, he made another stride in achieving that goal with the announcement of a multi-year partnership with news publication USA Today Sports Media Group. According to the agreement, USA Today will host an online poker portal featuring "GPI assets and information" starting in January 2016. "The Global Poker Index has done more than any other organization to unify poker and to see the possibilities that exist for creating a 'big league' atmosphere around play," said Jason Ford, VP of Sports Marketing for USA Today in a press release. "We're looking forward to working together to create a 24/7 digital poker destination and to providing coverage for some of the groundbreaking events that GPI is launching." Since acquiring the GPI in a bankruptcy auction in 2012, Dreyfus has been working quickly to create events, awards, and organizations that leverage the site's ranking database. Already, the company has hosted a Global Poker Masters series, where top-ranked players from nine countries form teams based on nationality and compete in a World Cup-style tournament. Dreyfus has also overseen the creation of the European Poker Awards and the American Poker Awards, both of which recognize top players from their respective continents. But the French entrepreneur isn't finished yet. In 2016, Dreyfus will kick off the Global Poker League (GPL), an ambitious project which he describes as a central piece of his "ambitious plans to transform the world of poker." With the GPL, Dreyfus wants to make the game of poker more exciting and engaging by creating 12 franchises in which team owners draft top pros who compete against other teams from cities like Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. These matches will take place online and live and include stadium events where players face off inside a clear, soundproof cube (pictured) at the center of an arena. Some league tournaments will be broadcast on traditional TV stations, while others will be streamed online on platforms like Twitch. Dreyfus realized the power of the video game streaming site after nearly 1.25 million fans tuned in to watch the live stream of the inaugural Global Poker Masters. Now, USA Today will feature much of that content as well across its sports initiatives and more than 120 local media brands with which it is involved. "We're extremely pleased to be announcing this multi-year content partnership with USA Today Sports," said Dreyfus. "The partnership will provide an essential platform to showcase our innovative new events and to promote the players ranked in the Global Poker Index. It's great to have the support and passion of an industry leader like USA Today Sports, whose team shares in our vision to 'sportify' poker. We're looking forward to working closely with them over the coming years." Dreyfus is also extending the GPI's reach to China and has already received funding from investors there. He believes that the next poker boom will be powered by eSports along with the video game industry. He says that poker is already seen as a sport in Asia, where investors were keen to back the project. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. On Thursday, February 22 the Global Poker Index returns to Los Angeles to host the 4th Annual GPI American Poker Awards. Sponsored by PokerStars, the awards ceremony looks to celebrate not just the players of the game but the industry and influencers that help create and support the poker community. Having spent the last three years in Beverly Hills, the ceremony now moves to the Andaz West Hollywood hotel on the Sunset Strip. “We are very excited to return to the Los Angeles area for a fourth straight year to reward the most deserving poker players, industry leaders and media members in the business,” Alex Dreyfus, American Poker Awards President said. “We are proud to once again host the poker world and look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles.” In total, the ceremony will hand out 20 total awards including mainstay categories such as Breakout Player of the Year, Moment of the Year and Event of the Year. The awards also shine the spotlight on members of the media including Poker Journalist of the Year and Poker Media Content of the Year. In addition to these and other previously awarded categories, three new awards will be included in 2018 - all of which reflect the growing landscape of how poker is both presented and consumed. For the first time the categories of Video Blogger of the Year, Poker Broadcaster of the Year and Biggest Influencer will be presented, likely recognizing a new wave of content creators that are helping grow the industry. Two awards that need no nomination and have already been determined are the GPI American Player of the Year and the GPI Female Player of the Year. Both are pre-determined by tournament results of the players that scored the most points on the Global Poker Index during the 2017 season. The GPI American Player of the Year is New York’s high-rolling crusher Bryn Kenney. Kenney takes the award after an amazing 2017 that saw him rake in 15 six-figure scores headlined by a victory in the PokerStars Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller for $1,946.911. Canada’s Kristen Bicknell will be honored as the GPI Female Player of the Year. Her spectacular season was topped by a victory in the $5,000 side event during the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas for nearly $200,000. Once again, PocketFives is proud to be co-presenting the PocketFives Legacy Award. The award is presented to an online legend who has come out from behind the keyboard to make significant contributions to the live tournament circuit. Last year, one of the greatest, Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy was presented with the award. All the winners will be revealed on February 22 at 7:00 pm at the Andaz West Hollywood. If you are looking to reserve your spot, simply fill out the necessary form, noting that space is limited. 4th Annual American Poker Awards Categories GPI American Player of the Year - Bryn Kenney GPI Female Player of the Year - Kristen Bicknell Breakout Player of the Year Poker Journalist of the Year Poker Media Content of the Year Poker Podcast of the Year Video Blogger of the Year Poker Streamer of the Year Poker Broadcaster of the Year Mid-Major Circuit of the Year Event of the Year Industry Person of the Year Biggest Influencer in Poker Charitable Initiative of the Year PocketFives Legacy Award Award for Lifetime Achievement In Poker Jury Prize People's Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year
  10. On Thursday, February 22 the Global Poker Index and PokerStars present the 4th Annual American Poker Awards. The ceremony, being held in Hollywood, will bring together some of the biggest names in poker to celebrate the achievements of both players and industry members in 20 different categories. There’s a lot to look forward to when the celebration of the year-that-was takes place at the Andaz Hotel this week. PokerCentral Leads The Way There’s no doubt that Cary Katz’ PokerGo streaming service, part of Poker Central, has had an important impact on not just how fans can consume their favorite game but how much poker they now have at their disposal. Poker Central leads the way in award nominations with eight opportunities to pick up a trophy. Both the Super High Roller Bowl and the Poker Masters are included in the Event Of The Year category. Nick Schulman and the longtime poker voice of Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad are competing for the Broadcaster of the Year. Additionally, “Tom Dwan’s Return to Poker After Dark”, Matt Berkey’s “Dead Money” documentary, the Poker Central Podcast and Cary Katz himself are all up for awards as well. Doug And Daniel Go Head To Head It’s no secret that Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk, two of poker’s biggest personalities, have an acrimonious relationship. At the American Poker Awards the pair finds themselves nominated in a trio of categories against one another. Both are nominated for the Video Blogger Award (along with Joe Ingram and Andrew Neeme), The People’s Choice For Poker Personality of the Year (along with Jonathan Little and Andrew Neeme) and Poker’s Biggest Influencer (along with tournament director Matt Savage and Poker Central’s Cary Katz). Players Of The Year A pair of awards are pre-determined as both Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell will be honored for their tournament performances in 2017. Kenney, who destroyed the high roller scene last year, earned himself the 2017 GPI American Player of the Year on the back of 15 six-figure scores. Bicknell will be presented with the 2017 GPI Female Player of the Year award with the help of her victory in the $5,000 prelim at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December of 2017 for just under $200,000. The Favorites There’s little doubt that all of the players and industry members that have been nominated are deserving. That said, there are a few that would likely be considered favorites in their respective categories. Vlogger Andrew Neeme crashed the poker personality party in 2017 with his engaging, well-produced vlogs. In a little over a year, the bulk of which occurred in 2017, he’s amassed over 80,000 subscribers to his YouTube Channel. He’s up against some heavy hitters including the award-winning Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram, Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu, but his consistent vlogging has opened up the new space of poker content like none other. The Broadcaster of the Year category is stacked with class as well. Longtime ESPN WSOP commentator Lon McEachern, Poker After Dark’s Ali Nejad and the lovable voice of both the PokerStars EPT and Poker Night In America, Joe Stapleton are some of live poker’s biggest assets. But the smooth delivery and easy-to-grasp hand analysis of Nick Schulman took over the coverage of the High Roller Bowl and was as highly-acclaimed as one could be by just about everyone who heard it. In the Podcast category, there’s some amazing content to be had, but the longevity and entertainment of the TwoPlusTwo Pokercast with Adam Schwartz, Terrence Chan and Ross Henry may have an edge this year. The trio does it all: addressing poker’s biggest issues, answering listener email, expounding on the latest #pokertwitter drama all while giving their listeners a glimpse into their real lives. It could be a close one, but it should be their year. An Industry Showcased Performances both at the table and away will be celebrated with both players and industry members getting their due. The categories of Breakout Player, Tournament Performance and Moment of the Year shine a light on the people and moments of 2017 that players and fans won’t soon forget. Event Of The Year, Industry Person of the Year, Journalist of the Year and the Media Content category celebrate the efforts of some in the world of poker who dedicate their time to showcasing the game we love. A Pair For PocketFives PocketFives.com is not without its own nominations this year as well. President and Editor-In-Chief of PocketFives.com, Lance Bradley, scored a nomination for Journalist of the Year for his work covering the personalities of both the live and online poker scene. Additionally, his article entitled "Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising His Two Boys #ForCathy" was honored with a nomination for Media Content of the Year. Special Awards A handful of awards are without nominations but will be unveiled on Thursday including the Charitable Initiative award, the Jury Prize, our own PocketFives Legacy Award (celebrating an online legend who has made great strides in the live tournament circuit) and the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker. In a field that thrives on competition of the highest order, the American Poker Awards is more of a celebration of another successful year of those moments and individuals that expand the reach and grow the game of poker.
  11. I would like nothing more than to see the game of poker and this industry thrive unimaginably. I also believe the Global Poker Awards, which were previously two distinctions, the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards, are good for the industry. That belief is becoming less and less so each year. I've always touted the importance of this ceremony to celebrate the industry and accomplishments within. Quite honestly, it's getting to the point where one could make the argument the awards aren't good for poker because some of the nominees and even some of the categories are so far off the mark. If you're like me and believe the awards can help push poker in the right direction, then we're going to need to change how we do things and try a bit harder. I'm well aware the Global Poker Awards aren't going to spark the next poker boom, but they're a piece of the puzzle that can increase the industry's legitimacy. For an industry that is constantly clawing and scratching for every inch of legitimacy it can get, this is important. When the nomination list goes out, do those that receive it take the adequate time to best make their selections? The answer to that question can't possibly be yes. I've talked to enough people to surmise that there's too many with representative votes who aren't holding up their end of the bargain. Of course, this is a shared responsibility between the Global Poker Index and those on the nomination panel. The GPI needs to put standard over inclusion, but ultimately, most of the nomination panel isn't putting in the time and effort the privilege should require. The nomination panel isn't helping if, every single year when it's time for the awards, too many are half-assing it through the process, voting for friends and co-workers simply because of relationship, and not putting in the time it takes to make the best decisions. It's kind of like poker in a lot of ways. Are the voters in it to simply splash around a little in the game and be considered a "known" person in the industry, or do they want to actually put in the effort it takes for this to mean something? Improve the Process This year's nomination panel was pegged at more than 130 members, according to the GPI. That's too many by about 120. I get it, the awards are now global so you're going to need a greater representation from across the globe, but the lobbying for friends and coworkers is blatantly obvious and the lack of knowledge is highly evident. This is where the GPI needs to step in and make a change. Again, we need to emphasize that the awards are a standard of achievement, not a popular participation trophy. Instead of having a huge nomination panel, form a committee and give them real responsibilities. I'd suggest a committee of 10-12 people, and I'd make it an interview process for a person to be accepted to the committee. We can start by having each media outlet nominate one person to possibly be on the committee. Poker media members should, in theory, be the ones with the best grasp on all things poker across the globe. We should want those with the most expansive knowledge on the committee, but we'll certainly need to vet them. Each person nominated to be a part of the committee would be interviewed by the GPI and either accepted or refused. Think of it like a job interview and the GPI is hiring, just for a gig with no pay. If you'd like to be on the committee but having to go through an interview process is something that you balk at, you're not someone who deserves to have representative votes. Of course, we would have to trust that the GPI would pick the best individuals for the committee. I would also suggest that if this is a route taken, the GPI consider a relevancy factor with each committee member and candidate. Meaning, the person must still have relevancy within the industry. Another requirement for being on the committee would be that you absolutely must be present for all meetings, and for the final committee gathering to determine the award winners. There would be several rounds of discussion and voting. Again, this speaks to one's level of commitment. Part of the problem with how it's done now is that you have more than 130 members on the nomination panel who determine the finalists and then a much smaller group of about 10 hand-picked jury members who determine the winners. The way it is, the jury is left to pick from the bunch they're given, rather than go through a few rounds of discussion, vetting, and voting to determine the best winner. Look at what happened a couple of years ago with Breakout Player of the Year. Nick Petrangelo arguably should've won Breakout Player of the Year for 2015, but he didn't even make the list of finalists. Having a committee of the same people who go through the process from start to finish would pay big dividends here. The committee wouldn't, and shouldn't, be all media, though. I would suggest including players or general industry members, but ones that aren't strongly tied to one organization. Again, each candidate would need to be vetted and accepted. With general industry members, it can be difficult for a person working for one organization on a daily basis to have the required knowledge outside of their organization. Not that this is their fault, it's just the nature of how things work. Each year, I would repeat this entire process, giving seniority, based on performance, to those on the committee the year before. I'd also suggest having alternates on standby should anything extreme cause need for a replacement on the committee. Alternates would go through a similar process as other committee members. Better Categories These are the poker awards, right? Why aren’t we giving out an award for Online Poker Operator of the Year, Live Poker Operator of the Year, or Poker Media Outlet of the Year? It seems silly to not award those. The Tournament Performance of the Year award has to go. If we keep it, can we all just agree to award it to the WSOP Main Event champion every year? There is no greater tournament performance each year than grinding through that monstrosity of a poker tournament, competing against really good players in the best-structured tournament in the world for a massive amount of time. Remove Moment of the Year. Half of the things that get listed here aren't "moments" and this award blends too much with Tournament Performance of the Year. In its place, I'd suggest we add in Hand of the Year. In the current digital age and the age of social media, so many great hands see the light of day in consumable content. The content is also easily shareable, which helps promote the awards and generate buzz. Hand of the Year is also a great way to add in a fan vote. Ditch Poker Journalist of the Year. I'd suggest we go back to Media Person of the Year, if anything, and then if we want to further celebrate the media, we do so with individual awards such as Photo of the Year, Story of the Year, and Feature Video of the Year. There are enough great pieces of content to fill these respective categories. Industry Person of the Year needs a new name. I understand what's meant to be done with this award, but doesn’t "industry" implies anyone in the industry can win? Rename this to represent what it is really meant to do, Poker Executive of the Year. With Breakout Player of the Year, the GPI could implement a "breakout factor" for each player to help everyone out. I doubt everyone with a vote is grinding through Hendon Mob. The GPI knows how much a player climbs in the GPI from year to year and the award can be more on-brand if that's what the nominations are based on. Start Earlier Whatever causes these awards to become a thing a month before they happen needs to stop. Give everyone more time to think about the awards, dive into researching what should win and what shouldn't, and pump up the various elements such as the content pieces, tournament performances, and players. We also need to move the awards so that they take place earlier in the year. The awards this year aren't taking place until early April. That's the fourth month of the year. People can't remember what happened last week, let alone 4-16 months ago. The awards being held closer to the start of the year would keep the previous year, which is what we're supposed to be celebrating, fresher in everyone's minds. If the awards are going to be partnered with Poker Central and PokerGO for future years, it seems like a no-brainer to hold the awards would be at the front or back end of the US Poker Open that takes place at the beginning of February. PokerGO could host the awards in the PokerGO Studio either the day before or the day after the US Poker Open festival. If it's before, there's additional content to showcase during the festival. If it's after, you can spend the week hyping up the awards to generate a larger audience for them. Or, maybe we could just hand out participation ribbons ever year? The views and opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of PocketFives or other staff.
  12. After tabulating the votes of over 130 Nomination Panel members, the Global Poker Index, along with their partner PokerCentral, has unveiled the nominations in thirteen of the 20 categories of the first ever Global Poker Awards. The awards are set to take place on April 5 at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas where poker players and industry members from 10 different nations will be represented in a wide variety of categories that aims to celebrate all aspects of the poker community. PocketFives is well represented within the nominees. The Fives Podcast is one of five nominees for Podcast of the Year and PocketFives' President & Editor in Chief Lance Bradley's book, The Pursuit of Poker Success, Here are the nominees, presented in alphabetical order: Tournament Performance of the Year Justin Bonomo (Super High Roller Bowl IV) John Cynn (2018 World Series of Poker Main Event) Maria Lampropulos (2018 PCA Main Event) Dylan Linde (WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic) Breakout Player of the Year Almedin ‘Ali’ Imsirovic Maria Konnikova Ping Liu Christopher Michael Soyza Streamer of the Year Jeff Gross Jason Somerville Jaime Staples Lex Veldhuis Vlogger of the Year Marle Cordeiro Joe Ingram Andrew Neeme Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk Podcast LFG Podcast PokerCentral Podcast PokerNews Podcast The Chip Race The Fives Poker Podcast Broadcaster Maria Ho Lon McEachern Nick Schulman Lex Veldhuis Poker Journalist Drew Amato Sarah Herring Remko Rinkema Christian Zetzsche Media Content Drew Amato (photo: Brunson bids farewell to WSOP) Lance Bradley (book: The Pursuit of Poker Success) Haley Hintze (article: Vayo v. PokerStars) PokerCentral/PokerGO (Super High Roller Club: Schulman featuring Nejad) Industry Person Angelical Hael (World Poker Tour) Cary Katz (Poker Central) Matt Savage (WPT, TDA) Ty Stewart (World Series of Poker) Rob Yong (Dusk Till Dawn, partypoker) Tournament Director Tony Burns (Seminole Hard Rock) Paul Campbell (ARIA) Jack Effel (World Series of Poker) Kenny Hallaert (Unibet Open) Mid-Major Tour/Circuit 888poker LIVE RUNGOOD Poker Series Unibet Open WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit Event of the Year partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Super High Roller Bowl IV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic WSOP Main Event Moment of the Year Jeremy Hilsercop received PSPC Platinum Pass via Christmas Day viral video Joe Cada wins The Closer after finishing 5th in WSOP Main Event Doyle Brunson plays his final WSOP event Justin Bonomo wins Big One for One Drop, completing Super High Roller Streak In addition to the above categories, there are seven other awards that will be given out during the ceremony. Due to their results in 2018, Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell will each be receiving awards for the 2018 GPI Player of the Year and the 2018 Female Player of the Year respectively. Along with trophies for Foxen and Bicknell the following categories will be determined by the Global Poker Awards Jury: - Lifetime Achievement in Poker Award - Charitable Initiative - Jury Prize As has been the case in previous GPI award shows, the “people” will have a voice and will vote to award the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year. Also, PocketFives will be handing out the PocketFives Legacy Award acknowledging a player who has come from the world of online poker to make major contributions to poker’s live tournament scene. The Global Poker Awards can be watched live on PokerGO on April 5.
  13. The poker world will unite in Las Vegas on April 5 when the Global Poker Index and Poker Central hold the new, unified, first-ever Global Poker Awards, presented by online poker site PokerStars. The GPI have decided to merge the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards into a single event. The new ceremony, which will be held at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas, will bring celebrate all facets of the poker industry from around the world. It will be a recognition of the players, industry leaders and members of the poker media that have made their mark on the game throughout the year. The ceremony will hand out twenty awards in a variety of categories that recognize the top-tier players, live tournaments and tours, and the biggest stories in poker. “We’re thrilled to deliver streaming coverage of the first-ever Global Poker Awards show live from the PokerGO Studio,” said Sam Simmons, president of Poker Central. “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.” The full list of categories and their nominees will be announced at a later date. Prior to the ceremony, a nomination panel will help determine each of the finalists of each category. Then, the winners are selected by a jury consisting of members of the poker industry. “Our global initiatives behind the European Poker Awards and the American Poker Awards come together starting this year,” said Eric Danis, Global Poker Index president. “We’re excited to bring recognition to the poker world’s best players and most prominent industry contributors on an unprecedented scale.” Although categories have yet to be announced, one should expect many of the categories from past years to make a return. These include GPI Player of the Year, GPI Female Player of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, Tournament Performance of the Year, Event of the Year, Moment of the Year, Poker Media Content of the Year, a Jury Prize, People’s Choice and a Lifetime Achievement award. Just last year, the American Poker Awards also addressed the emerging segments of poker streaming, vlogging, podcasting and poker 'influencers', all of which were awarded trophies. The PocketFives Legacy Award, an award presented to an online legend who has made outstanding contributions to the live tournament circuit, will also be returning at the Global Poker Awards. PokerStars, which has been a sponsor of the GPI’s award shows in the past, return to be the premier sponsor for the event.
  14. The second annual Global Poker Awards will take over Las Vegas and the PokerGO airwaves on March 6 as top players and industry leaders converge on the PokerGO studio at the ARIA Hotel & Casino to honor the biggest and brightest in the game. The event is produced by the Global Poker Index and Poker Central and will present more than 20 awards this year including GPI Player of the Year, Event of the Year, and Industry Person of the Year. There will be new categories this year including Best All-Around Poker Player which will be voted on by players in the GPI 300. "The Global Poker Index team is hard at work on this expanded Global Poker Awards event, filled with new awards and experiences for attendees and the viewing audience," said Eric Danis, GPI president. "We’re delighted that the Global Poker Awards have become a repeating annual event that is growing in scope and significance among the poker industry." The PocketFives Legacy Award, which honors a long-time PocketFives player who has shown success in the online and live poker arenas over their entire career, will also be part of the show. Previous winners of the award include Cliff Josephy, Ari Engel, and Chris Moorman. The Global Poker Awards debuted earlier this year as a combination of the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards. The event was not without controversy however as the nomination and voting process came under fire. As a result, this year each category will have its own set of experts to help determine nominees and finalists. Some categories will include fan voting as well. The event will air live on PokerGO for the second consecutive year. "The first annual Global Poker Awards were a tremendous success and an important moment for us as an industry to recognize our best and brightest," said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. "The second annual event is an important opportunity for Poker Central to once again partner with the Global Poker Index and to stream our community’s biggest night on PokerGO for the fans at home."

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