On Thursday night, at the Andaz Hotel in Los Angeles, the fourth annual American Poker Awards take place with Poker Central up for no less than eight awards. The awards ceremony, hosted by the Global Poker Index, honors accomplishments, events, moments and people from various segments of the industry as well as awarding Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell with their 2017 GPI American Player and Female Player of the Year trophies.
Launching PokerGO in May of 2017, Poker Central was nominated in a wide variety of categories including two nominees in the “Event of the Year” category. The third annual Super High Roller Bowl found itself nominated again after losing out to the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown at the most recent awards show in 2015. This year’s “Event of the Year” nominees are as follows.
|2017 Event of the Year|
|Event Name||Buy-in||Entries||First Prize||Winner|
|Super High Roller Bowl||$300,000||56||$6,000,000||Christoph Vogelsang|
|partypoker MILLIONS North America||CAD $5,300||1,168||$696,169||Jean-Pascal Savard|
|Poker Masters Event #1||$50,000||50||$918,000||Nick Schulman|
|WSOP Main Event||$10,000||7,221||$8,150,000||Scott Blumstein|
The first event of the first annual Poker Masters at the ARIA Resort & Casino was nominated as well, as the 50-player $50,000 event kicked off a five-event series that was dominated by German pro Steffen Sontheimer. Sontheimer won two of five events, winning $2.7 million, taking home the Purple Jacket®, and breaking out as a star of the game to the international poker audience who saw him dominate the live-streamed final tables on PokerGO.
The “Moment of the Year” category saw Tom Dwan’s epic return to center stage reel in a nomination. Here’s an overview of the nominees in this category.
|2017 Moment of the Year|
|70-year-old John Smith makes back-to-back WSOP 10K Heads-Up finals.|
|Ema Zajmovic becomes the first female player to win an open event on World Poker Tour.|
|Vanessa Selbst’s Full House loses to Gaelle Baumann’s Quads early in the WSOP Main Event.|
|Tom Dwan makes his return to America, stars on Poker After Dark reboot on PokerGo.|
Two of the four nominations in this category were live on PokerGO, John Smith’s epic back-to-back finals run in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship at the World Series of Poker, and “The Return of Tom Dwan” on Poker After Dark. The memorable return of Dwan to the spotlights can be summarized in this epic pot worth nearly $700,000 versus Antonio Esfandiari.
Rewatch the full “Return of Tom Dwan” now, exclusively on PokerGO.
While the 70-year old John Smith did not manage to capture his first WSOP gold, his run will forever be remembered as one of the highlights of 2017. When it was all said and done, Spanish superstar and the eventual 2017 GPI Player of the Year, Adrian Mateos, knocked Smith out in second place collecting $208,154 for his runner-up finish.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 10, 2017
Relive John Smith’s memorable run right now on PokerGO.
Ema Zajmovic made poker history in 2017 by becoming the first ever female to win an open World Poker Tour event, while two other women were involved in what became one of the most watched and talked about hands in the game. On Day 1 of the WSOP Main Event, Vanessa Selbst was knocked out holding a full house versus Gaelle Baumann’s quads became a nation-wide sensation by being live on ESPN.
In the “Media Content of the Year,” Poker Central’s Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story collected a nomination. “Dead Money” tells the story of poker pro Matt Berkey, who went through a tough childhood before realizing his dream of becoming a professional player and making the final table of the Super High Roller Bowl.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) May 22, 2017
Watch all eight episodes of Dead Money right now, exclusively on PokerGO.
|2017 Media Content of the Year|
|Adrian Moreno in tears after Little One for One Drop win; days after losing his friend (Drew Amato, photo for WSOP.com)|
|Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (PokerCentral documentary)|
|Poker Brat: The Phill Hellmuth Story (Phil Hellmuth, published by D&B Publishing)|
|Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising his Two Boys #ForCathy (Lance Bradley, article for PocketFives)|
The “Podcast of the Year” category sees the Poker Central Podcast among the four nominees. The Podcast made its debut in January of 2017, as Brent Hanks, Will O’Connor and Remko Rinkema take a weekly look at all that goes on in the world of poker. Take a listen to the most recent show in which Brent and Remko make their picks for all categories of the American Poker Awards.
Poker Central’s founder Cary Katz was recognized with a nomination in the category “Poker’s Biggest Influencer.” Katz’s vision brought Poker Central and PokerGO to life, as well as redefining high roller events at the ARIA and launching the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters and U.S. Poker Open. Katz, a prolific player in his own right, won the $100k Super High Roller at this year’s PCA, bringing his career total earnings to $13.8 ranking him 28th on poker’s all-time money list.
|Poker’s Biggest Influencer|
The seventh and eighth nomination for Poker Central comes from the lauded duo of Nick Schulman and Ali Nejad in the “Broadcaster of the Year” award. Schulman and Nejad teamed up for the Super High Roller Bowl on PokerGO, providing expert commentary during one of the biggest events of the year. Schulman also provided commentary during the World Series of Poker, while Nejad was a feature on PokerGO providing commentary for Poker After Dark and the Poker Masters.
|Broadcaster of the Year|
|Nick Schulman||Super High Roller Bowl and World Series of Poker|
|Joe Stapleton||European Poker Tour, World Series of Poker|
|Lon McEachern||World Series of Poker|
|Ali Nejad||Super High Roller Bowl, Poker After Dark, Poker Masters|
Here’s an overview of the nominees in the other categories. Stay tuned to Poker Central for an overview of the award winners on Friday morning.
|2017 Breakout Player of the Year||2017 Tournament Performance of the Year|
|Dejuante “DJ” Alexander||Scott Blumstein (WSOP Main Event)|
|Michael Del Vecchio||Darren Elias (WPT Fallsview)|
|William Alex Foxen||Bryn Kenney PSC Monte Carlo SHR|
|Artur Papazyan||Doug Polk (WSOP One Drop High Roller)|
|2017 Poker Streamer of the Year||2017 Journalist of the Year|
|Jeff Gross||Drew Amato|
|Bill Perkins||Lance Bradley|
|Jason Somerville||BJ Nemeth|
|Jaime Staples||Steve Ruddock|
|Parker Talbot||Jessica Welman|
|2017 Industry Person of the Year||2017 Video Blogger of the Year|
|Tony Burns||Joe Ingram|
|Sean McCormack||Daniel Negreanu|
|Adam Pliska||Andrew Neeme|
|Matt Savage||Doug Polk|
|Other Awards||2017 Mid-Major Circuit Event of the Year|
|2017 GPI American Player of the Year: Bryn Kenney||Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT)|
|2017 GPI Female Player of the Year: Kristen Bicknell||RUNGOOD Poker Series|
|Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker||WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS)|
|Charitable Initiative||World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC)|
|PocketFives Legacy Award|
|People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year|