As was the case in 2014, a roughly 50-person nomination panel (full disclosure, I’m a member of the nomination panel) was selected to create a short-list of nominees, with a smaller panel of select “jurors” selecting the winner from the group of finalists chosen by the nomination panel.
Each member of the nomination panel selects two nominees (each vote has equal worth and each voter must select two nominees from each category) in each of the 11 vote-eligible APA categories. The top four vote getters in each category become finalists, as the process of selecting the four finalists is based 100% on the nomination panels’ vote total. The select juror panel then selects the winner from the list of finalists, which will be revealed at the American Poker Awards ceremony on February 25.
The nomination process is open until January 20.
2015 APA categories
A total of 15 APA’s will be handed out at the ceremony.
Three awards will be awarded to players based on their Global Poker Index Player of the Year ranking:
- The 2015 GPI Global Player of the Year award goes to the top-ranked player in the GPI’s Player of the Year standings: Byron Kaverman.
- The American Player of the Year award goes to the top-ranked player from the Americas in the GPI’s POY standings: also Byron Kaverman.
- The Female Player of the Year award goes to the top-ranked female player in the GPI’s POY standings: Kelly Minkin.
Another award, the Poker Ambassador of the Year, will be voted on by the public. This award was won by Daniel Negreanu in 2014.
The remainder of the categories will be voted on by the nomination panel.
Here are the 11 categories the nomination panel will vote on; who won the same award (if applicable) in 2014; and some potential winners in 2015 that may or may not reflect who I will nominate:
Breakout Player of the Year
- 2014 winner: Brandon Shack-Harris
- Potential 2015 winner: Cate Hall, Kelly Minkin, or Asher Conniff
Media Person of the Year
- 2014 winner: Chris Grove
- Potential 2015 winner: Chris Grove, Kevin Mathers, Joey Ingram, or Jason Somerville
Event of the Year, buy-in below $2,000
- 2014 winner: WSOP Monster Stack (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)
- Potential 2015 winner: WSOP Colossus, WSOP Millionaire Maker, or WPT500 Aria
Event of the Year, buy-in above $2,000
- 2014 winner: World Series of Poker Main Event (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)
- Potential 2015 winner: WSOP Main Event, or Super High Roller Bowl
Tournament Performance of the Year
- 2014 winner: Mark Newhouse, WSOP Main Event, 9th Place Finisher
- Potential 2015 winner: Joe McKeehen, Anthony Zinno, Loni Harwood, or Mike Gorodinsky
Media Content of the Year
- 2014 winner: Brad Willis, WSOP 2014: Stages/Never stop fighting for PokerStars Blog
- Potential 2015 winner: Too many too list, and listing them would likely give away my choice
Industry Person of the Year
- 2014 winner: Adam Pliska, WPT President
- Potential 2015 winner: Matt Savage, Adam Pliska, Tab Duchateau, or Jack Effel
Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year
- 2014 winner: Twitch opens its doors to live streaming poker
- Potential 2015 winner: Poker Central, WSOP online bracelet, or a popular Twitch stream
Charitable Initiative of the Year
- 2014 winner: “All In” for Kids Poker Tournament presented by CHOP and the WPT Foundation
- Potential 2015 winner: OneDrop, All In for Kids, honestly, they’re all good and they’re all worthy
Two new categories added
Based on feedback, the 2015 APA’s will see the addition of two new categories:
Poker Moment of the Year: An unforgettable hand played, an unexpected player’s bust out, an unbelievable story among the poker world… 2015 gave us loads of poker moments that we won’t soon forget – we’ll celebrate that moment by finding the most memorable one!
- Potential 2015 winner: Anthony Zinno back-to-back WPT wins, Hellmuth wins bracelet No. 14, Colossus attendance records, Negreanu busts in 11th place, or McKeehen dominates Main Event
Poker Presenter of the Year: On TV, livestreams or videos, a long list of familiar faces accompanied you all along 2015 by sharing tournaments live videos, video interviews, off-the-felt info or poker shows. Time has come to reward the best of them!
- Potential 2015 winner: Lon McEachern, Norman Chad, David Tuchman, Chris Hanson, Mike Sexton or Joe Stapleton
Once the nomination process is closed the finalists will be revealed.
The American Poker Awards will also host the inaugural Global Poker League draft, as well as the second American Poker Conference.