A Look At All Of The Winners From the Third Annual American Poker Awards

Steve Ruddock February 24, 2017 1477 Reads
american poker awards

The crème de la crème of the poker world gathered for the Third Annual Global Poker Index American Poker Awards, which were held at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Thursday night.

Here’s a look at all of the winners.

GPI Awards

The following awards were based on Global Poker Index rankings and Hendon Mob tournament results.

GPI FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cate Hall

Awarded to the top-ranking female player on the 2016 American GPI Player of the Year leaderboard.

GPI PLAYER OF THE YEAR: David Peters

Awarded to the top-ranking player on the 2016 American GPI Player of the Year leaderboard 2016.

2016 GPI WORLD SERIES OF POKER PLAYER OF THE YEAR : Jason Mercier

Awarded to the top-ranking player on the 2016 GPI World Series of Poker Player of the Year leaderboard.

THE HENDON MOB AWARD: John Holley

Awarded to the player who accumulated the most results on the circuit in 2016.

Jury Awards

The following APA winners were decided solely by the jury.

CHARITABLE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR: Dan Smith

Smith raised more than $1.6 million through his REG charity initiative.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Mori Eskandini

Past winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are Steve Lipscomb (2014) and Mike Sexton (2015).

POCKETFIVES LEGACY AWARD: Cliff Josephy

The PocketFives Legacy Award honors an online poker legend who has gone on to make significant contributions on the live tournament circuit, and who could possibly fit the bill better than Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy?

Josephy was one of the first online poker greats, and has not only found success in live poker (he made the November Nine in 2016), but is personally responsible (through staking) for dozens of other poker success stories.

JURY PRIZE: Matt Savage

The Jury prize recognizes someone in the poker world for their contributions. Last year the award was presented to Kevin Mathers.

Main Awards

The following awards were decided by a two-part system that began with a nomination panel selecting four finalists, and the APA jury selecting the winner from the group of finalists.

TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: Ari Engel, Aussie Millions Main Event

The finalists were:

  • Kristen Bicknell, WSOP No Limit Hold’em Bounty
  • Ari Engel, Aussie Millions Main Event
  • Maurice Hawkins, WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event
  • Mike Sexton, WPT Montreal

Engel was also a finalist for Breakout Performer of the Year.

MOMENT OF THE YEAR: Jason Mercier goes on historic one-week heater at the World Series of Poker

The finalists were:

  • Griffin Benger’s AA vs William Kassouf’s KK showdown in the WSOP Main Event
  • Jason Mercier goes on historic one-week heater at the World Series of Poker
  • David Peters, needing 3rd at EPT Prague to take GPI PoY from Fedor Holz, does exactly that
  • Mike Sexton mounts incredible comeback to win first WPT title in Montreal

Mercier won two APA’s on Thursday, as he also won the WSOP Player of the Year award.

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: Maurice Hawkins

The finalists were:

  • Ari Engel
  • Maurice Hawkins
  • Ankush Mandavia
  • Sam Soverel

Hawkins, a longtime tournament grinder, won three WSOPC Main Events in 2016.

EVENT OF THE YEAR: Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas

The finalists were:

  • Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, FL
  • Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas
  • WSOP Main Event, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
  • WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Bellagio, Las Vegas

The WSOP Main Event could win this category every year, but if we’re basing it on expectations, the Super High Roller Bowl is a solid choice.

MID-MAJOR CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR: WSOP Circuit

The finalists were:

  • Heartland Poker Tour
  • Mid-States Poker Tour
  • WPTDeepStacks
  • WSOP Circuit

It would be difficult to find fault with any of the finalists, so kudos to the WSOPC.

INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR: Sean McCormack, ARIA Director of Poker Operations

The finalists were:

  • Tony Burns, Seminole Hard Rock Tournament Director
  • Jack Effel, WSOP VP International Poker Operations & WSOP Director
  • Sean McCormack, ARIA Director of Poker Operations
  • Matt Savage, WPT Executive Tour Director & TDA Founder

This is another category where it’s tough to say someone was snubbed, as all four finalists are high quality.

MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR: Joseph Stapleton

The finalists were:

  • Lance Bradley
  • Sarah Herring
  • Joseph Stapleton
  • David Tuchman

Stapleton is widely recognized as the best commentator in the business for his work on Poker Night in America and the EPT.

PODCAST OF THE YEAR: Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram)

The finalists were:

  • Full Contact Poker (Daniel Negreanu)
  • Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram)
  • PokerNews Podcast (Sarah Herring, Matthew Parvis)
  • TwoPlusTwo Podcast (Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz)

No offense intended to the other finalists, but if ever there was a slam dunk winner Ingram’s Poker Life podcast was it.

MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey (Lance Bradley, PocketFives)

The finalists were:

  • Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey (Lance Bradley, PocketFives)
  • Life’s a Gamble (Mike Sexton)
  • Stu Ungar’s Last Chance Gone Wrong (Matthew Showell, PokerListings)
  • Twitch coverage of the Aussie Millions (Jason Somerville)

Bradley’s tribute to the friendship between Bob and Charlie is one of the greatest poker stories ever told, and deserving of the Media Content of the Year award.

TWITCH STREAMER OF THE YEAR: Jason Somerville “jcarverpoker”

The finalists were:

  • Kevin Martin “KevinMartin987”
  • Jason Somerville “jcarverpoker”
  • Jaime Staples “PokerStaples”
  • Parker Talbot “tonkaaaP”

Well deserved. Last year this would have been a walk in the park for Somerville (had the category existed) but his fellow streamers are starting to close the gap a bit, which is good for everyone.

Image courtesy of American Poker Awards

Privacy Policy