My esteemed colleague Lee Davy wrote an interesting opinion article the other week about his ambivalence towards poker awards in general, especially when it comes to how the winners are chosen. This article was published on the heels of the British Poker Awards and the Global Poker Index (GPI) Awards, two events that celebrate success in poker but determine their winners in totally different ways.
While Davy’s post was not an attack on the British Poker Awards or any of the others by any means, I did want to educate the masses on exactly how Bluff Europe determines their winners and why they do it that way.
“Basically there are three levels and by using these three systems we feel that we get a very good cross section of opinion”, explained Michael Caselli, Editor-in-Chief of Bluff Europe.
So what are those three systems?
The public vote
Poker enthusiasts have the opportunity to vote on the nominees that are determined by the “nominee committee”, a group comprised of media partners pokernews.com, pokerstrategy.com, Jesse May and Bluff Europe. This system is an important way to democratize the voting, according to Caselli.
The committee vote
The members of the nominee committee mentioned above have the opportunity to vote – clearly a much smaller sample size, but comprised of very informed voters.
The peer vote
Bluff Europe polls the industry and looks for peers within award categories to provide the eligible candidates for the peer votes. Bluff then gathers dozens of opinions from the industry and tallies up the votes and comments.
With the exception of one category, Bluff does not base any winners on player stats and there are two reasons for this. “Firstly big wins, which are a mix of skill and variance, skew the numbers dramatically. Secondly, it takes all the mystery out of the equation and thus the awards are no big surprise”, explained Caselli.
The one exception is Bluff European Rankings’ Player of the Year Award, although the results are not based on all tournaments, rather on selected tournaments. “We feel that the normal player has no chance to play in as many tournys as a sponsored pro, so we choose a schedule of tournaments that a non-sponsored pro has a chance to play should he or she take a run at player of the year”, said Caselli.
Regardless if you agree or disagree with how Bluff Europe determines their winners, its clear that they have put a lot of thought into the process. Perhaps you can decide for yourselves the best way to choose the winners, but to quote Davy, “When it comes to the nomination process for awards ceremonies I have no idea what the best approach is”.
If a poker industry expert like Lee Davy doesn’t have a clue, then God knows who does.