The nomination process for the 15th Global Poker Index European Poker Tour Awards has begun and panellist Lee Davy shares his insights on who he thinks the front-runners will be.
I am once again honoured to be asked to join the Nomination Panel for the Global Poker Index (GPI) European Poker Awards. The ceremony takes place on Tuesday, May 3rd at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, coinciding with the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final.
The e-mail I received from GPI HQ reliably informs me that I will be one of 50+ panellists who will be allowed to cast two votes in nine categories – one more than 2014.
The votes will be tallied up with the top four in each group forming a shortlist. A final jury of masked men and women will choose the winners on the morning of the event.
Poker Moment of the Year is the newest category. Here are the other eight.
- Breakout Performance of the Year
- Media Person of the Year
- Event of the Year, buy-in below €2,000
- Event of the Year, buy-in above €2,000
- Tournament Performance of the Year
- Media Content of the Year
- Industry Person of the Year
- Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year
My Mind’s Gone Blank And I’m Dying For a…
A combination of my live tournament exile and age means I found it difficult to cast my mind back through 2015 and drag in a gem or two. There were some awards I didn’t vote on because I didn’t feel qualified or experienced enough – examples: The Best Tournament of the Year categories, but I did have an opinion of many others.
Breakout Player of the Year
It’s going to be a straight coin toss between Fedor Holz and Dzmitry Urbanovich. Both players came into 2015 with a modicum of success and emerged the other end winning gazillion dollars, raising the bar higher than ever, and creating an added fizz in the higher echelons of our game.
I voted for both, but Holz is the man for me.
Fedor Holz Live Tournament Cash Record
He came close to making the final table of the EPT11 Main Event in Malta finishing ninth for €60,290.
Two sterling performances in the EPT11 Grand Final €50k & €100k High Rollers in Monte Carlo with over €700,000 accrued and two final table appearances against some of the best players in the world in the bag.
He pulled off two excellent performances at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) finishing third in the $10k No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Six-Max, and 25th in the Main Event, for a combined total of over half a million dollars.
Another High Roller final table performance followed in the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) €25k buy-in in Berlin where he finished sixth for close to €100,000. The same happened in the HK$250k High Roller in Macau finishing seventh for $114,691.
Finally, all the panhandling paid dividends when he struck gold at the WPT Alpha8 in Las Vegas winning the top prize of $1.5m. 2016 results shouldn’t influence our decision, but I can’t ignore the fact that he then went on to win a further $3.4m in the WPT Super High Roller in the Philippines just a few weeks later.
The difference between Holz and Urbanovich is the German is now playing in THE biggest games in the world. I think that’s an incredible ascent for someone so young. He also nearly cried when drafted into the Global Poker League (GPL) courtesy of Maria Ho, showing how much this game means to the lad.
Media Person of the Year
I made the shortlist for this award in 2013 & 2014 (it was called something different in 2014 I believe). I lost out to Neil Johnson in 2013, and Marc Convey in 2014.
Both Johnson and Convey love their job and love the game of poker. And I would vote for Remko Rinkema and Robbie Strazynski for the same reasons. They possess more enthusiasm than lamb on crack, and it shows in their work. Another important factor to consider is how versatile they both are. Both of them write, conduct audio interviews, and are not afraid to get in front of the camera.
Strazynski is the breakout star.
Rinkema is the tried and tested formula.
I think Strazynski will miss out with seniority playing a part, but he will pick this title up one year, of that, I have no doubt.
Best Tournament Performance of the Year
I fell in love with the story of the Norwegian Championships returning to home soil for the first time. We have people blowing themselves up, billions of people without clean water, and an ecosystem that’s about as fragile as a doily and yet we still have too many places in the world where a human being can’t choose to play a game of cards for money.
1,974 players entered, and the fact that the countries leading money earner took it down in Felix Stephensen was an important statement. Only Annette Obrestad, Thor Hansesn or Johnny Lodden could have been more worthy winners.
Poker Media Content of the Year
I am biased, but I love this category. There’s something beautiful about the art within poker whether it be in the written form, audio or visual. The problem with it is one of memory.
I have interviewed so many people in 2015. I can’t remember them, so how will anyone else? Who sees what the photographer sees? So many stunning and emotionally charged shots are gathering dust on somewhere on Flickr.
In the end, I went with innovation.
When Poker Update created: “The Most Memorable Televised Poker Hand,” I remember thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
There was nothing like it. It combined high-octane poker with the gamification aspect that everyone loves. It was bold, brash and ballsy and for that, they get my vote.