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European Poker Awards: May, Urbanovich and Gale Shine in Monte Carlo

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The Global Poker Index European Poker Awards were handed out in a glitzy ceremony at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo and Jesse May, Dzmitry Urbanovich, and John Gale were amongst the winners.

European Poker Awards: May, Urbanovich and Gale Shine in Monte CarloThe Global Poker Index (GPI) rewarded the most successful and significant members of the 2015 European poker scene at the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Monte Carlo last night and Jesse May was once again the star of the show.

The writer, commentator, bookie, comedian, and all-around great bloke, won his second GPI European Poker Award (EPA). His ditty on his good friend Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot – Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold by Jesse & Mickey May won the award for Best Media Content of 2015. Three years ago he picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award.

After the GPI had announced the shortlist, I had difficulty in choosing a winner from the Media Content category. May’s writing made the hairs stand up on those forearms, but so did Neil Stoddart’s shot of Jean Montury consoling a desolate Valentin Messina as he loses the Season 11 EPT Main Event in Malta.

I couldn’t split them.

It seems the secret panel had the same problem.

The award went to May, but Stoddart was not left behind after the committee surprised him with the Jury Award for Special Industry Achievement.

May wasn’t the only person picking up an EPA for the second time in recent years. The Global Poker League’s (GPL) London Royals Team Manager, Liv Boeree, picked up the GPI Female Player of the Year (POY) for the second successive year. LA Sunset player Fedor Holz won the male version.

Holz’s POY award was a fait accompli, but he was also a big favourite to win the Breakout Player of the Year. It was another difficult one for the judges to select. I couldn’t choose between Holz and Moscow Wolverines star Dzmitry Urbanovich, but the panel eventually handed the trophy to the Pole.

I did predict the winner of the Event Low Buy-in (below €2,000). The Norwegian Championships Norway Cup picking up the award after the event was held on home soil for the first time in a very long time. The Event High Buy-in (€2,000 and more) winner was the EPT Barcelona Main Event.

I thought the winner of the Industry Person of the Year would be either Hermance Blum or Rob Yong. Both tick very different boxes for me. Blum ticked the boxes that lay before the panel. The World Poker Tour (WPT) European General Manager winning the award after being nominated in successive years.

I didn’t have a view on the Innovation/Initiative Award. I think it’s a waste of a category, and should be thrown into the bin to be replaced by something more personalised. The Norwegian Championship Broadcast won the award nevertheless.

There was a time when I was known as the busiest man in media. These days that accolade belongs to Remko Rinkema. The man has everything in his arsenal and covers them all with excitement and verve unparalleled in the industry. He was a worthy Media Person of the Year.

The award for Moment of the Year went to John Gale for returning to the felt after a three-year absence recovering from a brain tumour to win a couple of World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets. Gale’s achievements were incredible, but I thought Pierre Neuville’s run in the WSOP Main Event warranted the award.

I might not have got the Moment of the Year right, but I did get the Tournament Performance of the Year right. The super Spaniard Adrian Mateos picked up the award for his card crushing performance in the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event.

Here are the summarised results:

GPI EUROPEAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2015

– Fedor Holz

GPI EUROPEAN FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2015

– Liv Boeree

JURY AWARD – SPECIAL INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

– Neil Stoddart

MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR

– Frank Op de Woerd
– Lee Davy
– Neil Stoddart
– Remko Rinkema

INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR

– Edgar Stuchly
– Hermance Blum
– Luca Vivaldi
– Rob Yong
– Thomas Lamatsch

BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR

– Charlie Carrel
– Dzmitry Urbanovich
– Fedor Holz
– Rainer Kempe

TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

– Adrian Mateos Wins the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event
– Barny Boatman wins second career WSOP bracelet at WSOP Europe
– Fedor Holz Wins WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas
– Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona 10K High Roller

EVENT OF THE YEAR (BUYIN UP TO €2,000)

– Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona
– Norwegian Championships Norway Cup
– PokerListings Battle of Malta
– WPT500 at Dusk Till Dawn

EVENT OF THE YEAR (BUY-IN OVER €2,000)

– EPT Barcelona Main Event
– EPT Grand Final Main Event
– EPT Prague Main Event
– WSOP Europe Main Event

POKER INNOVATION OR INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

Norwegian Championship broadcast (sports style)
– PokerStars Play Along App – Interactive Poker on TV
– PokerStars using superstars (athletes) for global campaign
– WSOP Europe remote Twitch broadcasts

MOMENT OF THE YEAR

– Dzmitry Urbanovich wins Crazy Pineapple tourney at EPT Malta – 4th win of series
– Epic hand between Mateos and Lodden at EPT Grand Final
– John Gale returns from three years off (because of brain tumor) to win WSOP bracelet #2
– Pierre Neuville qualifies for the WSOP November Nine – after declaring he wasn’t done

POKER MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR

– “The Future of Poker in the Post-Boom Era” — Sam Grafton blog
– “The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat” — Neil Stoddart’s picture captures Montury consoling Messina at EPT Malta
– “Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold” — PokerNews article by Jesse May and Mickey May
– Remko Report, PokerNews Podcast, August 2015 — Eli Elezra talks time in Israeli Army and high stakes with legends

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