Pokerlistings has announced their 2016 Spirit of Poker Award winners and the trophies are heading to Brazil, Norway and Russia.
PokerListings has announced the three winners of their annual Spirit of Poker Awards, and I have to admit all three public choices surprise me.
The award for Most Inspiring Player went to Felipe ‘Mojave’ Ramos, and according to Pokerlistings, he won the award by a landslide. Ramos represents the Global Poker League (GPL) Sao Paulo Mets and is a big reason why poker has grown so popular in Brazil, the likes of Andre Akkari can pick up a sponsorship deal with Puma and carry the Olympic torch.
Ramos is an ambassador for PokerStars, is chums with Barcelona star Neymar, and has won over $1.2m playing live tournaments.
Most Inspiring Player Shortlist
Fatima de Melo
The award for Rising Star was a lot closer in the polls with the Norwegian star, Silje Nilsen, beating Ivan Luca and Walter Treccarichi in a very close race.
Nilsen, who is an ambassador for Guts Poker, finished runner-up to Felix Stephensen in the first Norwegian Championships held on home soil for the first time last year.
Rising Star Shortlist
Finally, to the old codger’s category and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Konstantin Puchkov, tugged on more heartstrings than Barny Boatman, Donnacha O’Dea, John Gale and Jan Bendik.
The Russian star has earned over $2.5m playing live tournaments in all forms of competitions and holds the record for most cashes in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event with 82. He cashed ten times at the WSOP in the summer, and 11 times in 2012.
Living Legend Shortlist
The awards will be dished out at the 2016 Battle of Malta (BOM) Nov 2-7 at the Portomaso Casino in St Julian’s, where Maria Ho will once again act as host.
In 2014, the €500 buy-in BOM won the European Poker Award (EPA) for the Low Buy-In Event of the Year after 1,447 entrants crashed through the doors of the Portomaso and the Bulgarian Antoan Katsarov won the €122,750 first prize. One year later, 1,804 entrants entered the event, and Nicolas Proust won the €100,000 first prize.