The creators of the Global Poker Awards have released the shortlists for the 13-categories, and feedback on Twitter shows one or two leaks in the nomination panel process.
Poker awards remind me of mixed tapes. Sweat poured into the creation of a collection of masterpieces met by derision as some of the selected few are deemed as palatable as a charcoal sandwich.
The Global Poker Awards is no exception.
The shortlists are out, and grenade-like question marks mix with congratulatory Facebook messages and graceful nomination panel acceptance tweets.
The primary bone of contention seems to be the shortlists for two critical broadcast mediums for the growth of poker:
Streamer of the Year.
Vlogger of the Year.
I was one of the 130+ members of the nomination panel. I received a link to the short-lists for the 13 categories and was asked to choose two from each.
There’s an obvious problem with this mechanism.
Plucking three of a myriad of issues that presented themselves before me as I tried to do the right thing – I don’t watch live streams, I have only attended and experienced a small number of live events, I just listen to three poker podcasts (and rarely), and one of those three didn’t make the shortlist.
At times it felt like a multiple choice exam when you don’t know the answer, and think, ‘fuck it’, and get button mashing.
And then this happens.
Nominees for Streamer and Vlogger of the year show you guys don’t have any clue what’s actually happening on those platforms.
— Kevin Martin (@KevinRobMartin) March 18, 2019
Hey @gpi what in the fuck do I have to do to get nominated for this “Vlogger of the Year” category? Probably wouldn’t be upset if there weren’t people nominated who don’t even make poker vlogs: https://t.co/c97CNSmfTW
— Brad Owen (@TheBradOwen) March 18, 2019
I mean, come the on, even someone as disinterested as I am with watching people playing online poker for 12-hours per day knew that voting for Jason Somerville in this category was as dumb as voting for Phil Ivey as the Poker Personality of the Year.
The man rightly deserves the plaudits for being the match that lit this thing, but 2018 was a year when Somerville switched his focus away from being the centre of attention, to create the centres of attention that are missing from that list.
Create More Nomination Panels
The Global Poker Awards needs different nomination panels for different categories. Take the ‘Streamer of the Year’ category, for example; Bill Perkins didn’t hire Lance Bradley and Robbie Strazynski as advisors when it came to putting together his Thirst Lounge Stream Team. Perkins needed people who understood streaming. Similarly, Rob Yong is not choosing the 30 people who will become Team Online at partypoker; I imagine it’s the same duo who helped Perkins. In future, choose 10-20 of the top streamers, and make them your nomination panel for streaming and vlogging only. Rinse and repeat the process for the other 12 Categories, selecting people who can have an intimate and impartial vote.
Unibet Break American Stranglehold
When I learned of the Global Poker Awards, I felt the Americans would take over, and looking down the nomination list, that seems to be the case, and maybe America is the home of poker, and so things are exactly as they should be.
It’s for this reason that I believe the Unibet team deserves a pat on the back. Not only did the Unibet Poker Open garner enough votes to make the Mid-Major Tour/Circuit category, but Unibet Ambassadors Dave Lappin and Dara O’Kearney are in with a shot of a trophy after the Chip Race Podcast received a nomination, and Kenny Hallaert made the cut in the Tournament Director category.
On a personal note, it was a shame that the Triton Poker Series didn’t receive any nominations. The broadcast coverage of the Triton Poker Series events has been world class, and I hope that they will receive the recognition I feel the team deserve at the next Global Poker Awards.
Now with the nitpicking over with here are those shortlists.
Justin Bonomo (Super High Roller Bowl IV)
John Cynn (WSOP Main Event)
Maria Lampropulos (PCA Main Event)
Dylan Linde (WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic)
Streamer of the Year
Vlogger of the Year
LFG Podcast (Chad Holloway, Jamie Kerstetter)
Poker Central Podcast (Brent Hanks, Remko Rinkema)
PokerNews Podcast (Sarah Herring, Jeff Platt)
The Chip Race Podcast (Dave Lappin, Dara O’Kearney)
The Fives (Lance Bradley, Donnie Peters)
Drew Amato (Photo: Brunson Bids Farewell to WSOP)
Lance Bradley (Book: The Pursuit of Poker Success)
Haley Hintze (Article: Vayo v PokerStars)
Poker Central/Poker GO (Super High Roller Club: Schulman & Nejad)
Angelica Hael (World Poker Tour)
Cary Katz (Poker Central)
Matt Savage (World Poker Tour)
Ty Stewart (World Series of Poker)
Rob Yong (Dusk till Dawn, partypoker)
Tony Burns (Seminole Hard Rock)
Paul Campbell (ARIA)
Jack Effel (WSOP)
Kenny Hallaert (Unibet Open)
RUNGOOD Poker Series
Event of the Year
Partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event
Super High Roller Bowl IV
WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic
WSOP Main Event
Moment of the Year
Jeremy Hilsercop receives PSPC Platinum Pass
Joe Cada wins WSOP The Closer
Doyle Brunson plays his final WSOP event
Justin Bonomo wins Big One for One Drop, completing Super High
Roller Streak of SHRB China, SHRB and One Drop.
2018 GPI Poker Player of the Year – Alex Foxen
2018 GPI Female Poker Player of the Year – Kristen Bicknell
Lifetime Achievement in Poker
PocketFives Legacy Award
Poker Personality of the Year
The First Global Poker Awards takes place at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas on Friday, April 5th, 2019, and you can watch it live on PokerGo via a monthly or annual subscription.