On Friday night, the best and brightest from the world of poker took center stage at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas for the 2023 Global Poker Awards. For the past four years (before that, the awards were handed out in Europe and the States), the crème of the poker world has gathered to salute the Players of the Year and a multitude of special categories. 2023 was a year in which there were no clear dominators among the award winners, epitomizing the excellence and skill of several players throughout the calendar year.
Only Two Awards Were Known…
Of the 23 awards that were handed out by the Global Poker Index, only two of them were known at the start of the night. For his work through the 2023 tournament poker season, Stephen Song was to be honored with the award for GPI Player of the Year. On the women’s side, it took a late-season surge from Cherish Andrews at the WPT World Championship to bypass Angela Jordison, who had been the GPI Ladies’ Player of the Year race leader for much of the year.
Jordison did not go away empty-handed, however. She was recognized by the voters as the GPI Breakout Player of the Year for her outstanding work in 2023. The WPT World Championship also earned its kudos as the Best Event in 2023. Only one person was able to capture two of the awards in 2023, Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau, for his vlog work and a fan-voted trophy, the Poker Personality of the Year.
Perhaps the most controversial hand of the year was the fans’ choice for Best Hand of 2023. Everyone and their brother were talking about the battle between Robbi Jade Lew and Garrett Adelstein on an episode of Hustler Casino Live (also a fan winner for Favorite Livestream), in which Lew made an astounding call against Adelstein, was right in her call and ran it twice (winning both draws) to scoop a massive pot. The controversy kept the poker world talking for months, something a notable hand is supposed to do.
And the Winners Are…
Plenty of other honorees were feted during the ceremonies on Friday evening. Here’s the rest of the list of those who walked away with the trophies for the best in poker in 2023!
Best Twitter Personality – Will Jaffe
Best Media Content: Written – Jennifer Shahade
Fans’ Choice Best Trophy – WSOP Championship Event Bracelet
Best Mid-Major Circuit/Tour – RunGood Poker Series
Best Streamer – Kevin Martin
Best Tournament Director – Ray Pulford (Wynn Poker Room)
Best Final Table Performance – Dan Cates, WSOP Poker Players’ Championship Final Table
Players’ Choice for Toughest Opponent – Stephen Chidwick
Best Media Content: Photo – Hayley Hochstetler, Matt Glantz Million Dollar Bounty Draw
Best Industry Person – Jack Effel, WSOP
Best Media Content: Video – Gregory Liow
Best Broadcaster – James Hartigan, European Poker Tour/PokerStars
Rising Star in Content Creation – Caitlin Comeskey
Best Podcast – Only Friends Podcast
Arguably the most deserving of all the awards during the evening was the Poker ICON Award. Having recently stepped away from his duties hosting High Stakes Poker, Gabe Kaplan was an obvious choice for such a prestigious honor. For those that don’t remember him before he applied his wit and humor to poker commentary, Kaplan was a pretty damn good player in his own right, taking part in the World Series of Poker and other major tournaments dating back to the Seventies. It is a much-deserved honor for one of the most impactful personas in the world of poker.
Now it’s back to work for everyone in the poker world! Come next March, however, the klieg lights will once again shine and the Fifth Annual Global Poker Awards will be upon us.