Nominees Announced For 2nd Annual American Poker Awards

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With the presentation of the awards just over a month away, the eleven categories in contention – and the four nominees in each category – have been announced for the 2nd Annual American Poker Awards, which will take place at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, on February 25.

In its inaugural year, Alexandre Dreyfus and the Global Poker Index put together an outstanding show that honored the best that North America had to offer the poker community over the 2014 calendar year. The organization and their nomination committee hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to the 2015 roster of nominees either, picking the crème of  some of the best performances of the past twelve months. In addition to these performances, some of the best individuals in the industry receive recognition that is sometimes lacking.

There are several categories when it comes to actual performance on the felt. For Tournament Performance of the Year, the four nominees are all excellent and any of them would be worthy of taking home the 2015 AMA for the category. Jonathan Duhamel’s victory in the 2015 World Series of Poker One Drop High Roller, Joe McKeehen’s dominant rout of the “November Nine” on his way to the World Championship, Mike Gorodinsky’s skills in winning the WSOP Poker Players’ Championship and Anthony Zinno’s World Poker Tour victory at the L. A. Poker Classic are all nominated for the award and it will be a tough choice between the quartet.

For the Moment of the Year in North American poker, it is once again a difficult field. Zinno earns his second nomination for his back-to-back WPT victories at the WPT Fallsview and the L. A. Poker Classic and the WSOP sweeps the rest. The WSOP’s “Colossus” and its 22,000-plus player field, Phil Hellmuth winning his 14th WSOP bracelet and Daniel Negreanu’s tantalizingly close run to making the “November Nine” round out the foursome of nominees in this category.

The two Event of the Year categories – one for tournaments under a $2000 buy-in and one for tournaments over a $2000 buy-in – should also provide for some interest. The WSOP’s “Colossus” makes a second appearance here in the under-$2000 category alongside the WPT500 at ARIA in Las Vegas, the WSOP’s Millionaire Maker event and the WPT DeepStacks Championship at Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary, Canada (the only non-U. S. nomination in the field, unless you want to count Kara Scott in the Poker Presenter of the Year category).

The over-$2000 category will definitely be a battle of the heavyweights. Two of the biggest buy in events in the poker world – the WSOP One Drop High Roller (and its $1 million buy-in) and the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl held at ARIA in Las Vegas (and its $500,000 buy-in) – are the headliners in this category. The other two events, which are “just” the tournament that is considered the World Championship of the sport (the WSOP Championship Event in Las Vegas) and one of the more popular events on the WPT circuit (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown), round out the category.

Arguably what might be one of the most contentious categories will be Media Content of the Year. The four entries in this category span visual media, the written word and the burgeoning world of live streaming, encompassing everything that the media is supposed to do in bringing the world around us – and, in this particular instance, the world of poker – to us in unprecedented ways. Any of the nominees – writer Brad Willis’ BUST, his four-part look at the history of Greenville, SC’s, underground poker scene; CNN Money’s Faraz Jaka:  Homeless Poker Millionaire; Jason Somerville’s record-breaking Twitch broadcast during the World Championships of Online Poker in September 2015 and photojournalist Joe Giron’s painfully revealing shot of Daniel Negreanu upon his elimination from the 2015 WSOP Championship Event – would be well deserving of this honor.

A full list of the nominees for the eleven awards can be found on the American Poker Awards website and Poker News Daily will present a “predictions show” later this weekend. For those that cannot make it to California for the presentations this year, they will be broadcast over Twitch in what will be a monster day for the AMA and other groups associated with the organization.

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