Poker News

In preparation for the fifteenth annual awards ceremonies, the powers that be with the Global Poker Index have announced the nominees for the 2016 GPI European Poker Awards. Much like their counterpart in the United States that honors the best in the Americas, the European Poker Awards looks to honor the best in European poker over the previous 12 months. In 11 categories, the crème of European poker will be honored on May 3 during the European Poker Tour Grand Final festivities in Monte Carlo with a prize that has come to be recognized as a very prestigious award.

Two of the awards – for GPI Player of the Year and GPI Female Player of the Year – are actually determined before the awards are even handed out. By usage of the Global Poker Index’s tabulation system, points are awarded to players for their best 13 finishes over the course of a calendar year. Overall in 2015, the GPI POY was Germany’s Fedor Holz, who will be honored alongside the GPI Female Player of the Year, the United Kingdom’s Liv Boeree, during this year’s ceremonies.

In the other nine categories, a selection committee will determine who will receive the European Poker Award. In some of these categories, the competition will be as fierce as if they were battling it out on the baize for a championship.

For Tournament Performance of the Year, these are the four nominees:

Adrian Mateos’ victory at the 2015 EPT Grand Final
Barny Boatman’s second World Series of Poker bracelet win at the WSOP-Europe
Fedor Holz Wins World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas
Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller

Of these four selections, Mateos’ victory at last year’s Grand Final solidified his place as one of the true up and coming stars of the tournament poker world. With that victory and his WSOP-Europe victory in 2013, Mateos is now two-thirds of the way towards completing poker’s “Triple Crown,” something that only five men have completed in the annals of poker (Mateos needs a WPT title to complete the trifecta). While Boatman’s win was a nice one for the “Old Guard,” Mateos’ win was a significant one for the future.

There is an interesting caveat laid out for anyone that is looking to be able to vie for the award of being Breakout Player of the Year, one that should be used in considering any “Rookie of the Year” award in poker. According to the rules, any player who, prior to December 31, 2014, made a final table of a WPT or EPT Main event and/or of a WSOP bracelet, High Roller or Super High Roller tournament, was not eligible for this award. As such, there were some competitors who weren’t considered because they had achieved one of those goals. Still, the battle for Breakout Player of the Year should be an interesting one with these men:

Charles Carrel
Dzmitry Urbanovich
Fedor Holz
Rainer Kempe

With Holz taking down the GPI Player of the Year honors, will the panel be more apt to give the Breakout Player trophy to someone else? Could Urbanovich, who has been one of the true breakouts of 2015, take down the award, or could it go to Kempe, who really snuck in under the radar over the course of last year? Nothing against Carrel, but he is up against some extremely long odds if he is going to be walking away from Monte Carlo with a European Poker Award for 2015.

As with the American Poker Awards, the European Poker Awards will also hand out the following honors:

Media Person of the Year
Industry Person of the Year
Event of the Year (Buy-in under €2000)
Event of the Year (Buy-in over €2000)
Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year
Moment of the Year
Poker Media Content of the Year

For a full list of the nominees, be sure to check out the European Poker Awards website and, if a person is interested in registering to attend the ceremonies, that same website can service your needs.

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