For those of you who missed yesterday’s Part One, the First Annual Global Poker Awards are going to be handed out in Las Vegas this April. To give out awards, however, you need to have some people to choose to receive said awards. With this in mind, the Global Poker Awards have reached out to a nominations committee – of which this writer is a part – to compile a nomination’s list for the ceremonies.
We went through six awards yesterday, so we will pick up the final seven in Part Two. There will also be an award for Lifetime Achievement given, but that will be up to the jury to decide who will be the recipient. Just to refresh your memory, a nominator is given two choices in each category, with the right to write in two people if none of the suggestions from the Global Poker Awards are deemed worthy. Once the votes come in, then the top four or five vote-getters will be put forth before the jury to decide who should receive the awards.
Without further ado, let’s get to it! Here’s the choices in the final seven categories for the inaugural Global Poker Awards:
Tournament Performance of the Year
It may sound like a broken record, but I keep coming back to the work Justin Bonomo did in 2018. He simply dominated the Super High Roller Bowl IV prior to the start of the World Series of Poker and set himself apart from the field in these events. My second choice was the outstanding run by Maria Lampropulos at the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Not only was she the first female champion of the tournament, she crushed her opposition on the way to the title. Such a performance as what Lampropulos put on must be recognized.
Mid-Major Circuit of the Year
While many give a great deal of attention to the WSOP and the World Poker Tour, it is the mid-major circuits that actually give players the greatest chance to advance in the tournament poker world. Two of those stand out, however. The Mid-States Poker Tour has grown exponentially over the past few years and really seemed to hit its stride in 2018. That same growth has been seen in the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT), which puts on outstanding tournaments across the whole of the U. K. It needs to be recognized for continuing to be at the fore of tournament poker.
Streamer/Vlogger of the Year
These two are very similar awards but, for the Global Poker Awards, they are considered two separate entities. One person encompasses both awards and should be considered for both and that is Jonathan Little. He has been able to make a significant impact on both the streaming and vlogging worlds and could easily take both the awards himself.
My second choice for Streamer of the Year is Jason Somerville, who arguably should have the award named after him because he was one of the first to pick up the format. For Vlogger of the Year, there’s a good reason to choose Joey Ingram for a nomination slot…he’s that damn good.
Podcast of the Year
This too is considered a different creature than the streaming or vlogging categories. There are two podcasts in particular that should be highlighted, however. First is “Poker on the Mind” from Dr. Tricia Cardner and Gareth James, an excellent podcast that focuses on a very underappreciated part of poker, the mindset a player takes into the game. Second for my nominations is the long-running “Bernard Lee Poker Show” featuring poker professional Bernard Lee. Week in and week out, Lee puts together an outstanding podcast that features the best of the poker world discussing the game. It should be a battle between these two for this award.
Tournament Director of the Year
While all tournament directors have a thankless job, there are two that stand out among the crowd (for some reason, Matt Savage wasn’t nominated, perhaps because he would win again!). First is Jack Effel of the WSOP, who makes the tough decisions on an event where the spotlight is the brightest. Second is Paul Campbell, who runs the operations at the ARIA where many High Roller events are conducted. Campbell, once again with an intense amount of attention, makes the hard calls and runs one of the outstanding rooms and operations in the business.
Industry Person of the Year
There are two people who stand out in this field and both are women. First up is Angelica Hael of the World Poker Tour, who has led the drive for more inclusiveness for women in the world of poker. That is a tough job and Hael continues to bring attention to the subject with the intents of improving the game overall. Second, Ivonne Montealegre of the “Battle of Malta” tournament schedule deserves kudos for the operation of one of the premiere events in the world that isn’t associated with a major circuit. Montealegre has been long-overlooked in the industry and, in 2018, her continued outstanding work should not be dismissed.
So, who will be nominated? We will learn that over the coming weeks as the Global Poker Awards ramp up their activities. With the awards being given out the first week of April, the nominees should be announced over the next week and, prior to the start of the awards show at the studios of Poker Central in Las Vegas, the jury will determine the recipients. When those nominees are announced, you can be sure we’ll handicap the options and look forward to the Global Poker Awards ceremonies.