After a 23-month hiatus owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Poker Awards finally returned in full glory. The third annual event was held in the PokerGO Studio at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The event celebrated and honoured the industry’s biggest names, players, and best moments of 2021.
Eric Danis, President of the Global Poker Index and The Hendon Mob Poker said, “It’s been 23 months of misery, and here we are. I’m proud to say that we have representation from 13 countries this year, making this truly the global poker awards.”
The first three awards of the night were given to players from three different countries. Ali Imsirovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina grabbed the Male Player of the Year award and the Player’s Choice for the Toughest Opponent. Azerbaijan’s David Mzareulov claimed the Mid-Major Player of the Year award, and Russian player Nadya Magnus was named the Female Player of the Year.
People who work behind the scenes were also celebrated in this award ceremony for their exemplary contributions in making poker tournaments possible throughout the year. Aria’s Paul Campbell was awarded the Tournament Director of the Year. This was Campbell’s second win for the same title in three years. Matt Savage walked away with the award for Industry Person of the Year. Undoubtedly, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2021 Main Event was named the best event of the year.
Adam Friedman, who nailed the WSOP Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed bracelet for the third time in a row, and denied Phil Hellmuth his record-breaking 17th WSOP bracelet, was awarded the Final Table Performance.
Players were also awarded for their performance off the felts. Veronica Brill, who organized the poker world in helping Kenneth Cleeton aka ‘K.L.,’ was awarded the 2022 Charitable Initiative Award. Cleeton was born with a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy. He got an adapted van augmented with a ramp and lowered floor as he made the 1,700-mile trip from his home in Effingham, Illinois to Las Vegas to play at the 2021 WSOP.
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Jamie Kerstetter walked away with the Twitter Personality of the Year award for the second year in a row. Kevin Mathers, who was nominated for the Twitter Personality of the Year, took home the Hendon Mob Award for his outstanding service to poker.
Other winners were as follows:
Doug Polk won the Best Hand of the Year after the voting process garnered over 50,000 unique votes. The poker world lost Mike Sexton in 2020, but Vince Van Patton, Sexton’s longtime broadcast partner accepted the Poker Icon Trophy on his late friend’s behalf.
Benjamin Spragg defeated the two-time defending champion, Lex Veldhuis, to grab the Streamer of the Year award. Global Poker Index (GPI) Breakout Player of the Year award was won by Johan Guilbert. Maria Konnikova has been crowned the GPI Award of Merit for her book ‘The Biggest Bluff.’
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by manifesting herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in drawing and DIY crafts.
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