The best of the poker world descended on the glamorous Beverly Hills on Thursday night for the third annual American Poker Awards, hosted by the Global Poker Index and sponsored by PokerStars.
Players and industry professionals donned evening gowns and tuxedos to celebrate the people who lead the game in North America and enjoyed a dinner and awards ceremony at the luxurious Sofitel hotel.
For nationalist Canadians hoping to see some hardware come home to our side of the border, there were two wins to celebrate out of the 17 award-recipients announced in California on a live stream.
The first came in the category of Tournament Performance of the Year and was won by Canada’s 2016 Player of the Year. He also still leads the Canadian player rankings, now for 17 weeks running. That player was the Canadian-born, America-residing Ari Engel. He won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event for $1.6 million AUD — easily the largest tournament cash in his long and consistent career.
The other Canadian to scoop an award was in the category of Poker Media Content of the Year. This man is another Canadian residing in the USA. For the story titled Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey, Lance Bradley was the deserving winner. Bradley is the President and Editor in Chief of PocketFives where the article appeared.
A jury panel chose the award winners the morning of the ceremony from the finalists presented by a nomination panel of more than 70 leading poker-world members.
Other Canadian mentions in the nominations that didn’t receive an award include Kristen Bicknell for Tournament Performance of the Year, Griffin Benger’s clash with William Kassouf for Moment of the Year, Ari Engel again for Breakout Performer of the Year, and Kevin Martin, Jaime Staples, and Parker Talbot all for Twitch Streamer of the Year.
2017 American Poker Awards Winners
|American GPI Player of the Year||David Peters|
|American GPI Female Player of the Year||Cate Hall|
|Media Person of the Year||Joe Stapleton||Lance Bradley|
|Industry Person of the Year||Sean McCormack||Tony Burns|
|Breakout Performance of the Year||Maurice Hawkins||Ari Engel|
|Tournament Performance of the Year||Ari Engel||Maurice Hawkins|
|Mid-Major Circuit of the Year||WSOP Circuit||Mid-States Poker Tour|
|Heartland Poker Tour|
|Event of the Year||Super High Roller Bowl||Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open|
|WSOP Main Event|
|WPT Five Diamond|
|Charitable Initiative of the Year||Dan Smith Charity Drive|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Mori Eskandani|
|Moment of the Year||Jason Mercier at the WSOP||Griffin Benger vs. Will Kassouf|
|David Peters Wins GPI POY in last major of year|
|Mike Sexton mounts comeback to win WPT Montreal|
|Media Content of the Year||Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey||Life's a Gamble (Mike Sexton)|
|Stu Ungar's Last Chance Gone Wrong (Matt Showell)|
|Jason Somerville Aussie Millions coverage|
|Twitch Streamer of the Year||Jason Somerville||Kevin Martin|
|Podcast of the Year||Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram)||Full Contact Poker (Daniel Negreanu)|
|PocketFives Legacy Award||Cliff Josephy|
|Hendon Mob Award||John Holley|
|Jury Prize||Matt Savage|
Photos courtesy of revolutionpix for GPI.