American Poker Awards to Return Feb. 22

American Poker Awards

Another year in poker has ended, and that means it's time for everyone to look back on 2017 and reflect on its major events and developments. PokerNews has its own way of doing that by reviewing the top 10 stories of the year, but the people at Global Poker Index will once again be handing out actual hardware, as the American Poker Awards will return for its fourth running.

The ceremony has been scheduled for Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., but little else was revealed in a Thursday press release. Those interested in attending can follow this link.

One major change does come with the venue. Having been held at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills in years past, the event stays in Los Angeles but moves to Andaz West Hollywood.

"We are very excited to return to the Los Angeles area for a fourth straight year to reward the most deserving poker players, industry leaders and media members in the business,” said American Poker Awards President Alexandre Dreyfus.

What to Expect

The release promises "over a dozen" awards given out, with PokerStars again serving as the title sponsor.

Exactly which awards will be won remains a mystery at this juncture. In the past, award categories have typically changed a bit each year as the event and the industry it reflects continues to evolve. Some constants have included Industry Person of the Year, Media Person of the Year, Tournament Performance of the Year and Breakout Performance of the Year.

PokerNews has enjoyed some success at the event, with former editor-in-chief Donnie Peters taking home Media Person of the Year in 2016, while several others have received nominations.

As always, there will be several already-confirmed winners: the top male and top female player on the GPI's points ranking system, along with the American Player of the Year. This year, Adrian Mateos and Kristen Bicknell will take home the male and female honors, respectfully, although the Spaniard Mateos will collect his award at the European Poker Awards if he isn't in California for the American version.

Mateos narrowly overtook Bryn Kenney late in the year to capture the honors after booking 37 cashes for a total of $5,881,228. Mateos won four events in 2017, including the WSOP $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Heads-Up Championship for $337K to become the youngest player ever to win three bracelets at 22-years-old. Kenney will collect the American Player of the Year.

Bicknell followed up her 2016 bracelet win with over $550,000 in cashes. She hit the circuit in force from start to finish, traveling to seemingly every stop, and she closed the year with a win in a $5,000 side event at World Poker Tour Five Diamond for just shy of $200,000.

Nominees and award categories are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Until then, check out PokerNews' looking back at the inaugural event:

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