American Poker Awards

[SS] “The Global Poker Index may have started as just a way for the Epic Poker League to rank poker players,” Stan the Stat began, “but it continues to expand its universe. Last year, it created the Global Poker League, but the year before, in February 2015, the group bestowed the inaugural American Poker Awards for achievements in 2014.”

[LL] “And I thought Google was just an Internet search company and didn’t buy into its IPO”, Leroy the Lion admitted.

[SS] “Growing faster than the World Series of Poker, the American Poker Awards included 10 categories initially, which leaped to 15 in the second year, and increased 18 this time.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”

American Poker Awards Winners, 2014 to 2016

Year 2014 2015 2016
Date February 27, 2015 February 25, 2016 (same day as GPL draft) February 23, 2017 (with American Poker Conference)
Location SLS Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA) SLS Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA) Sofitel Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA)
# of Awards 10 15 18
Breakout Performance of the Year1 Brandon Shack-Harris Joshua Beckley Maurice Hawkins
Industry Person of the Year WPT President Adam Pliska Matt Savage, TDA Founder, WPT Executive Director Sean McCormack, ARIA Director of Poker Operations
Media Person of the Year2 Online Poker Report’s Chris Grove Donnie Peters, Editor-In-Chief, Pokernews.Com Joseph Stapleton
Tournament Performance of the Year Mark Newhouse In WSOP Main Event Anthony Zinno, WPT L.A. Poker Classic Ari Engel, Aussie Millions Main Event
Media Content of the Year Brad Willis For PokerStars Blog’s “WSOP 2014: Stages / Never Stop Fighting” Joe Giron’s Elimination Photo of Daniel Negreanu in WSOP Main Event Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey (Lance Bradley, PocketFives)
Event of the Year3 World Series of Poker Main Event WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Hollywood, Fl Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas
Event of the Year (<=$2,000) WSOP Monster Stack WSOP Colossus, Rio All-Suites Hotel And Casino, Las Vegas
Charitable Initiative of the Year All In For Kids Poker Tournament Presented By Chop & WPT Foundation Charity Series of Poker, Matt Stout Dan Smith
Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year4 Twitch For Live Streaming Poker WSOP Online Bracelet Event
Lifetime Achievement Award World Poker Tour Founder Steve Lipscomb Mike Sexton Mori Eskandani
GPI Player of the Year Dan Colman Byron Kaverman David Peters
GPI Female Player of the Year Vanessa Selbst Kelly Minkin Cate Hall
Poker’s Best Ambassador Daniel Negreanu
Moment of the Year Daniel Negreanu Busts 11th In WSOP Main Event Jason Mercier goes on historic one-week heater at the World Series of Poker
Jury Award Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers Matt Savage
Poker Presenter of the Year Kara Scott
GPI World Series of Poker Player of the Year Jason Mercier
Mid-Major Circuit of the Year WSOP Circuit
Twitch Streamer of the Year5 Jason Somerville (“jcarverpoker”)
Podcast of the Year Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram)
PocketFives Legacy Award Cliff Josephy
Hendon Mob Award John Holley


  • Daniel Negreanu, who was the only person to win an award in both 2014 and 2015, was nominated for Podcast of the Year (Full Contact Poker) in 2016 but didn’t win.
  • Matt Savage collected his second award, receiving the Jury Prize for 2016 after being named Industry Person of the Year for 2015.


  1. Originally called “Breakout Player of the Year” in 2014, this award goes to a player who had never won a major poker title before the year.
  2. “Poker Presenter of the Year”, which only existed in 2015, was merged back into the “Media Person of the Year” category.
  3. This was two awards, for events up to $2,000 and over $2,000 in 2014 and 2015.
  4. This was called “Poker Innovation of the Year” in 2014.
  5. This was split into a separate category from “Media Person of the Year” in 2016.

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