And the winner is…
The 2017 American Poker Awards categories have been announced. (Image: americanpokerawards.com)
The 20 categories for the 4th annual American Poker Awards, which takes place Feb. 22 at the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, have been announced.
Many of the categories remain the same from last year, but there are some new awards such as the return of the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, back after a two-year hiatus. Fans can visit AmericanPokerAwards.com and submit a write-in vote for this award.
Two winners have been predetermined. Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell, GPI American Player of the Year and GPI Female Player of the Year, respectively, automatically claimed these awards based on total Global Poker Index points accumulated throughout 2017.
Nominees for the remaining categories haven’t yet been released publicly, but I’m not one to let that stop me from weighing in with my best guess for who I think will (or should) win.
Most Important Categories
Winning any APA award would be an honor to anyone, but these categories top the charts.
Video Blogger of the Year: Vlogging has become one of poker’s best marketing tools. Many pros, mostly low-stakes grinders, are doing a great job showing off the lifestyle of a professional poker player.
Potential winner: Andrew Neeme or Brad Owen, both low to mid-stakes Las Vegas grinders who know how to work a camera and analyze a poker hand.
Poker Streamer of the Year: Livestreaming online poker games on Twitch and YouTube is another excellent way of marketing the game.
Potential winner: Parker “tonkaaaaP” Talbot or Lex Veldhuis, not only two talented online pros, but they also know how to engage their audience.
Tournament Performance of the Year: Every poker fan loves an exciting tournament, especially one with millions of dollars on the line.
Potential winner: Scott Blumstein for being crowned world champion in the WSOP Main Event or Shurane Vijayaram for winning the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event.
People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year: When poker was at its most popular earlier this century, many of the top pros were as skilled at entertaining as they were playing cards.
Potential winner: Daniel Negreanu or Doug Polk. Both created high-quality YouTube content and competed on the felt at a high level throughout 2017.
Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker: This award goes to the individual who has made a positive impact on the game for many years.
Potential winner: Mike Sexton for his contributions in the broadcast booth and on the felt or Doyle Brunson for continuing to grind high-stakes cash games in his 80s.
There will be 12 additional awards up for grabs at the 4th annual American Poker Awards show.
Remaining APA Categories (Last Year’s Winner in Parenthesis, if Applicable)
Breakout Performance of the Year (Maurice Hawkins)
Moment of the Year (Jason Mercier Wins Two Bracelets in a Week)
Poker Journalist of the Year
Poker Media Content of the Year (Lance Bradley)
Poker Podcast of the Year (Joe Ingram)
Poker Broadcaster of the Year
Mid-Major Circuit of the Year (WSOPC)
Event of the Year (Super High Roller Bowl)
Industry Person of the Year (Sean McCormack)
Biggest Influencer in Poker
Charitable Initiative of the Year (Dan Smith Charity Drive)
PocketFives Legacy Award (Cliff Josephy)
A special Jury Award will also be presented to a select individual who deserves special recognition.
For those interested in attending the awards ceremony, visit AmericanPokerAwards.com to register. There are only 120 seats available.