Global Poker Awards announced (and nobody is happy)

Lots of deserved nominees have been unveiled but a lot of debate about whether the right people were chosen for the right categories.

The Global Poker Award nominations were announced last night. For the first time the European Poker Awards and American Poker Awards gave been combined to make for one giant global awards, which will be streamed live from Vegas on PokerGo on April 5.

Over 130 Nomination Panel members (including this writer) from around the globe voted to determine this year’s official nominees in 13 categories.

Controversial nominees are the nature of the beast for poker awards and this year it was the streamers, podcasters and YouTubers that commanded the most debate.

The Vlogger category was controversial because some big name vloggers like Brad Owen did not make the list, as well as there being debate around the term 'Vlogger'. Doug Polk was nominated despite not technically doing a Vlog in 2018. This is a semantic issue, as most YouTubers consider a Vlog a video diary and Polk produces strategy videos. Clearly ‘YouTuber’ would have been a more accurate choice of name for this award.

Likewise some people had an issue with Joe Ingram being left off the podcast list (but making the Vlogger shortlist). Again this category was clearly, in hindsight, an audio podcast category, and Ingram’s ‘Poker Life Podcast’ is more known as a video podcast.

Most of the prominent Twitch streamers, including those nominated, did not agree with the shortlist for that award either, because of notable exceptions who did not get a mention.

It is undeniable that the poker industry and poker media (myself included) are still not up to speed with poker on Twitch and YouTube. Both platforms have been attracting enormous viewing figures, yet a lot of the big names are not well known in traditional poker media. I brought this up as a mea culpa in this week’s interview with YouTube sensation Brad Owen.

Awards are always controversial

GPI Awards

It is also undeniable that with so many categories, you can never please everyone with poker awards. There are so many content platforms these days you cannot expect everyone on the panel to be up to date with all the poker blogs, podcasts, Twitch, YouTube and Instagram stars. I have been on both the European Poker Awards and WSOP Hall of Fame panels before and all these awards run into this problem. For example, for many years nobody knew the online players up for awards because the panel was mostly from live poker. Then you would have cash game players, whose results are hard to notice, who would complain that the awards are too tournament focussed.

Likewise in the WSOP panel you would get French panellists voting for French players, Spanish panellists voting for Spanish players, and so on, which would divide all the European nominees, meaning that Americans would invariably always win and it looked like there was an anti-Europe bias.

Luckily in poker whether it is money in the bank, views on Twitch or players at your tournament, there are better ways of keeping score how you are doing. There certainly should be some steps taken next year to get a more accurate overview of the newer poker platforms like YouTube and Twitch, but even with the best will in the world, the day the nominees are announced will always cause controversy. Poker Awards are a bit of fun, let’s not take them too seriously.

You can see the full list of nominees below:

Tournament Performance

  • Justin Bonomo (Super High Roller Bowl IV)
  • John Cynn (WSOP Main Event)
  • Maria Lampropulos (PCA Main Event)
  • Dylan Linde (WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic)

Breakout Player

  • Almedin “Ali” Imsirovic
  • Maria Konnikova
  • Ping Liu
  • Christopher Michael Soyza

Streamer Of The Year

  • Jeff Gross
  • Jason Somerville
  • Jaime Staples
  • Lex Veldhuis

Vlogger Of The Year

  • Marle Cordeiro
  • Joe Ingram
  • Andrew Neeme
  • Daniel Negreanu
  • Doug Polk


  • LFG Podcast (Chad Holloway, Jamie Kerstetter)
  • PokerCentral Podcast (Brent Hanks, Remko Rinkema)
  • PokerNews Podcast (Sarah Herring, Jeff Platt)
  • The Chip Race Poker Podcast (David Lappin, Dara O’Kearney)
  • The Fives a Podcast (Lance Bradley, Donnie Peters)


  • Maria Ho
  • Lon McEachern
  • Nick Schulman
  • Lex Veldhuis

Poker Journalist

  • Drew Amato
  • Sarah Herring
  • Remko Rinkema
  • Christian Zetzsche

Media Content

  • Drew Amato (photo: Brunson bids farewell to WSOP)
  • Lance Bradley (book: The Pursuit of Poker Success)
  • Haley Hintze (article: Vayo v. PokerStars)
  • PokerCentral/GO (Super High Roller Club: Schulman featuring Nejad)

Industry Person

  • Angelica Hael (World Poker Tour)
  • Cary Katz (Poker Central)
  • Matt Savage (WPT, TDA, more)
  • Ty Stewart (World Series of Poker)
  • Rob Yong (Dusk Till Dawn, partypoker)

Tournament Director

  • Tony Burns (Seminole Hard Rock)
  • Paul Campbell (ARIA)
  • Jack Effel (WSOP)
  • Kenny Halleart (Unibet Open)

Mid-Major Tour/Circuit

  • 888poker Live
  • RUNGOOD Poker Series
  • Unibet Open
  • WPTDeepStacks
  • WSOP Circuit

Event Of The Year

  • partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event
  • Super High Roller Bowl IV
  • WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic
  • WSOP Main Event

Moment Of The Year

  • Jeremy Hilsercop receives PSPC Platinum Pass (with help from Joe Ingram, Arlie Shaban,PokerStars and the poker community) as video of wife gifting him trip to WSOP on Christmas day goes viral
  • Joe Cada wins WSOP The Closer; registering for the event moments after remarkable
  • 5thplace finish in WSOP Main Event
  • Doyle Brunson plays his final WSOP event
  • Justin Bonomo wins Big One for One Drop, completing Super High Roller Streak (SHRB China, SHRB IV, One Drop)

Other Trophies to be Presented at the Global Poker Awards

  • 2018 GPI Poker Player of the Year (Alex Foxen)
  • 2018 GPI Female Player of the Year (Kristen Bicknell)
  • Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker
  • Charitable Initiative
  • Jury Prize
  • PocketFives Legacy Award
  • People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year

Who should win and who should have been included who wasn't? Let us know in the comments:

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Comments (3)

newest first


    JCarver getting nominated for streamer of the year LUL

    He streamed for like 10 days in 2018!
  • JimmkCZ


    why ? Awards are always controversial
  • Neudirjimi


    And why I'm not surprised that I don't know anyone..