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As the European Poker Tour begins to wind down its Season 12 Grand Final festivities in Monte Carlo, some of the players, along with media and industry executives, gathered at the Blue Gin lounge at the Monte Carlo Bay for a ceremony. It was the GPI 15th Annual European Poker Awards, coordinated to highlight those European players and events that stood out from the rest in 2015.

The comprehensive set of awards was set up to honor everyone from players and members of the media, as well as those who made an impact on the poker industry by being part of special moments. Events and innovations of the industry were also honored.

The original list of nominees was chosen by a large group of 62 media and industry members, and from that group of nominees, a jury was established to pick the winners. That jury consisted of Donnie Peters of PokerNews, Erik Rosenberg of, Eric Danis of the GPI, Dirk Oetzmann of PokerListings, Global Poker League CEO Alex Dreyfus, and player representatives Liv Boeree and Anatoly Filatov.

None other than Joe Stapleton took the microphone at the Blue Gin to host the May 3 evening ceremony, and the cocktail-filled honors were reportedly filled with excitement, fun, and many humble words from award winners.

Tell Us Who Won Already!

The full list of nominees was posted here upon their announcement at the beginning of April. And from that list, the awards ultimately went to… (make a drumroll sound on your desk…)

Breakout Player of the Year:  Dzmitry Urbanovich

Event Low Buy-in (below €2,000):  Norwegian Championships

Event High Buy-in (€2,000 and more):  EPT Barcelona Main Event

Industry Person:  Hermance Blum

Innovation/Initiative:  Norwegian Championship broadcast (sports style)

Media ContentDevilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold, PokerNews article (Jesse May, Mickey May)

Media Person:  Remko Rinkema

Moment:  John Gale returns from three years off (because of brain tumor) to win WSOP bracelet #2

Tournament Performance:  Adrian Mateos Wins the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event

Three More Awards

Two of the awards of the night were already set in stone as determined by the Global Poker Index standings in 2015. AT the end of that year, there were two players atop their respective lists. Fedor Holz was the 2015 GPI European Player of the Year, for which he received a trophy. And Liv Boeree won a trophy for being the 2015 GPI European Female Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

Finally, a special jury prize was given for special achievement in the poker world to Neil Stoddard, longtime photographer for PokerStars and the European Poker Tour. He began capturing the most important moments of the EPT with the Season 2 Grand Final, and he is one of the most sought-after photographers in the poker industry. The award was a surprise for him, for which he thanked PokerStars for hiring him, those he works with in the media, and the players.

Congratulations to all of the winners, as well as the nominees!

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.