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 Poker.se, 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 Content: Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold, PokerNews article (Jesse May, Mickey May)
Media Person: Remko Rinkema
I'm overwhelmed with all the responses after winning the European Media Person of the Year award. Thank you all so much! It means the world.— Remko Rinkema (@RemkoMedia) May 4, 2016
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.
Just received the @gpi European Player of the Year 2015 Award!! 🔥🎉— Fedor Holz (@CrownUpGuy) May 3, 2016
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.
Thanks to #GPI for the award- to the voting panel and jury – most unexpected but truly appreciated – feeling the love— Neil Stoddart (@BigSlickNeil) May 4, 2016
Congratulations to all of the winners, as well as the nominees!