The European Poker Awards 2011 has taken place in Paris, with honours given to big European names such as UK’s Sam Trickett, France’s Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier and Germany’s WSOP Main Event Winner, Pius Heinz.
Sam Trickett was the winner of the European Player Of The Year award, capping one of the most consistent years in tournament poker, winning over $4.5 million, which includes wins in events at the Aussie Millions and the Partouche Poker Tour, along with good runs in the WSOP, WSOPE, Epic Poker League and EPT. This is Trickett’s second million-dollar year in a row. This victory was a foregone conclusion, despite European players Heinz and Staszko winning more in one event than Trickett acquired in a whole year, Trickett’s run of form has been shocking, coming very close to the form of Daniel Negreanu back in 2004, a feat very few thought would have been repeated. Needless to say, it has put Trickett’s already well-known name in the UK, across the map as a major player to watch out for.
Andrey Pateychuk of Russia won the Rookie Of The Year award, having won events in the EPT and WPT, along with a very deep 15th place in the WSOP Main Event 2011. Pius Heinz, the eventual winner of the event, received the Best Tournament performance award for his victory. It is a Main Event which will be remembered as the “Year Of The Europeans” as no less than five of the November Nine came from the European continent, including Ireland’s Eoghan O’Dea, Ukraine’s Anton Makiievskyi and the England’s Ben Lamb keeping up the British tradition started by James Akenhead of leaving the final table first.
Other victories to be noted were Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies’ win for Internet Player of the Year, for his success of making over $2.5 mllion on Pokerstars. What was surprising was the absence of Gus Hansen’s name on the list, even though he won around $3.6 million in 2011, the result of Black Friday altered the result a little as he only played for a third of the year.
The WSOPE Cannes was the victor of the Best European Event Of The Year, beating other successful events such as the EPT London, WPT’s Grand Prix de Paris, the Finale du Partouche Poker Tour and the BoylePoker IPO, who produced the largest field for a freezeout event in 2011 with almost 1400 runners.
Finally, the Lifetime Acheivement Award was awarded to Denmark’s (via Madison, New Jersey) Jesse May. The American commentator has given up his poker-playing career in favour of commentating and to promote the good game of poker to the mass public, and was no doubt a major influence to the success of poker in the UK with his excited commentary on the Late Night Poker series.