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The first annual PokerUpdate Online Poker Awards recently concluded. As is the case with any prestigious awards, it hasn’t been without controversy. The past few days, different voices from around the poker community have alleged various “snubs” made by the selection committee when choosing the nominees.

See Our List of Nominees Here

Who Won the Awards? Check Out Our List of Winners

Because I was out to lunch during the nominating process our crack editorial board is committed to a fair and transparent nominating process, I was removed from the selection committee and tasked with oversight. Poker players are a very opinionated bunch; some form of controversy was expected, and now here we are. Overall, I think the editorial board did a fairly decent job. However, there are definitely places where there is room for improvement moving forward. Below, I break down the committees failings, and discuss some outstanding poker content providers that simply shouldn’t have been left off the short list.

Best Poker Media Site

In fairness, this was without a doubt the most difficult category for the editorial board to get right. There are simply so many amazing poker media sites out there that at least one was bound to get left out. One such site, for instance, was PokerTube.com, which I was honestly quite surprised not to see nominated. While their emphasis is mostly on video (though they have plenty of written content as well), “video” is media too, and that ought to have earned them a place among the nominees considering how well they do it.

All that being said, it’s simply inexcusable to me that Joey Ingram’s YouTube channel didn’t get a nomination. I can’t help but feel like the editorial board’s apparent focus on “corporate” news sources caused this huge oversight. That’s a shame, because the reality is any one of Joey’s amazing interviews with the game’s biggest stars get more eyeballs than any single article does for any of the site’s that made the cut. Moreover, Joey is also the ultimate self-made personality in a game whose beauty comes from it’s ability to reward hard work. Bottom line, he should have gotten a nod.

Best Online Poker App

It’s true that there are a ton of great poker apps for everything from taking notes during a live game, to tracking wins and losses, to working on your strategy at the table. But with all these apps designed to improve or complement your poker game, it seems like the editorial board forgot that there are also a ton of apps that actually allow you to, you know, play poker. The fact that not a single one of these – either those geared towards “entertainment” or those designed for real money play – managed to make the short list is a huge mistake that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen.

Best Online Poker Forum

The narrow focus of the editorial board seems to be a running theme, and it continued with this category. While it’s true that some of the best poker strategy forms were nominated, Cardrunners somehow failed to make this list. My guess is that because the forum is attached to a training site and not a stand alone entity, it was overlooked by the editorial board. This is again a shame; Cardrunners is one of the most respected poker content providers in the world whose forums have helped millions of players improve their game. In business or not, there is no reason that their legions of accomplished players shouldn’t have been given a chance to vote for a forum that has consistently been at the forefront of advancing poker theory.

Best Online Poker Training Sites

Two words: Phil. Galfond. One of the most accomplished high-stakes players the game has ever seen, Galfond’s training website runitonce.com definitely deserves recognition. Galfond revolutionized the poker strategy content model by setting an entry level price point of only $10/mo. This has democratized online poker skill, allowing even true hobbyists to put some work into their game on a small budget. That would already have been enough to make him deserving of a nomination, but he also got Ben “Sauce” Sulsky – considered one of the best online poker players ever – to make training videos and share his poker knowledge with the community.

Best Online Poker Tournament

While the PokerStars SCOOP/WCOOP rightly made the list, there was another huge PokerStars tournament that was conspicuously absent from the nominees. Amaya’s entry into the NJ market has brought PokerStars’ most famous slate of tournaments – the Sunday Majors – back to the United States for the first time since Black Friday. Although the prize pools might not be eye popping just yet, the mere fact that these tournaments are back on the Sunday schedules of US grinders is a huge morale boost for the global poker community. These tournaments have always captured the imagination of players, and one of them without a doubt should have been on the list.

Best Online Poker Promotion

In this category, the editorial board managed to come up with all the usual suspects. While it’s tempting to highlight the biggest guaranteed tournaments, it’s also important to remember that the online poker landscape is changing. Today, there is something to be said for poker rooms that strive to give players the simple consistency of a fair rake structure and real loyalty rewards. That’s why I was sorry to not see UNIBET’s rake structure nominated for this category. The room has worked hard to provide a great experience for recreational players, while at the same time being a room where the words “winning player” aren’t looked down upon.

Best Twitter Personality

I’ve been pretty critical of the committee so far, so I’m going to close on a high note towards them. It’s a fools errand to try and pick out even 10 amazing poker Twitter personalities without missing a dozen or more that would also deserve nominations. So, I don’t have anything to add about this category other that saying what we are all really thinking: Kevmath is a beast and we all love him. Keep up the great work, Kevmath.

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Bradley Chalupski

Bradley Chalupski made his first deposit onto an online poker site in 2009 and has been paying rake and following the poker scene ever since. He received his J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law in 2010.

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