Kevin “KevMath” Mathers and Mike Sexton got the most enthusiastic receptions when they were presented their plaques at last night´s American Poker Awards.
The second American Poker Awards were hosted lasted last night at the SLS Hotel in Beverley Hills before a packed auditorium that featured most of the top names in the American poker industry. The awards ceremony was the highlight of a day that also included the American Poker Conference and the draft for the inaugural Global Poker League – the draft attracting almost 200,000 viewers on Twitch.tv.
The destination of two of the fifteen plaques handed out last night was already determined – Bryon Kaverman having won the 2015 GPI Player of the Year and Kelly Minkin winning the equivalent award for female players. Eleven of the awards were decided by a panel of industry professionals, and the recipients of the two remaining awards selected by a special GPI jury.
And the Winners Are …
With the exception of the award for “Event of the Year (Buy-in up to $2,000)”, many of the categories were wide open. However, the theme that emerged from the evening was that, if you want to win a plaque at the American Poker Awards, you have to be well connected with either the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour.
Moment of the Year: Daniel Negreanu for busting in eleventh place in the WSOP Main Event
Event of the Year (Buy-in up to $2,000): The Colossus at the WSOP
Event of the Year (Buy-in over $2,000): The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown
Tournament Performance of the Year: Anthony Zinno in the WPT LA Poker Classic
Breakout Performance of the Year: Joshua Beckley
Charitable Initiative of the YearCharity Series of Poker (CSOP)
Poker Presenter of the Year: Kara Scott
Media Person of the Year: Donnie Peters
Industry Person of the Year: Matt Savage
Poker Innovation of the Year: WSOP for the Online Bracelet Event
Media Content of the Year: Joe Giron for his photo of Daniel Negreanu after WSOP Main Event elimination
Twitter Set Alight by Congratulations for Winners
As one poker-playing Twitter user wrote last night, it was difficult to find anything in his timeline other than who had been selected for each of the GPL teams and who had won prizes in the American Poker Awards. The events were heavily reported in real time by much of the poker media, with fans of the winners also adding their congratulations.
The winners themselves also took to social media to express their joy (and sometimes surprise) at being honored at the American Poker Awards:
— Donnie Peters (@Donnie_Peters) February 26, 2016
— Tony Burns (@BadBeat_Burns) February 26, 2016
— Joe Giron (@JoeGironPhoto) February 26, 2016
Biggest Cheers Saved for KevMath and Mike Sexton
The final awards of the evening were dedicated to two men who had made significant contributions to poker in America since time began. Kevin “KevMath” Mathers was honored for his work on Pokernews, Bluff Magazine, Pocket Fives and the 2+2 poker forum – plus his incredible portfolio of Tweets – with a jury award for his services to the game and players.
The amazing reception that Mathers was given was repeated just a few moments later when Mike Sexton was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his work as an ambassador for the World Poker Tour – giving the WPT a 2-0 lead over the WSOP in American Poker Lifetime Achievement Awards following WPT co-founder Steve Lipscomb´s plaque last year.
A full gallery of photos and other feedback from the American Poker Awards will soon be published on www.americanpokerawards.com, while those interested in the draft picks for the Global Poker League will find the teams shortly listed on www.globalpokerleague.com.