In just over a week, the 2nd Annual American Poker Awards will take place in Los Angeles, California. The affair will be as elegant as the previous year and award honors to those who have contributed to the American poker scene in various ways.
The February 25th ceremony will honor the 2015 Player of the Year, Byron Kaverman, as well as the 2015 Female Player of the Year, Kelly Minkin. These awards are solely based on the Global Poker Index rankings. In addition, there are categories for awards that were chosen by the GPI and nominees that were selected by industry players and executives. A select jury will pick the ultimate winners.
The full list of American Poker Awards categories and nominees can be found on their website.
I would like to add some categories that I feel are missing from the lineup. As the list is now comprised, it seems that judging the Event of the Year (both with buy-ins less than and more than $2K) is based on the performance of the tournaments themselves. Instead of honoring events, I feel that it is more important to honor people, both players and industry executives, who make up the poker community.
New Categories That Should Be Added
Most Improved Player
This is something that could likely be calculated by the Global Poker Index with a cumulative formula that tracks players over the course of two or three years. While one big score, like a WSOP Main Event win, shouldn’t be a sole determining factor, the increasing success of a player over the course of time could possibly be measured. Players who work hard over long periods of time to improve their skills and achieve results to show it should be rewarded.
Most Philanthropic Player
This is not intended to reward the poker player who gave the most money to charity. Rather, it is a way to honor those who have engaged in numerous philanthropic endeavors, whether organizing charity tournaments, participating or promoting REG, or promoted charitable giving. It would be a tough category to judge, but honoring those who spend a lot of time trying to help others is something to consider.
Best Online Poker Promotion
Rating the best US online poker sites is difficult with such a small industry. For the American market, there are few sites from which to choose the best promotion, but each of them offers various promotion schemes throughout the year. Without using data and traffic calculations to determine the most successful promotion, voters would use other criteria, such as level of innovation, player inclusion, and general creativity.
Best Online Poker Promoter
This category would reward the person who has done the most to promote online poker throughout the year. It could be a public relations person, head of poker marketing for an online site, member of Poker Players Alliance, or even a politician who fights for online poker legislation. This list of nominees can include poker players as well as others involved in the industry who work hard for the expansion of Internet poker in America.
Best Poker Video or TV Show
There are many people in the poker industry who put great effort into poker productions, which range from documentaries for Poker Central to interviews on poker media websites. From Jason Somerville’s Run It Up! show to poker coaching videos, there are many options to judge for entertainment and substance.
Finally, instead of putting Kevin Mathers in with the media nominees each year, I believe he should be given a one-time achievement award for all of his contributions to the industry. He is the preeminent Tweeter in the poker world, the one to whom everyone addresses questions about everything from tournament schedules to live streams. He has answered questions for me on numerous occasions, often also supplying a link that saved time and effort. I’m sure he has done that for many of you. His desire to promote everything in poker, from players to articles to tournaments, is an invaluable tool. Can we just give him one big honor that serves as our never-ending gratitude?
Be sure to tune in to the GPL Twitch channel on February 25th to see who wins!