The first-ever Global Poker Awards ceremony went down at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas on April 5, 2019, and in attendance were a number of top poker players and industry leaders. The inaugural event is a merger between the American Poker Awards and the European Poker Awards thus making it perhaps the biggest poker awards event in history – trophies were awarded to a total of 20 categories.
Hosted by the Global Poker Index and Poker Central, the event was presented by PokerStars and was available on a free live stream on PokerGO. It was hosted by commentator Ali Nejad and hostess Drea Renee.
Women Took the Spotlight
For the very first time in the history of either the American Poker Awards and the European Poker Awards, the women were the biggest highlight of the awards. This was evident from the fact that multiple major awards including the Journalist of the Year, Broadcaster of the Years as well as the Industry Person of the Year award among others were given to leading women in the poker industry. In their acceptance speeches, the women gave glimpses of their journeys to the top and they were very thankful for being considered for the prestigious awards.
Sarah Herring who received the Journalist of the Year award thanked some of her predecessors at PokerNews, including Lynn Gilmartin and Kirsty Arnett for welcoming and supporting her when she first began playing poker. Angelica Hale (the Industry Person of the Year awardee), on the other hand, delivered a heartfelt speech about the work she has been doing in collaboration with the World Poker Tour. Broadcaster of the Year awardee, Maria Ho, also detailed her trek from simply participating in poker tournaments to be eventually becoming an integral contributor in discussions on television broadcasts.
The List of Winners
- Global Poker Index Player of the Year: Alex Foxen
- Global Poker Index Female Player of the Year: Kristen Bicknell
- Vlogger of the Year: Andrew Neeme
- Podcast of the Year: Chip Race Poker Podcast
- Broadcaster of the Year: Maria Ho
- Breakout Player of the Year: Ali Imsirovic
- Journalist of the Year: Sarah Herring
- Mid-Major Tour/Circuit: Run Good Poker Series
- Streamer of the Year: Lex Veldhuis
- Charitable Initiative: Robbie Strazynski
- Tournament Director of the Year: Paul Campbell, ARIA
- PocketFives Legacy Award (Lifetime Achievement in Online Poker): Chris Moorman
- Tournament Performance of the Year: John Cynn, World Series of Poker Championship Event
- Media Content of the Year: Lance Bradley, The Pursuit of Poker Success
- Event of the Year: WSOP Championship Event
- Industry Person of the Year: Angelica Hael, World Poker Tour
- Moment of the Year: Justin Bonomo, Big One for One Drop/World Series of Poker
- Jury Award: photographer Drew Amato
- People’s Choice Award (Poker Personality of the Year): Brad Owen
- Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker: Doyle Brunson