The Second British Poker Awards take place at the Poker in the Park Festival on Saturday September 3rd.
Readers of UK Poker Player can have a major influence who wins the coveted pieces of mantelpiece furniture by voting on their favourite poker player / personality / blogger / forum.
However, before you do so, take a look at the nominations and our verdict about who should win and why.
What is Different in 2011
This year´s British Poker Awards acknowledge that not everybody plays Texas Hold´em. The introduction of awards for “Best Mixed Game Player” and “Best Pot Limit Omaha Player” provides an opportunity for some of the less high-profile games to get a mention, and there is also recognition for the contribution made to British poker by bloggers and tweeters.
A new “Poker Personality of the Year” category grants a lifetime of fame to the person who has promoted the best interests of British poker throughout the year, but sadly we have lost the “Best New Player” award (won last year by Sam Trickett – whatever happened to him?) and “Best UK Card Room” because there would only have been one contender (it starts with a “D” in case you are wondering).
Best International Player (2010 Winner – Phil Ivey)
“And the nominations are … … “
- Phil Ivey
- Tom Dwan
- Daniel Cates
- Phil Hellmuth
- Jason Mercier
- Bertrand Grospellier
- Eric Seidel
Verdict – The award for “Best International Player of the Year” has been thrown wide open in light of allegations, counter-allegations and general “foot-in-mouth”-ness following the events of “Black Friday”. News that Phil Ivey allegedly owes more than $6 million to Full Tilt Poker will not please former clients of the site owed millions themselves, and Tom Dwan´s mis-managed attempts to alleviate the situation only subtracted from the high esteem in which he is held for his achievements at the poker table.
Daniel Cates has grown from low stakes player to Durrr Challenge competitor in just over a year. However, as he plays the majority of his poker online or in the States, he probably does not have the profile in the UK to warrant an accolade of “Best International Player”. International competition is not a problem for Jason Mercier who, as a superb ambassador for PokerStars, has competed in Italy, Madrid and London within the past twelve months. Sadly for Jason, fans of UK poker player Dave Ulliott will recall how a string of “fortunate” card eliminated the Devilfish from 6 Handed Pot Limit Omaha Championship in the recent WSOP, and Ulliott´s forthright opinions on the matter may influence voters´ opinions on whether Mercier truly is the best international player of the year.
Bertrand Grospellier´s globe-trotting exploits have also brought him fame and fortune – culminating in victory in the Seven Card Stud Championship at the WSOP – but would any UK poker fan vote for a Frenchman, and Eric Seidel´s association with Full Tilt Poker may tarnish his chances of collecting the plaque, despite the superb year he has enjoyed in international live poker tournaments (5 WSOP cashes and 9 final table appearances in major tournaments including PCA, Aussie Millions and victory in the LA Poker Classic).
That leaves the “bad boy” of poker – Phil Hellmuth – who endured a torturous World Series of Poker, finishing second in three different events in pursuit of his elusive twelfth bracelet. The gracious manner of his defeats – and touching humour with which he reflected on them on Twitter – won him a lot of new fans and, although he should not be awarded the title of “Best International Player” on a sympathy vote, to finish second in three world championship events in a very difficult year for world poker leaves us feeling that his name will be on the plaque come September 3rd.
Join us in Part 2 of our preview of the British Poker Awards, as we look at some of the poker personalities who have contributed much to UK poker this year, and in Part 3, where we consider the nominations for awards such as “Best Cash Player”, “Best Tournament Player” and “Best Online Player”.
In case you do not want to wait for the other parts of our preview of the British Poker Awards, go to www.britishpokerawards.com.