The second segment of our British Poker Awards preview considers the merits of UK poker personalities and those in the British poker industry who have made significant contributions to British poker in the past twelve months.
If you did not read the first part yet, go to our British Poker Awards part 1.
Voting has already started for the award-giving ceremony which takes place on Saturday September 3rd at the “Poker in the Park” festival (at 3.00pm if you want to pop along and meet the stars of the show), so if you have not already made your selections, read what we have to say about the nominees and vote.
Best Social Media User (2010 – No category)
Had the nominations been made after Dave Ulliott found out he had a Twitter account, the complexion of this award would have changed completely. 101 tweets on day one attracted more than 1,500 followers within 24 hours – more than most international celebrities achieve in a life time. Nonetheless, there are five cracking nominees for the category of Best Social Media User:-
Based solely on the number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans, this would be a cakewalk for Vicky Coren, but how many of her fans are there for her poker insight and how many for her cutting wit, good looks and to find out when her next newspaper columns are going to be published? The same could be true of Liv Boeree, except she does more TV and PR than newspaper columns and, other than posting nice pictures of his home and car on his Facebook page (and grumble about how poorly he did at WSOP) there has not been a great deal of pertinent poker punditry provided by Sam Trickett.
So, the award for Best Social Media User goes down to a coinflip between PokerStars pro Dale “Daleroxxu” Philip and anti-award Tweeter Keith “The Camel” Hawkins. Solely on the grounds that Dale was atrociously omitted from the best blogger nominations (Daleroxxu is a must-read blog!), we are selecting Dale Philip to win the award, but would not be surprised if Keith sneaked in with a little support from his friends at Blonde Poker.
Best Blogger (2010 – No Category)
Talking of Blonde Poker, if an award is due to any person for their contribution to poker over the years it would be Tony Kendall. His establishment of the Blonde Poker forum, formation of the Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) and contribution to live poker broadcasting in the UK has made him one British poker´s most respected personalities. However, by his own admission he does not have the time to dedicate to his “Blondepoker Diary” as he once had, and therefore is crossed off of our list for Best Blogger.
The nominations in this category are
- Tony Kendall
- James Atkin
- Neil Channing
- Stephen Bartley
Instead, we are going to opt for James Atkin on who maintains an excellent, relevant and very funny blog on www.atkinator.net which also includes links to wide number of other blogs, software sites, forums, staking sites and a million other useful resources for UK poker players. Inasmuch as Neil Channing (Black Belt Poker Blog), Snoopy (Black belt Poker Blog) and Stephen Bartley (PokerStars Blog) all deserve honourable mentions for their literary contributions, for us the winner has to be James.
Best Poker League (2010 Winner – Nuts Poker League)
This is one award for which we are not going to publish an opinion. Each of the nominees does a fantastic job in promoting grass-roots poker and making it accessible to those of us who do not have the time, funds or skill (some would say) to mix it up with the big boys. If you belong to one of these leagues, show your support by voting for them in the British Poker Awards-
- Nuts Poker league
- Poker Tree
- Live Pub Poker
- Champions Poker league
- Poker in the Pub
Best Poker Forum (2010 Winner – The Hendon Mob)
The poker forums are an excellent place to collect information, exchange views and find out what the breaking poker deals are and how best to exploit them. They are also the home to comprehensive databases of players, tips and advice on how to play the many different types of poker and where best to play (both live and online). There are six very worthy nominees for this prestigious award:-
- The Hendon Mob
- Punter´s Lounge
- Pocket Fives
- Blonde Poker
Inasmuch as each of the poker websites provides a feast of valuable content, the best forums are those with the life and blood of poker flowing through them – e.g. the contributors. Therefore, although The Hendon Mob have continued the excellent work they have done for many years, and GutShot, Punter´s Lounge and Pocket Fives have given them a race for their money, the two sites we would like to give half a vote each to for Best Poker Forum are Blonde Poker and 2+2 (let´s call them 2plus2 to give them a little more bold type) – with the UK Poker Player.com vote going to Blonde Poker because it is the British Poker Awards and the promotion of the domestic game is where their strength lies.
Best Contribution to Poker (2010 Winner – Vicky Coren)
Another difficult category for the simple reason that there are so many valuable contributions to British poker in so many different mediums, how do you figure out which is best? Let´s look at the nominees first!
- John Duthie
- Neil Channing
- Mad Marty Wilson
- Tony Kendall
- Simon Trumper
Each of these nominees made a significant contribution to poker both here and abroad. For being creator of the European Poker Tour, John Duthie should have an award named after him – as should Neil Channing for “Poker-Celebrity-Who-ReTweets-All-The-Good-Stuff-and-Leaves-Out-The-Crap”. Both of these gentlemen are of course excellent poker players as well. Mad Marty Wilson is no mean player himself, with $5 million in winnings over the years, and a nomination in recognition of his coaching skills as much as anything else.
We sincerely hope that Blonde Poker win the best forum category as we can see Tony Kendall becoming the Phil Hellmuth of the 2011 British Poker awards – 3 seconds and no bracelets. For as much as “tikay” Kendall is a tireless ambassador for the game, Simon Trumper is going to take this award home for the astounding success he has created in a little corner of Nottinghamshire – Dusk till Dawn. What a fantastic story that has been in the past twelve months and what an advert for UK poker.
Poker Personality of the Year
Last but not least in Part 2 of our British Poker Awards preview, we come to Poker Personality of the Year. This is one of the new categories for the awards this year, and the job for us voters of choosing just one winner is not made any easier by the inclusion of five very personable personalities.
The nominees are:-
- Kara Scott – TV presenter, the female face of Party Poker and last woman standing in the 2009 WSOP Main Event.
- Liv Boeree – TV presenter, half the female face of PokerStars UK and winner of EPT San Remo in 2010
- Vicky Coren – TV presenter (there is a pattern occurring here!), the other half of Liv Boeree (not sure you will appreciate that Vicky, but you know what we mean) and first woman ever to win an EPT Main Event at all!
- Luke Schwartz – High stakes poker player who use to win Phil Ivey´s money (in the days when Ivey could borrow it from FTP- allegedly) and then hand it over to Victor Blom and Tom Dwan. Outspoken chap and definitely a personality.
- Roland de Wolfe – Really nice guy, who was the first UK poker player to win WSOP, WPT and EPT titles and was the highest rated UK poker player in the EPIC global poker index.
The clue to who we would like to see pick up this award is in the title – British Personality of the Year, and inasmuch as Roland de Wolfe, Kara Scott and Liv Boeree have all been remarkable personalities in past years (and Luke Schwartz was until his money got stuck in an Alderney account … … or somewhere), you can pretty much bank on the pretty Vicky Coren popping up here there and everywhere – and occasionally dropping poker into the conversation when she does. Last year´s winner of the Best Contribution to Poker deserves the award for publicly slagging off the amenities (and the floormen) at the Rio in July, when many of her male compatriots just mumbled about it and put up with second class service. We understand that second-best is no good for Vicky, and that is why we are giving her our vote for Poker personality of the Year.
Of course, everybody is entitled to their own opinion and, if you would like to voice yours, click on www.thebritishpokerawards.com and get involved with the voting. WAIT – you have not yet read the third part of our preview – the part in which we discuss the merits of the British poker players and the awards they are nominated for, including the award for Player of the Year!