Following on from Part 1 of the British Poker Awards Preview, where we looked at nominations for the international award, and Part 2 in which we considered the merits of personalities who have made significant contributions to British Poker in the past twelve months, in Part 3 we have a look at some of the native talent nominated for the premier UK poker accolades.
Best Cash Player (2010 Winner – Neil Channing)
The nominations for best British Cash Player are
Determining who is the best cash player among these fellows is going to be a particularly difficult task unless you are looking over their shoulder at the Vic or are privy to their income tax returns (yeah! Sure!). Depending on how we, the voters, perceive the success in tournaments may determine how our votes are cast.
JP Kelly does sterling work representing PokerStars and had several great runs in the WSOP in June and July. Unless he was moonlighting over at the Bellagio between tournaments, we guess he hasn´t been involved in enough cash games to warrant an award as Best Cash Player. The same applies to Richard Ashby, who seems to be an ever-present on the GUKPT circuit in between trips to Las Vegas and Australia, and who has got nominations for other awards anyway!
If you are including online success in cash games, Roland de Wolfe would have been our pick prior to April, but now Full Tilt Poker are using all his winnings in a fatuous legal case, Roland would only win the “Best-Cash-Player-Who-Didn´t-Get-His-Money-Out-In-Time” award (allegedly). Andrew Moseley is a fine nomination for the award – being one of the UK´s leading cash game players – but Sam Trickett´s cash game exploits in Macau are well chronicled and we think this is what will tip the plaque in his favour.
Best Mixed Game Player (2010 – No category)
One award for the poker purists to mull over – not who is the “best” poker player, but rather who is the most adept at displaying multi-discipline skills. The nominations for this award are:-
- Richard Ashby
- Matt Perrins
- James Dempsey
- Phil Shaw
- John Kabbaj
In as much as we would vote for Matt Perrins on the grounds that his terrific WSOP bracelet in the 2011 2-7 Single Draw Championship was in a game that he had never played before (that shows “multi-discipline skills!), this is a tough category to win. James Dempsey is a very versatile player in all versions of Hold´em and won a bracelet at the 2010 WSOP (PLHE) and almost doubled up in the Omaha Hi/Lo event the same year and Phil Shaw is a master of Sit ´n´ Go mixed games.
John Kabbaj was winning Omaha tournaments when many of today´s players were still in shorts and has extended his repertoire of games successfully ever since, but the award for best Mixed Game Player (we believe) should go to Richard “Chufty” Ashby. Richard also had a good 2010 WSOP winning the 7 Card Stud bracelet and finishing second in the H.O.R.S.E. Championship. His success continued in the Aussie Millions 8 Game Tournament (1st), WSOP Omaha Hi/Lo Championship (4th) and 2-7 Lowball Championship (3rd). It is for Richard´s continuing success that we believe he will have a new ornament for his bookcase in September.
Best Pot Limit Omaha Player (2010 – No category)
The nominations for this prestigious award are:-
- John Shipley
- Richard Ashby
- Dave Ulliott
- JP Kelly
- Ben Grundy
John Shipley was lord and master of the Pot Limit Omaha circuit a decade ago, but other than an excellent third in the WSOP PLO Championship in June has largely focused on Hold´em since (we apologise if we are doing you an injustice John!). Richard Ashby, as good as he is at Pot Limit Omaha, uses his skill in this event as a stepping stone to being a greater mixed game player, and the same comments apply to JP Kelly as Mr Shipley (enough though JP´s Omaha successes were more recent).
Ben “Milkybarkid” Grundy won the Grosvenor World Masters at this discipline in 2005 and has had recent cashes in the WSOP at Pot limit Omaha, but there should only be one recipient of this award – Dave Ulliott. The “Devilfish” first cashed in a WSOP PLO event in 1997, done it again in 2000 (twice, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 (twice), 2007 (three times), 2008, 2009 and 2010 (twice). Dave was running well in this year´s 6 Handed PLO Championship until being sucked out by Jason Mercier three hands in quick succession and really should have been nominated for Poker Personality of the Year (next year Dave!).
Best Online Player (2010 Winner – Chris Moorman)
Nominees for – well, here´s the list
- Chris Moorman
- Richard Ashby
- James Dempsey
- Jake Cody
- Dave Shallow
Chris Moorman – need we say more?
With all due respect to the other four nominees, and mindful of the fact that Dave Shallow and Jake Cody spend more time playing Sit ´n´ Go´s than major multitable online tournaments, Chris Moorman already had more than $7 million in online winnings before going to Vegas this year and cashing in five events with two final table appearances. James Dempsey and Richard Ashby will also acknowledge that there is not much competition for this award.
Best Tournament Player (2010 Winner – James Akenhead)
Nominees for Best Tournament Player of 2011 are:-
- Jake Cody
- Sam Trickett
- Roberto Romanello
- John Eames
- Chris Moorman
James Akenhead won this award last year after impressive final table appearances at the WSOPE and November Nine. Sadly his live form seems to have slipped a little since those heady days (which were virtually impossible to maintain!), but we hope that this year’s winner does not suffer the same fate.
Our selection of Chris Moorman for the online award kinda makes us think that one of the other nominees should be given something to cheer about, and Jake Cody is the high-profile boy of the minute – taking down the Hi-Rollers WSOP Heads Up event with such consummate ease and giving Gus Hansen a lesson at the same time, that we are going to lumber him with our vote.
If you want to consider the alternatives, Sam Trickett has enjoyed an astonishing past twelve months with six cashes in the 2010 WSOP, a final table finish at the EPT Vilamoura, victory in the Party Poker World Open, taking down the Aussie Millions and finishing second in the Super Hi-Roller event. Roberto Romanello won an EPT event and cashed in three others as well as taking down the WPT Main Event in Bratislava, and John Eames won the EPT in Vienna last year before three deep runs in the Aussie Millions and three more at this year´s WSOP:
Player of the Year (2010 Winner – Praz Bansi)
This final award will be presented to the UK poker player who an experienced panel of judges feels represents the best of British Poker. Last year´s winner, Praz Bansi, has enjoyed a successful and distinguished career, and is an excellent ambassador for the British poker scene wherever he travels. This year´s winner will have to live up to those same attributes.
The judging panel consists of Bluff Europe Magazine editor-in-chief Michael Caselli, PokerNews.com´s Matthew Parvis and the “Voice of Poker”, Jesse May. Spectators are more than welcome to visit the event which takes place from 3.00pm on Saturday September 3rd and is one the major features of this year´s “Poker in the Park” festival.
Don´t forget to cast your votes on www.thebritishpokerawards.com to get involved and support your favourite player.