Stars Shine at 4th Annual American Poker Awards

By in Poker on

The 4th Annual American Poker Awards winners were feted on Thursday night at the Andas West Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. Twenty awards were handed out during the three hour ceremony celebrating the best and brightest of the poker world from 2017.

Most of the winners were selected from a set of finalists in a number of categories. To get to those finalists, a 102-member panel of poker players, poker media, and industry experts submitted no more than two names for thirteen categories. A special jury (whose names have yet to be disclosed) sifted through the ballots and came up with four to five finalists for each award. That jury then picked the winners.

Two awards – Poker Player of the Year and Female Poker Player of the Year – were determined by math; Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell were the top points earners on the Global Poker Index (overall and for women, respectively) last year. The other awards at the end of the list the follows were selected by either the jury, the title sponsor, or an open public voting process (the People’s Choice Award).

Below are the awards and their finalists. Winners are denoted in bold.

Breakout Player

  • Dejuante “DJ” Alexander
  • Michael Del Vecchio
  • William Alex Foxen
  • Artur Papazyan

Tournament Performance

  • Scott Blumstein (WSOP Main Event)
  • Darren Elias (WPT Fallsview)
  • Bryn Kenney (PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Super High Roller)
  • Doug Polk (WSOP One Drop High Roller)

Moment of the Year

  • 70-year-old John Smith makes back-to-back WSOP 10K Heads-Up finals
  • Ema Zajmovic becomes first female player to win open event on World Poker Tour
  • Vanessa Selbst’s Full House loses to Gaelle Baumann’s Quads early in the WSOP Main Event
  • Tom Dwan makes his return to America, stars on Poker After Dark reboot on PokerGo

Event of the Year

  • Super High Roller Bowl (ARIA Las Vegas)
  • partypoker MILLIONS North America (Playground Poker Club Montreal)
  • Poker Masters Event #1 (ARIA Las Vegas)
  • World Series of Poker Main Event (Rio Las Vegas)

Mid-Major Circuit

  • Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT)
  • RUNGOOD Poker Series
  • WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS)
  • World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC)

Journalist of the Year

  • Drew Amato
  • Lance Bradley
  • BJ Nemeth
  • Steve Ruddock
  • Jessica Welman

Broadcaster of the Year

  • Nick Schulman
  • Joseph Stapleton
  • Lon McEachern
  • Ali Nejad

Media Content

  • Adrian Moreno in tears after Little One for One Drop win; days after losing his friend (Drew Amato, photo for
  • Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (PokerCentral documentary)
  • Poker Brat: The Phill Hellmuth Story (Phil Hellmuth, published by D&B Publishing)
  • Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising his Two Boys #ForCathy (Lance Bradley, article for PocketFives)


  • PokerCentral Podcast (Brent Hanks, Will O’Connor, Remko Rinkema)
  • PokerNews Podcast (Brent Harrington, Sarah Herring, Matt Parvis)
  • Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram)
  • TwoPlusTwo Podcast (Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz)

Video Blogger

  • Joe Ingram
  • Daniel Negreanu
  • Andrew Neeme
  • Doug Polk

Poker Streamer

  • Jeff Gross
  • Bill Perkins
  • Jason Somerville
  • Jaime Staples
  • Parker Talbot

Industry Person

  • Tony Burns
  • Sean McCormack
  • Adam Pliska
  • Matt Savage

Poker’s Biggest Influencer

  • Cary Katz
  • Daniel Negreanu
  • Doug Polk
  • Matt Savage

Other Results

  • 2017 GPI American Player of the Year: Bryn Kenney
  • 2017 GPI Female Player of the Year: Kristen Bicknell
  • Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker: Norman ChadLon McEachern
  • Charitable Initiative: Jacob ZalewskiOne Step Closer Foundation
  • Jury Prize: Eric Danis
  • PocketFives Legacy Award: Ari Engel
  • People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year: Andrew Neeme
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