The Euro Finals of Poker are currently being held at the Aviation Club de France in Paris and the same venue has also just witnessed an awards ceremony dedicated to poker in Europe.
The European Poker Awards were held during the playing of the Main Event, the EFOP Diamond Championship. This €3,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em Tournament saw a virtual clean sweep by French players although there was a super finish by UK player Pete Evans who cleared nearly €75,000 in second place. France's Jérome Zerbib took the spoils and over €140,000. However, enough of the cards!
The European Poker Awards involved five titles:
- Rookie of the Year, for the best newcomer in European tournaments.
- Most Notable Tournament Performance of the Year – self-explanatory.
- Player of the Year, for the best all-round performances throughout the year.
- Casino Staff Person of the Year, for those all-important people without whom a poker tournament would never get off the ground.
- Lifetime Achievement Award, for a certain special contribution to poker from which everyone has benefited.
And the winners are:
Rookie of the Year - Mats Iremark - Bursting onto the European poker scene this year, Mats Iremark became the Swedish winner of the EPT Main Event in Deauville, France in February 2006 and the £1,000 No Limit Hold'em event winner at the European Poker Championships in London in September. He also secured several strong finishes in tournaments in Austria and cashed in a WSOP event in Las Vegas.
Most Notable Tournament Performance of the Year - Victoria Coren - Long time poker writer and player, Victoria Coren has always been a popular woman in poker – long before it became fashionable to be one – with both ladies and men. Secured an enormous first prize when she won an EPT event, fittingly in her home casino at Victoria, London. Saw off strong challengers, Roland de Wolfe and John Gale.
Player of the Year - Roland de Wolfe - Not a great surprise for this title as Roland de Wolfe became the first player to win both WPT and EPT titles after taking the title at the EPT Dublin in October. Having won the WPT Paris event in 2005, he took 3rd place and over $1,000,000 in cash at the WPT Five Diamond Classic Main Event in Las Vegas in April 2006. He has since placed 3rd in a WSOP event and just recently taken two second places and a further $400,000 in winnings in the USA. Sponsorship with Full Tilt Poker has capped off a superb year for Roland de Wolfe.
Casino Staff Person of the Year - Roy Houghton - Veteran "Cockney" of decades of poker and card room management and inventor of new forms of poker (such as the "Double Chance" concept), Roy Houghton has once again forged ahead in 2006 after the opening of his membership only, no rake, no fees, card room and games room, the "Loose Cannon and VC Players Lounge" in the City of London.
Lifetime Achievement Award - John Duthie - In keeping with the recognition of achievements in the EPT series, this award went to the godfather of the European Poker Tour, John Duthie, who no doubt was the recipient of thanks from the other winners at these Awards!
Ed note: Share the bright lights when you download Sun Poker and share in $4,000,000 of guarantees every month.