The 13th annual Global Poker Index (GPI) European Poker Awards took place at the Salle des Ambassadeurs in the Casino Barriere de Deauville on Wednesday night and it was a great night for British and Irish poker.
Five golden spade trophies were presented to players from the UK & Ireland, six if you include adopted Brit Neil Johnson – an American who now calls London home – who won the Poker Industry Person of the Year for his role as PokerStars Live Poker Specialist, an award he pipped British duo Marc Convey and Lee Davy to.
Stephen Chidwick won the 2013 UK Player of the Year award following a stellar year at the felt that saw him climb to 32nd place in the GPI rankings. Chidwick won $1,183,748 in live tournaments during 2013 and although he is still to win a major live event, it is surely a matter of when for the popular grinder.
Also bagging a Player of the Year award was Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Dermot Blain who topped the Ireland standings. Blain was unable to attend the lavish ceremony because he was too busy being a boss and winning the €1,100 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed event for €20,200 instead. Having scored a victory during the first month of 2014 makes Blain a favourite to scoop what would be his third POY award, although there is a long way to go before that happens.
To the surprise of many, the Internet Player of the Year award went to Toby “810ofclubs” Lewis. Among his many online exploits in 2013, Lewis finished third in the Super Tuesday, won a PokerStars World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) title and a Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS). Lewis thoroughly deserves his award but raised a few eyebrows as he beat out fellow Brit Chris Moorman – who surpassed $10 million in online winnings in 2013 – and Germany’s Niklas Heinecker who destroyed the highest stakes cash games for almost $6.2 million.
Another shock victory was the Full Tilt Poker UKIPT Galway Festival scooping the Best Event of the Year award. Kirsty Thompson, the Head of Live Rooms & UKIPT President, took to Twitter shortly after the award was announced:
Galway wins Best Event in the European Poker Awards. Gobsmacked! #GPIFollow @Kit78
Rebecca McAdam, Full Tilt Poker’s Public Relations Senior Manager, was delighted with the event’s award, writing on Facebook: “Thanks for all the lovely messages re our Galway Festival winning the Euro award for best event! So many wonderful people made it an amazing event - from organisers, to media, to old friends and players! We did it!!!”
Galway was thoroughly enjoyed by every single participant and it showed as the festival beat EPT Barcelona, EPT Grand Final and the Prague Poker Festival to the prestigious award.
Last, but certainly not least, was the Lifetime Achievement Award and that went to our very own Barny Boatman, a fitting end to a remarkable year. Boatman won his first World Series of Poker bracelet at the 2013 WSOP after more than a decade of returning from Las Vegas without any poker bling!
Congratulations to all of our award winners, here’s hoping there are plenty more awards and gongs in 2014.
2013 GPI European Poker Awards
|2013 Live Player of the Year||Ole Schemion|
|2013 Finnish Player of the Year||Joni Jouhkimainen|
|2013 UK Player of the Year||Stephen Chidwick|
|2013 French Player of the Year||Benjamin Pollak|
|2013 Irish Player of the Year||Dermot Blain|
|2013 Italian Player of the Year||Dario Sammartino|
|2013 Dutch Player of the Year||Govert Metaal|
|2013 Spanish Player of the Year||Adrian Mateos Diaz|
|2013 Belgian Player of the Year||Davidi Kitai|
|2013 Rookie of the Year||Adrian Mateos Diaz|
|2013 Poker Personality of the Year||Roger Hairabedian|
|2013 Tournament Performance of the Year||Philipp Gruissem|
|2013 Internet Player of the Year||Toby Lewis|
|2013 Poker Industry Person of the Year||Neil Johnson|
|2013 Best Event of the Year||Full Tilt Poker UKIPT Galway Festival|
|Europe’s Leading Lady||Ana Marquez|
|The Jury Prize||Poker Dealers of Europe|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Barny Boatman|