The first American Poker Awards will be conferred on Feb 27, 2015 at Los Angeles in California. Alex Dreyfus, the chief executive officer of Zokay Entertainment, bears the credit of being the first person to think about the American Poker Awards.

The owner of brands such as the Global Poker Index (GPI), the Hendon Mob, and the European Poker Awards, Dreyfus launched a campaign to recognize poker as a sport in 2014. His aim is to bring the world of poker together and generate positive feelings about the game. Initiatives such as the Global Poker Masters and the American Poker Awards form part of the above-mentioned campaign.

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A nomination panel comprising more than 60 representatives of the poker industry selected two nominees for each of nine categories of the American Poker Awards. Four nominees in each category, who got the largest number of votes, were declared to be the finalists. Many APA awards will be conferred on the basis of GPI rankings or votes cast by fans or members of the jury. Here are some of the finalists.

The finalists for the Breakout Player of the Year are Daniel Colman, Mukul Pahuja, Jake Schindler, and Brandon Shack-Harris. The finalists for the Media Person of the Year Award are Nolan Dalla, Kevin Mathers, Chris Grove, and Rich Ryan. Experts feel that it could be a close race between Kevin Mathers and Chris Grove as both write on different as aspects of the industry. Although Kevin Mathers is widely acclaimed, Grove runs and is among the most highly reputed industry analysts.

The finalists of the Event of the Year (considering buy-ins less than $2,000) are HPT Cal State Championship, WPT500 at Aria, WSOP Millionaire Maker, and WSOP Monster Stack. According to analysts, the Millionaire Maker could win the race, but not before the WPT500 at Aria is thoroughly considered. The finalists for the Event of the Year (buy-ins over $2k) are Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, the WSOP Main Event, the WPT Montreal, and the WPT World Championship. Needless to say, the winner may turn out to be the WSOP Main Event.

The finalists of the Tournament Performance of the Year are Mohsin Charania, winner of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic; Daniel Colman, the winner of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event; Darren Elias, the winner of the WPT Borgata Poker Open; and Mark Newhouse, who finished ninth in the WSOP Main Event.