The first ever Global Poker Awards took place on April 5 and it was a prestigious event for the global poker community. A number of awards were handed out to several poker personalities who made a huge impact in 2018.
The awards show which was sponsored by PokerStars in partnership with the Global Poker Index and PokerGO and was held at the latter’s studios in Las Vegas. The event was hosted by Ali Nejad and Drea Renee who recognized the best poker personalities from 2018 over different categories.
Ladies Win Major Awards
Women definitely ruled the night as some of the major awards were received by the ladies. Maria Ho won Broadcaster of the Year, Sarah Herring claimed Journalist of the Year, and Angelica Hael took home the Industry Person of the Year award.
Ho is among the top-ranked female poker players in the world. The poker pro has more than $3,000,000 in live tournament winnings, and was inducted to the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2018. Accepting her Broadcaster of the Year award, Ho shared her journey to the top which began from simply taking part in tournaments. She went on to become a TV host and commentator, discussing poker strategies to a wide audience. Today, she is considered one of the premier women in the global poker industry.
PokerNews producer and podcast co-host Herring paid tribute to her predecessors Kristy Arnett and Lynn Gilmartin for being nice to her during her early days at PokerNews. Herring shined the brightest among her contemporaries in the field of poker journalism in 2018.
Gaining the biggest applause of the night, Angelica Hael was sentimental when she walked to the stage to claim her award. In her acceptance speech, Hael spoke about her work as World Poker Tour’s VP for Global Tour Management. She emphasized the importance of having the right group people who have supported her in her journey. Hael paid tribute to WPT CEO Adam Pliska for creating an environment where people are nurtured and allowed to reach their full potential.
Touching Moments
Robbie Strazynki’s fundraising efforts for Save a Child’s Heart in 2018 did not go to waste as he raised more than $10,000 after running 1000 kilometers. The charity institution wants to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care, and the health and welfare of children in general, who are living in third-world countries. Strazynki’s “Running Well” fundraiser earned him the Charitable Initiative of the Year award.
Last year, was an explosive year for Justin Bonomo. It ended with him sitting at the top of poker’s all-time money list, overtaking previous leader Daniel Negreanu. His $10 million victory at the Big One for One Drop event at the World Series of Poker was a huge moment for the American poker pro. He received the Moment of the Year award.
However in his acceptance speech, Bonomo chose to place the spotlight on people who are struggling and asked everyone to be more compassionate and considerate to those in need.
List Of Award Winners
The complete list of winners during the 74-minute awards ceremonies in Las Vegas are as follows.
Andrew Neeme won Vlogger of the Year, while Chip Race Poker Podcast was selected as Podcast of the Year. The Global Poker Index Player of the Year was awarded to Alex Foxen, and Kristen Bicknell won the GPI Female Player of the Year. The Streamer of the Year title was won by Lex Veldhuis.
Run Good Poker Series won Mid-Major Tour/Circuit of the Year, while the Tournament Performance of the Year went to John Cynn. Paul Campbell of ARIA won Tournament Director of the Year.  Lance Bradley, author of the book The Pursuit of Poker Success, received the Media Content of the Year award, while Chris Moorman was honored with the PocketFives Legacy Award.
The WSOP Championship Event won Event of the Year; Drew Amato claimed the Jury Award; the Breakout Player of the Year title went to Ali Imsirovic, with Brad Owen winning the People’s Choice Award (Poker Personality of the Year).
The inaugural Global Poker Awards is a merger between the American Poker Awards and the European Poker awards. Trophies were awarded in a total of 20 categories and based on the success of the GPA, it is quite possible that this becomes an annual event.

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