The Global Poker Awards returned to the fabulous PokerGO Studio on March 6. The awards ceremony was held at the Aria in Las Vegas to honor players, media personalities, and people working behind the scenes who have made a significant contribution to poker in 2019. The ceremony saw familiar faces back on the stage to receive honors, one player taking home two trophies, while others became the first recipients of new awards.
These are the winners who stole the limelight.
New Awards Given Out
Here are the winners of the new awards for 2019: The “Toughest Opponent” award went to British poker pro and high-stakes regular Stephen Chidwick, while Jamie Kerstetter became the first winner of the “Twitter Personality” award. The ten-high all-in call of American poker pro Ryan Reiss at EPT Monte Carlo earned him the “Hand of the Year” award.
Also for 2019, the “Media Content of the Year” honor was split into three categories – Photo, Video, and Written. Media Content: Written was won by Martin Harris of D&B Poker for his eBook Poker & Pop Culture.
Joey Ingram’s investigation into the Mike Postle Cheating Scandal was enough for him to win the Media Content: Video category. The poker influencer and content creator also won “Journalist of the Year”. He was the only person to take home two awards during the ceremony.
Back-To-Back Winners
Canadian poker pro Kristen Bicknell had to go on the stage yet again to receive the GPI Female Player of the Year for the third year in a row. Her partner Alex Foxen was also named GPI POY for the second successive year.
Media Content: Photo also went once again to poker photographer Drew Amato. His winning photo shows Dario Sammartino folding at the WSOP.
Lex Veldhuis was also in the list of back-to-back winners, claiming the “Streamer of the Year” trophy for the second time, alongside Andrew Neeme who also won “Vlogger of the Year”. Everything ran good for RUNGOOD Poker Series as it once again received the Mid-Major Tour/Circuit award.
Legends Honored
The ceremony also honored two legends – the first Poker ICON award (a replacement of the Lifetime Achievement Award) was presented to Poker Hall of Famer and ten-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan, while 76-year-old John “Miami” Cernuto received The Hendon Mob Award after becoming the first player to record 500 results.
Full List of Winners
The GPI “Breakout Player of the Year” went to Robert Campbell. The Australian poker pro won two WSOP bracelets last year and was also named WSOP Player of the Year. The majority of his $1.3 million live tournament earnings came from 2019.
Philip Hui won “Final Table Performance of the Year” for his remarkable victory at the WSOP Poker Players Championship. “Podcast of the Year” was awarded to The Grid: Jennifer Shahade.
Malaysian businessman, poker player and Triton Poker co-founder Paul Phua won “Industry Person of the Year”, while Matt Savage of the World Poker Tour received the award for “Tournament Director of the Year”. The prestigious PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas was named “Event of the Year”, while Nick Schulman won “Broadcaster of the Year”.
Two-time WPT champ and poker coach Jonathan Little took home the “People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year”.
The GPA ceremony was a huge success despite controversies surrounding its nominations list. The GPI introduced a new voting process this year, however some members of the poker community still have reservations.
Doug Polk was among the vocal critics, hitting out at the GPI for not getting any nomination despite putting out more than 70 poker-related videos last year, attracting 35 million views. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner believed he should have been nominated for at least the Media Content: Video category and the Vlogger of the Year award. Polk was obviously outraged for his omission, saying the awards are “rigged”.
As a response, the GPI clarified the changes introduced to the voting process for this year, and stated that the selection panel screened dozens of candidates in each category before coming up with the finalist of nominees.

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