The awards program, held in conjunction with the “Poker In The Park” festivities in Hanover Park in London over the last weekend, look to honor those who have made the greatest achievements over the past year in the British poker scene. Twelve awards – Best International Player, Best Cash Game Player, Best Mixed Game Player, Best Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) Player, Best Tournament Player and Best Online Player. The general awards are for Best Blogger, Best Social Media User, Best Poker Forum, Best Poker League, Best Contribution to Poker and Poker Personality of the Year – were voted on by the poker community, while a thirteenth award, for Player of the Year, was decided by a special panel. The festivities provided several surprises as well as a Canadian winner of an award.
Taking two of the biggest honors was young pro Jake Cody. Recognizing his rapid ascent to the top of the poker tournament world, Jake was awarded the Best Tournament Player award by the fans. All Jake did in 2010 was take down poker’s mythical “Triple Crown” by winning the European Poker Tour Deauville, the World Poker Tour stop in London and a World Series of Poker bracelet this summer. He defeated challengers Sam Trickett (who was nominated for three awards), Roberto Romanello, John Eames and Chris Moorman to earn the honor.
Cody also was recognized by the fans with a second BPA. When the votes were tallied from the panel, Jake was given the award for Player of the Year. With the accomplishments that he tallied in 2010, it seems that was a fairly easy choice for the select panel, including England’s “Voice of Poker,” Jesse May, to make.
Jason Mercier took what was arguably one of the most difficult awards to win, Best International Player. Jason took down over $1 million over the course of the 2010 poker season, including winning the $25,000 Bounty Shootout at the PokerStars North American Poker Tour stop in Uncasville, CT, and finishing in seventh place at the NAPT Los Angeles. Jason defeated other top international players Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Daniel “jungleman12” Cates, Phil Hellmuth, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Erik Seidel to capture the award.
Canadian poker fans were overjoyed that they were able to get in on the bounty of awards as well. Nominated in the category of Best Poker Personality against such competition as Liv Boeree, Vicky Coren, Luke Schwartz and Roland de Wolfe, Kara Scott emerged as the choice from the voters. “Oh wow, what awesome news to wake up to!” Kara Tweeted to her fans after traveling to Paris for the WPT Rendezvous a Paris Championship Event. “Thank you to everyone who voted for me as British Poker Personality of the Year – I’m stoked!”
Kara earned the award because of her performance on several different television programs. In 2010, she was teamed with Gabe Kaplan as host of “High Stakes Poker.” Although technically not a part of the past year, many voters probably remember her excellent sideline reporting during this year’s World Series of Poker and made their choice based on that memory.
The winners of the other BPA’s handed out were as follows:
Best Cash Player – Sam Trickett
Best Mixed Game Player – Richard Ashby
Best Pot Limit Omaha Player – JP Kelly
Best Social Media User – Vicky Coren
Best Blogger – Neil Channing’s Black Belt Poker Blog
Best Online Player – Chris Moorman
Best Poker League – Champions Poker League
Best Poker Forum – Two Plus Two
Best Contribution To Poker – John Duthie
Best Breakout Player – Matt Perrins
Lifetime Achievement Award – Roy Houghton
Houghton’s choice for the Lifetime Achievement Award, in particular, must be recognized. A part of the poker world since 1966, Houghton has been a part of the British poker scene as a player at some of the best clubs in England. He has worked as tournament director at two of the most prestigious poker rooms in the United Kingdom, the Gutshot Club and the Victoria Casino (known fondly as “The Vic”), and has introduced variations on tournament formats for patrons of the London poker scene for the past twenty years.