After a highly successful inaugural program, the British Poker Awards are back for their second annual awards festivities, this year taking place during the “Poker In The Park” activities. The BPA’s will be awarded on the final day of this year’s festival in London’s Hanover Square, September 3 at 3PM (London time). Right now, the twelve categories that will be awarded are up for public vote at the British Poker Awards website, www.thebritishpokerawards.com, and a thirteenth award, for Player of the Year, will be determined by a specially selected panel.
That panel was instrumental in choosing the nominees for the 2011 BPA’s. Representatives from Bluff Europe, one of the most respected poker publications in the United Kingdom, PokerNews and the legendary English “Voice of Poker,” Jesse May, determined the nominees after looking back at the 2010 international poker schedule. The list of nominees reflects some of the best players, bloggers and personalities from around the United Kingdom.
“This isn’t about self-congratulatory back-slapping,” cautioned Philip Conneller, Editor of Bluff Europe. “It’s about honoring the players who have done us so proud on the world stage this year. It’s about applauding the bloggers and social media users who have kept us entertained through a challenging year in poker, and it’s about praising the poker leagues that tirelessly support the game on a grassroots level in the pubs and clubs of Great Britain.”
The awards span several areas of poker, including bloggers, social media and personalities. The playing awards are for 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. The biggest award, Player of the Year, will be determined by the nominating committee.
Arguably the most important award that the poker community can vote on is for the Best International Player. The list of nominees – Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Daniel “jungleman12” Cates, Phil Hellmuth, Jason Mercier, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Erik Seidel – reflect players that not only had an excellent season in 2010 but also have been at the forefront of the game in 2011. Of the list above, both Mercier and Grospellier have the inside edge for the award, with Dwan and Cates as potential dark horses.
Leading the list of nominees is Richard “Chufty” Ashby, who earned four nominations after an outstanding year of play in 2010. He won a World Series of Poker bracelet in a $1500 Seven Card Stud event and finished second in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship. Richard also displayed his online skills by taking down an event during the 2010 PokerStars World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP) in Pot Limit Omaha. He is nominated for Best Cash Game Player, Best Mixed Game Player, Best PLO Player and Best Online Player.
Right behind Richard in nominations is Sam Trickett, who also was a force on the international tournament scene in 2010 and, as such, has been nominated for three awards. Trickett cashed six times at the 2010 WSOP – for a grand total of $693,837 – and barely missed winning his first WSOP bracelet. Although it may not be considered, he has also played excellent poker early in 2011, winning the $100,000 High Rollers event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and finishing second in the $250,000 Super High Rollers tournament during the same schedule. He is nominated for Best Cash Game Player, Best Tournament Player and Best Social Media User.
Both Ashby and Trickett are looking to become two time BPA winners, having won for Best All Around Player and Best New Player, respectively, in 2010. Vicky Coren will be looking to repeat as Poker Personality of the Year and also is nominated for Best Social Media User. Ivey will be looking for a repeat as Best International Player.
As mentioned earlier, the international poker community is invited to vote on the choices at the BPA website. By placing your votes, every person is registered into a special drawing. The winner of that drawing earns a £300 seat into the London Palm Beach Casino’s Weekly No Limit Hold’em tournament, with the shot to turn that award into a nice payday.