The 3rd annual American Poker Awards took place at the Sofitel Beverly Hills hosted by GPI and PokerStars. Kara Scott hosted the ceremonies, which handed out 17 awards and Poker Central and ARIA won the 2016 Event of the Year with the Super High Roller Bowl.
Sean McCormack, Aria’s Director of Poker Operations, and Poker Central’s Vice President of Content Sam Simmons were on-hand to accept the award. McCormack made a second trip to the stage when he won Industry Person of the Year.
David Peters won the first award of the night for GPI Player of the Year. He thanked the GPI for the ceremony and said, “No one thought anyone could pass Fedor, it felt amazing. It felt great to do it for America,” and jokingly started a “USA” chant.
Maurice Hawkins won Breakout Player of the Year and acknowledged that fellow nominee Ari Engel used to stake him years ago. He said, “This award means so much to me. In poker you need the money to do it and I’ve grinded my way to where I am.”
Lance Bradley of PocketFives won Media Content of the Year for his work – “Bob, Charlie and a Life Changing WSOP Main Event Journey.” He thanked the Brundige’s for their openness and it was really their award.
Joe Ingram cracked the room up after winning Podcast of the Year. “I can’t believe they didn’t give this to Daniel (Negreanu) for his whole six episodes last year,” he said after taking the stage to huge round of laughs. Ingram did a victory lap around the room with his award on his way back to his table.
Mori Eskandani received the only standing ovation of the night for his Lifetime Achievement Award. An emotional Scott presented him the award with a moving speech, touching on why everyone calls him “Uncle Mori.”
There were a couple new awards this year. The Hendon Mob Award went to John Holley for most cashes and his consistency on the Circuit. The PocketFives Legacy award celebrates an online poker that found success in the live arena and none other than Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy won the award.
2016 American Poker Award Winners
GPI Player of the Year – David Peters
GPI Female Player of the Year – Cate Hall
Event of the Year – Super High Roller Bowl
Industry Person of the Year – Sean McCormack
Tournament Performance of the Year – Ari Engel, 2016 Aussie Millions
Breakout Performance of the Year – Maurice Hawkins
Moment of the Year – Jason Mercier’s 2016 WSOP
Media Person of the Year – Joe Stapleton
Poker Media Content of the Year – “Bob, Charlie and a Life Changing WSOP Main Event Journey” by Lance Bradley, PocketFives
Mid-Major Circuit of the Year – WSOP Circuit
Charitable Imitative of the Year – Dan Smith’s Charity Drive
Twitch Streamer of the Year – Jason Somerville
Poker Podcast of the Year – Poker Life Podcast with Joe Ingram
PocketFives Legacy Award – Cliff Josephy
The Hendon Mob Award – John Holley
APA Jury Prize – Matt Savage
APA Lifetime Achievement – Mori Eskandani