On Thursday night, at the Andaz Hotel in Los Angeles, the fourth annual American Poker Awards take place with Poker Central up for no less than eight awards. The awards ceremony, hosted by the Global Poker Index, honors accomplishments, events, moments and people from various segments of the industry as well as awarding Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell with their  2017 GPI American Player and Female Player of the Year trophies.

Launching PokerGO in May of 2017, Poker Central was nominated in a wide variety of categories including two nominees in the “Event of the Year” category. The third annual Super High Roller Bowl found itself nominated again after losing out to the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown at the most recent awards show in 2015. This year’s “Event of the Year” nominees are as follows.

2017 Event of the Year
Event Name Buy-in Entries First Prize Winner
Super High Roller Bowl $300,000 56 $6,000,000 Christoph Vogelsang
partypoker MILLIONS North America CAD $5,300 1,168 $696,169 Jean-Pascal Savard
Poker Masters Event #1 $50,000 50 $918,000 Nick Schulman
WSOP Main Event $10,000 7,221 $8,150,000 Scott Blumstein

The first event of the first annual Poker Masters at the ARIA Resort & Casino was nominated as well, as the 50-player $50,000 event kicked off a five-event series that was dominated by German pro Steffen Sontheimer. Sontheimer won two of five events, winning $2.7 million, taking home the Purple Jacket®, and breaking out as a star of the game to the international poker audience who saw him dominate the live-streamed final tables on PokerGO.

The “Moment of the Year” category saw Tom Dwan’s epic return to center stage reel in a nomination. Here’s an overview of the nominees in this category.

2017 Moment of the Year
70-year-old John Smith makes back-to-back WSOP 10K Heads-Up finals.
Ema Zajmovic becomes the first female player to win an open event on World Poker Tour.
Vanessa Selbst’s Full House loses to Gaelle Baumann’s Quads early in the WSOP Main Event.
Tom Dwan makes his return to America, stars on Poker After Dark reboot on PokerGo.

Two of the four nominations in this category were live on PokerGO, John Smith’s epic back-to-back finals run in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship at the World Series of Poker, and “The Return of Tom Dwan” on Poker After Dark. The memorable return of Dwan to the spotlights can be summarized in this epic pot worth nearly $700,000 versus Antonio Esfandiari.

Rewatch the full “Return of Tom Dwan” now, exclusively on PokerGO.

While the 70-year old John Smith did not manage to capture his first WSOP gold, his run will forever be remembered as one of the highlights of 2017. When it was all said and done, Spanish superstar and the eventual 2017 GPI Player of the Year, Adrian Mateos, knocked Smith out in second place collecting $208,154 for his runner-up finish.

Relive John Smith’s memorable run right now on PokerGO.

Ema Zajmovic made poker history in 2017 by becoming the first ever female to win an open World Poker Tour event, while two other women were involved in what became one of the most watched and talked about hands in the game. On Day 1 of the WSOP Main Event, Vanessa Selbst was knocked out holding a full house versus Gaelle Baumann’s quads became a nation-wide sensation by being live on ESPN.

In the “Media Content of the Year,” Poker Central’s Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story collected a nomination. “Dead Money” tells the story of poker pro Matt Berkey, who went through a tough childhood before realizing his dream of becoming a professional player and making the final table of the Super High Roller Bowl.

Watch all eight episodes of Dead Money right now, exclusively on PokerGO.

2017 Media Content of the Year
Adrian Moreno in tears after Little One for One Drop win; days after losing his friend (Drew Amato, photo for WSOP.com)
Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story (PokerCentral documentary)
Poker Brat: The Phill Hellmuth Story (Phil Hellmuth, published by D&B Publishing)
Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising his Two Boys #ForCathy (Lance Bradley, article for PocketFives)

The “Podcast of the Year” category sees the Poker Central Podcast among the four nominees. The Podcast made its debut in January of 2017, as Brent Hanks, Will O’Connor and Remko Rinkema take a weekly look at all that goes on in the world of poker. Take a listen to the most recent show in which Brent and Remko make their picks for all categories of the American Poker Awards.

Poker Central’s founder Cary Katz was recognized with a nomination in the category “Poker’s Biggest Influencer.” Katz’s vision brought Poker Central and PokerGO to life, as well as redefining high roller events at the ARIA and launching the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters and U.S. Poker Open. Katz, a prolific player in his own right, won the $100k Super High Roller at this year’s PCA, bringing his career total earnings to $13.8 ranking him 28th on poker’s all-time money list.

Poker’s Biggest Influencer
Cary Katz
Daniel Negreanu
Doug Polk
Matt Savage

The seventh and eighth nomination for Poker Central comes from the lauded duo of Nick Schulman and Ali Nejad in the “Broadcaster of the Year” award. Schulman and Nejad teamed up for the Super High Roller Bowl on PokerGO, providing expert commentary during one of the biggest events of the year. Schulman also provided commentary during the World Series of Poker, while Nejad was a feature on PokerGO providing commentary for Poker After Dark and the Poker Masters.

Broadcaster of the Year
Nick Schulman Super High Roller Bowl and World Series of Poker
Joe Stapleton European Poker Tour, World Series of Poker
Lon McEachern World Series of Poker
Ali Nejad Super High Roller Bowl, Poker After Dark, Poker Masters

Here’s an overview of the nominees in the other categories. Stay tuned to Poker Central for an overview of the award winners on Friday morning. 

2017 Breakout Player of the Year 2017 Tournament Performance of the Year
Dejuante “DJ” Alexander Scott Blumstein (WSOP Main Event)
Michael Del Vecchio Darren Elias (WPT Fallsview)
William Alex Foxen Bryn Kenney PSC Monte Carlo SHR
Artur Papazyan Doug Polk (WSOP One Drop High Roller)
2017 Poker Streamer of the Year 2017 Journalist of the Year
Jeff Gross Drew Amato
Bill Perkins Lance Bradley
Jason Somerville BJ Nemeth
Jaime Staples Steve Ruddock
Parker Talbot Jessica Welman
2017 Industry Person of the Year 2017 Video Blogger of the Year
Tony Burns Joe Ingram
Sean McCormack Daniel Negreanu
Adam Pliska Andrew Neeme
Matt Savage Doug Polk
Other Awards 2017 Mid-Major Circuit Event of the Year
2017 GPI American Player of the Year: Bryn Kenney Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT)
2017 GPI Female Player of the Year: Kristen Bicknell RUNGOOD Poker Series
Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS)
Charitable Initiative World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC)
Jury Prize
PocketFives Legacy Award
People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year


PokerGO, Ali Nejad, Nick Schulman, Tom Dwan, Super High Roller Bowl, Cary Katz, Matt Berkey, Poker Central Podcast, American Poker Awards