2021 Global Poker Awards ceremony lauds 18 additional winners

Haley Hintze
Published by:
Posted on February 19, 2022 5:03 pm EST

Friday night’s 2021 Global Poker Awards ceremony at the Aria in Las Vegas drew a couple of hundred attendees as the poker world’s best and brightest were honored for their contributions to the game during 2021. Jeff Platt and Drea Renee hosted the ceremonies, in which 18 new winners were announced, joining eight previous honorees already disclosed by GPA parent Global Poker Index since the beginning of 2022.

The 18 new winners spanned the poker industry, from events, live and online celebrities, and producers of poker content. Co-emcee Platt was one of the 18 newly announced winners, in the “Best Broadcaster” category, while there were no multiple winners among the 18 newly announced awards.

Fourteen of the 18 awards revealed on Friday night were decided by GPI’s expert panel. A 15th award, the Player’s Choice for Toughest Opponent, went to Ali Imsirovic in honor of his incredible 2021 year-long performance; Imsirovic was already assured of and presented with two other 2021 GPA honors on Friday, as the 2021 GPI Player of the Year, and the 2021 PokerGO Player of the Year, giving him nods at the podium on the night.

Three more new awards went to the winners of “Fan’s Choice” categories. Anyone with an interest in poker could vote in these categories by visiting the GPA website in the weeks preceding last night’s ceremony. Doug Polk (Best Hand), the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup (Best Trophy), and Masato Yokosawa (Best Poker Personality) received those honors.

Among the night’s well-received highlights, in addition to the award presentations, was an “In Memorian” segment remembering many of poker’s well-known personalities who passed on during 2021, even including the iconic “Hal the Bartender,” a fixture in the hallways of the Rio and the World Series of Poker for many years.

Here are the 18 award winners announced by the Global Poker Awards during Friday’s ceremony (winner in boldface/italic):

BEST FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE

  • Adam Friedman (USA), WSOP 10K Dealer’s Choice 6-Max Championship
  • Koray Aldemir (Germany), WSOP Main Event
  • Jeremy Ausmus (USA), WSOP PLO High Roller
  • Daniel “Jungleman” Cates (USA), WSOP 50K Poker Players Championship

GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER

  • Johan Guilbert (France)
  • Christopher Brewer (USA)
  • Kyna England (USA)
  • Vanessa Kade (Canada)

PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT

  • Ali Imsirovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
  • Michael Addamo (Australia)
  • Stephen Chidwick (England)
  • David Peters (USA)

TWITTER PERSONALITY

  • Jamie Kerstetter (USA)
  • Will Jaffe (USA)
  • Kitty Kuo (Taiwan)
  • Kevin Mathers (USA)

BEST STREAMER

  • Benjamin Spragg “Spraggy” (England)
  • Kevin Martin “kevinmartin” (Canada)
  • Jonathan Van Fleet “apestylespoker” (USA)
  • Lex Veldhuis “LexVeldhuis” (Netherlands)

BEST VLOGGER

  • Brad Owen (USA)
  • Jaman Burton (USA)
  • Ryan Depaulo (USA)
  • Ethan “Rampage” Yau (USA)

BEST INDUSTRY PERSON

  • Matt Savage (USA)
  • Tony Burns (USA)
  • Jack Effel (USA)
  • Mori Eskandani (Iran/USA)

BEST TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR

  • Paul Campbell (USA)
  • Justin Hammer (USA)
  • Ray Pulford (USA)
  • Andy Tillman (USA)

BEST EVENT

  • World Series of Poker Main Event
  • Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Opening Event
  • Wynn Mystery Bounty (Summer 2021)
  • Wynn Millions

BEST PODCAST

  • Poker in the Ears (James Hartigan, Joseph Stapleton for PokerStars)
  • The Chip Race Poker Podcast (David Lappin, Dara O’Kearney for Unibet Poker)
  • The Doug Polk Podcast (Doug Polk)
  • The Heart of Poker (Kara Scott)

BEST BROADCASTER

  • Jeff Platt (USA)
  • Jamie Kerstetter (USA)
  • Ali Nejad (USA)
  • Joseph Stapleton (USA)

BEST LIVE REPORTER

  • Christian Zetszche (Germany)
  • Merom “Mickey” Doft (USA)
  • Timothy Duckworth (Australia)
  • Chad Holloway (USA)

BEST MEDIA CONTENT: WRITTEN

  • Lance Bradley (Canada) for PocketFives: Isai Scheinberg: His Company, His Legacy, and How Black Friday Impacted Both
  • Alex O’Brien (Germany) for BBC: How a $10k poker win changed how I think
  • D’Arcy Maine (USA) for ESPN.com: While battling brain cancer, Michael Graydon lives World Series of Poker dream
  • Charles Rabin (USA) for Miami Herald: From immigration ‘cage’ to newest poker champ at Hard Rock. An Afghan refugee’s luck turns

BEST MEDIA CONTENT: PHOTO

  • Enrique Malfavon (USA) for PokerGO: The WSOP Main Event Bubble Bursts
  • Antonio Abrego (USA) for PokerGO: Adam Friedman defeats Phil Hellmuth for 3rd straight WSOP 10K Dealers Choice title
  • Hayley Hochstetler (USA): The End of an Era
  • Danny Maxwell (Ireland) for PokerNews/WSOP: Brandon Shack-Harris and his umbrella at WSOP

BEST MEDIA CONTENT: VIDEO

  • Remko Rinkema (Netherlands) for PokerGO: Run it Back with Stefanie Ungar
  • Paul Graydon & Andrew Neeme (USA): The Villain Who Stole Christmas
  • Last Call Pokeridokumentii (Finland)
  • Jeff Platt (USA) for PokerGO: “Stand Up for Me, Please!”
  • Run It Once: Meet The Jungleman

FANS CHOICE: BEST HAND

  • Doug Polk (USA) makes epic fold vs. Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Poker
  • Daniel “Jungleman” Cates (USA) gets Leng to fold in 50K PPC
  • Nicholas Rigby (USA) pulls monster bluff during late stages of WSOP Main Event
  • Quads over Quads on Day 3 of the WSOP Main Event (Chang Liu vs Ugur Secilmis)

FANS CHOICE: BEST TROPHY

  • Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup
  • MSPT South Dakota State Championship
  • Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship
  • WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast

FANS CHOICE: POKER PERSONALITY

  • Masato Yokosawa (Japan)
  • Johan “YoH ViraL” Guilbert (France)
  • Greg “Greg Goes All In” Liow (Canada)
  • Jonathan Little (USA)

Germany’s Zetszche, a multi-lingual live reporter, wasn’t on hand to receive his honor. His three competitors in the category — Chad Holloway, Mickey Doft, and Tim Duckworth — all good friends of Zetszche’s, took the opportunity for a loser’s pic with “Zed”‘s trophy:

Previously announced winners also receive awards

Eight other 2021 GPA winners received their mantleplace trophies during the ceremony as well. Those included the awards presented to several GPI category winners, a “Poker ICON” award recognizing the late Mike Sexton, and the two meritorious-service honors recently announced for Maria Konnikova and Veronica Brill.

Sexton’s honor included a montage covering many of the highlights off his years in the game. Sexton, an Ohio native who later moved to Las Vegas, was known primarily for his twin roles with the World Poker Tour and partypoker. He was elected to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009. He’s only the second person to receive the GPA Poker ICON honor.

A special “THM Award” was also presented to one of the Global Poker Index’s newest hires, Kevin Mathers. Mathers will no longer be eligible for a Global Poker Award due to his GPI/THM employment, and the award was a special thank-you for his years of service to poker — including as the WSOP’s “Twitter Czar” — for his unending delivery of poker news to the playing public.

Here are the eight 2021 winners in the eight non-voting categories:

  • Charitable Initiative: Veronica Brill
  • GPI Award of Merit: Maria Konnikova
  • GPI Female PoY: Nadya Magnus
  • GPI Mid Major PoY: David Mzareulov
  • GPI PoY Ali Imsorovic
  • PokerGO Tour POY: Ali Imsirovic
  • Poker ICON: Mike Sexton
  • THM Award: Kevin Mathers

Featured image source: Global Poker Awards