‘Second Annual’ Gulf Coast Poker Awards to be presented August 6

Haley Hintze
Published by:
Posted on August 3, 2021 1:31 pm EDT

Nominees in the “2nd Annual” Gulf Coast Poker Awards have been released in advance of the awards presentation ceremony on Friday, August 6. These awards honor outstanding poker achievements in the greater U.S. Gulf Coast region, and they return following a pandemic-induced 2020 hiatus.

Friday’s awards ceremony takes place during the main event of the Poker Gras 2021 series currently running at Harrah’s New Orleans. The main event itself, which begins on Thursday, headlines the series’ 11-event, 11-day run.

Winners in these six different categories will be revealed on Friday:

  • Player of the Year
  • Senior of the Year
  • Female Player of the Year
  • Breakout Player of the Year
  • Best Content Provider
  • Best Industry Professional

This year’s finalists were assembled via input from industry professionals, poker media, and many of the region’s most accomplished players.

2020 achievements rolled into 2021 awards

How the second annual GCP awards are occurring in the awards’ third year of existence is a connected tale. According to Gulf Coast Poker’s Bill Phillips, the Poker Gras series was originally a November offering. (The series debuted in 2018.) With poker tournaments all but shuttered for more than a year, the Poker Gras slate kept being pushed back to later dates.

“When we solicited nominations for the awards,” said Phillips, “we asked them to consider achievements that started after Poker Gras November 2019 and up through July 2021.” The 2021 awards thus honor nearly 20 months of the region’s poker achievements. “We were always going wait for Poker Gras and Harrah’s New Orleans even if we had to play loose with the definition of a year,” Phillips added.

Only one of the 2019 GCP Awards winners returns as a 2021 finalist — Yousef “Joe” Saleh for Player of the Year. The 2021 awards also remove two highly subjective 2019 categories: Cash Game POY and Most Consistent Tournament Player. The awards enjoy sponsorship from host casino Harrah’s New Orleans and Maker’s Mark bourbon.

Awards designed to promote and celebrate poker

Phillips also detailed to Poker.org how this award series was designed. “Our goal is to recognize players and supporters of poker that have a connection to our region who have had a great ‘year’. Some of the nominees may have moved away but we still consider them our own.  

“A player may be from out of the region but accomplished a lot in tournaments in our area — they count, too. Our focus is always in growing the game and putting a spotlight on the game. These awards do exactly that. The growing poker community in the Southeast is a little underrated. This just strengthens the bonds a bit for the region as a whole.

“Being in New Orleans we want to ‘pass a good time’ (as we say here) and really celebrate poker. Besides, most agree that poker as a game was born in New Orleans or on the riverboats of the Mississippi near here. For that reason, if anybody should be celebrating the game, it should be us. And, in New Orleans any excuse for a party is a good one.”

The 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Poker Awards nominees are as follows:

Player of the Year (POY)

  • BJ McBrayer
  • Joseph Hebert
  • Trace Henderson
  • Logan Hewett
  • Matt Higgins
  • Michael Lech
  • Daniel Lowery
  • Yousef “Joe” Saleh
  • Cody Stanford
  • Viet Vo

Senior POY

  • James Allen
  • Troy Clogston
  • Hiep Doan
  • James Duke
  • Jerry Giroir
  • Stephen Greene
  • Hamid Izadi

Female POY

  • Lisa Fleishman
  • Ruth Hall
  • Regina Koening
  • Susan Murphy
  • Chris Read
  • Tara Snow
  • Shawn Trahan
  • Starr Valdez

Breakout POY

  • Russell Boyette
  • Teddy Conner
  • David Hendrix
  • Logan Hewett
  • Preston McEwen
  • Christopher Nunally
  • Viet Vo

Content Provider

  • bestbet Live
  • Clyde Duet
  • Jess Fuller
  • Jonathan Little
  • Tyler Nals
  • PokerNews Podcast
  • Chris Read
  • Dan Ross

Industry Professional

  • Neal Atkinson
  • Jordan Cutter
  • Don Dove
  • Justin Hammer
  • Dennis Jones
  • Mike Neal
  • Heather Ohlman

In addition, a special  “Love of Poker” award will be presented to someone from the Gulf Coast region. The award’s recipient will have demonstrated his or her love and appreciation for the game.

Featured image source: gulfcoastpoker.net