The third annual Global Poker Awards have taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada on PokerGO and there have been some superstar winners crowned at the glitzy celebration on the night.

Hosted by Jeff Platt and Drea Renee, the star-studded awards ceremony handed out gongs to some of the bet in the business as Ali Imsirovic, the late Mike Sexton and Veronica Brill all received awards.

Imsirovic the Star as Bosnian-American Grabs Three Gongs

Some of the biggest names from the world of poker descended on Las Vegas at the weekend as a massive 26 awards were handed out in Sin City at the PokerGO Studio. With the 2021 ceremony not able to have taken place due to COVID-19, the show just being held in person meant that it was, in the words of co-host Jeff Platt “good to be back”. As he said upon stepping onto stage, “After 23 months off, we are here to celebrate the very best that this industry has to offer.”

Ali Win
Ali Imsirovic gave an emotional speech about how his poker dreams came true.

The biggest winner on the night was also the first winner as Ali Imsirovic received not only the GPI Poker Player of the Year and PokerGO Tour Player of the Year awards, but also the Players Choice award for Toughest Opponent. It’s that one that probably meant the most to the Bosnian-American, although he joked that he won “because Addamo isn’t here, to be honest!” with a laugh.

The modest pro was humble and clearly felt honored to receive the award in such esteemed company.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think this was possible,” he said. “It feels surreal. I couldn’t even describe the shock and disbelief my 18-year-old self would have.”

Other Big Winners on the Night

Other highlights included some first-time winners and some serial trophy collectors. Nadya Magnus won the GPI Female Poker Player of the Year award, while it was Adam Friedman who took Best Final Table Performance after his triumph against the odds – and soe legends f the game in the WSOP Event #36, the $10,000-entry Dealer’s Choice 6-Max Championship.

Plenty of fan’s choice awards gave the awards to the rightful winners, as Japan’s Masato Yokosawa took Poker Personality and Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg won the Best Streamer for his incredible work in growing the game and bringing thousands of new, young fans into the game.

Serial Twitter ruler Jamie Kerstetter took down the Best Twitter Personality for the second year in a row after winning it in 2020 and ARIA’s own Paul Campbell won the award for being Best Tournament Director after doing the same three years earlier. Brad Owen won the award for Best Vlogger, the first time he has taken that award, three years after winning Poker Personality of the Year in 2019.

Media Roles Honored in Style

The role that the poker media plays in the growth of the game was honored in fine style this year, with several long-time legends receiving pats on the back. Lance Bradley received the Written Content award for his feature on Isai Scheinberg’s poker legacy on Pocket Fives, while the poker photograph of the year went to Enrique Malfavon for PokerGO as he won Best Media Content for his stunning shot capturing the majesty of the of the 2021 WSOP Main Event money bubble bursting.

The poker live reporter of the year award went to German phenom at the felt Christian Zetzsche, whose work for PokerNews has long been hailed as the most precise and consistently the best in the business for a reason. Veronica Brill may be a magnificent player in her own right, but she was also recognised for her work off the felt as she received the Charitable Initiative Award.

Stapes win
Joe Stapleton accepted the award for best podcast on behalf of the Poker in the Ears team.

Remko Rinkema won a Global Poker Award for the first time as his documentary Run it Back with Stefanie Ungar for PokerGO covered the life and times of her father Stu Ungar, the three-time WSOP Main Event champion. Best Broadcaster went to the evening’s co-host Platt himself after a great year on screen, but the night was also a reflective one.

Mike Sexton Remembered Fondly

The late Mike Sexton passed away during the time that the Global Poker Awards have been away from our screens and his loss was marked in reverence as he won the Poker ICON award. Vince van Patten and Adam Pliska both spoke in moving terms about the enormous impact Mike Sexton made on the game of poker throughout his stellar career and life in general.

Sexton was one of many poker legends who were honored with an In Memoriam segment of the show, as luminaries such as Norm Macdonald, Larry Flynt, Susie Zhao, Noel Furlong, Kenny Rogers, Willie Garson, Louie Anderson, Layne Flack, Stephane Godet, Robert Gray, Sam Grizzle, Clyde Hinton, Tommy Hufnagle, Keith Kozar, Ethan May, Joy Miller and Paul Strohm were all remembered.

Here’s a look at every winner from the 3rd annual Global Poker Awards and what they won.

3rd Global Poker Awards in Full:

Poker ICON Trophy                                         Mike Sexton

GPI Poker Player of the Year                         Ali Imsirovic

PokerGO Tour Player of the Year                 Ali Imsirovic

Players Choice for Toughest Opponent       Ali Imsirovic

GPI Female Poker Player of the Year           Nadya Magnus

GPI Mid-Major Player of the Year                David Mzareulov

Best Tournament Director                              Paul Campbell (ARIA)

Charitable Initiative Award                            Veronica Brill

Best Final Table Performance                        Adam Friedman

Twitter Personality                                           Jamie Kerstetter

Best Media Content: Photo                             Enrique Malfavon for PokerGO

Fans Choice: Best Trophy                                Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup

Services to Poker                                               Kevin Mathers

Best Live Reporter                                            Christian Zetzsche

Best Media Content: Written                         Lance Bradley for PocketFives

Best Vlogger                                                      Brad Owen

Best Event                                                         World Series of Poker Main Event

GPI Award of Merit                                         Maria Konnikova

GPI Breakout Player                                       Johan Guilbert

Fans Choice: Best Hand                                 Doug Polk’s fold vs. Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Poker

Best Podcast                                                     Poker in the Ears (James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton for PokerStars)

Best Industry Person                                     Matt Savage

Best Media Content: Video                           Remko Rinkema for PokerGO

Fans Choice: Poker Personality                   Masato Yokosawa

Best Streamer                                                  Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg

Best Broadcaster                                             Jeff Platt

Enrique Malfavon
Enrique Malfavon’s stunning photograph of the WSOP Main Event bubble won a Global Poker Award on a glitzy night in Vegas

You can watch the 3rd annual Global Poker Awards in full by subscribing to PokerGO and heading to their On Demand shows.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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