The best of the poker world descended on the glamorous Beverly Hills on Thursday night for the third annual American Poker Awards, hosted by the Global Poker Index and sponsored by PokerStars.
Players and industry professionals donned evening gowns and tuxedos to celebrate the people who lead the game in North America and enjoyed a dinner and awards ceremony at the luxurious Sofitel hotel.
For nationalist Canadians hoping to see some hardware come home to our side of the border, there were two wins to celebrate out of the 17 award-recipients announced in California on a live stream.
The first came in the category of Tournament Performance of the Year and was won by Canada’s 2016 Player of the Year. He also still leads the Canadian player rankings, now for 17 weeks running. That player was the Canadian-born, America-residing Ari Engel. He won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event for $1.6 million AUD — easily the largest tournament cash in his long and consistent career.
The other Canadian to scoop an award was in the category of Poker Media Content of the Year. This man is another Canadian residing in the USA. For the story titled Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey, Lance Bradley was the deserving winner. Bradley is the President and Editor in Chief of PocketFives where the article appeared.
A jury panel chose the award winners the morning of the ceremony from the finalists presented by a nomination panel of more than 70 leading poker-world members.
Other Canadian mentions in the nominations that didn’t receive an award include Kristen Bicknell for Tournament Performance of the Year, Griffin Benger’s clash with William Kassouf for Moment of the Year, Ari Engel again for Breakout Performer of the Year, and Kevin Martin, Jaime Staples, and Parker Talbot all for Twitch Streamer of the Year.