PokerStars' Brad Willis nominated for American Poker Award

It gives everyone at PokerStars great pleasure to announce that our Head of Blogging, Brad Willis, has been nominated in the inaugural GPI American Poker Awards, details of which were released today.

Willis is one of four writers nominated for the award in the category of "Poker Media Content of the Year", as chosen by a panel of 60 members of the poker industry, with the ceremony to take place at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on February 27.

The nomination is specifically for two pieces he wrote during last year's World Series of Poker, Stages and Never Stop Fighting. They were two of many written over the summer that featured players making a dream trip to the World Series to play the Main Event, but this story had a difference.

It featured Vanessa Pacella, who alongside her friend Nicole Rowe had travelled to the WSOP to play the Main Event. The two of them stood out among the massed crowds of the Rio, not least for Pacella's bald head and Rowe's pink wig. Both were being treated for breast cancer, and while their trip was intended to provide some relief from their treatment, it proved a difficult journey for both.

Vanessa Pacella_28jan15.jpgVanessa Pacella, whose experiences featured in both stories

It's a story you can read on the PokerStars Blog. Stages was written first as Pacella, as nervous as any WSOP first-timer, prepared to take her seat in the Main Event. Never Stop Fighting followed two days later as Pacella returned to the Main Event alone as her friend was rushed to hospital.

They were the kind of pieces typical of Willis, a former TV news reporter, who tells people's stories with honesty, humour and compassion. They're also typical of the stories he writes on his own personal blog, which you can read at Rapid Eye Reality.

"It was an honor to work with Vanessa to write that article," said Willis. "She put a lot of trust in me that week, and it was a privilege to help tell her story."

brad_willis_28jan15.jpgPokerStars Head of Blogging Brad Willis

For now, congratulations to Brad for his well-earned nomination.

The full list of nominations for the award for Poker Media Content of the Year is below:

ALL IN Magazine: Mark Newhouse
Brad Willis, WSOP 2014: "Stages"/"Never Stop Fighting" for PokerStars Blog
PokerNews Live Reporting at the 45th WSOP
Jason Somerville for Run it UP!

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.
Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in PokerStars news