EPT10 Deauville: Ole Schemion and Toby Lewis win big at the European Poker Awards, Boatman's grind recognised
The glitterati of European poker gathered last night to applaud the brightest and best in the game at the Global Poker Index European Poker Awards, sponsored by PokerStars. The event, which took place during the EPT Deauville poker festival, handed Ole Schemion and Toby Lewis top honours, in live and online settings respectively. Adrian Mateos Diaz was a worthy winner of the Rookie of the Year title, while both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were given a hat tip with trophies going to the EPT's Live Event specialist Neil Johnson and the Full Tilt Poker Galway festival.
2013 GPI European Poker Award Winners
European Live Poker Player of the Year: Ole Schemion (Germany)
Rookie Poker Player of the Year: Adrian Mateos Diaz (Spain)
Best Tournament Performance: Philipp Gruissem (Germany)
Female Poker Player of the Year: Ana Marquez (Spain)
European Internet Poker Player of the Year: Toby Lewis (United Kingdom)
Poker Industry Person of the Year: Neil Johnson (United Kingdom)
European Poker Event of the Year: Full Tilt Poker Galway Festival (Ireland)
Jury Prize: The Poker Dealers of Europe
Rob Gardner Memorial Award for the Poker Personality of 2013: Roger Hairabedian (France)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Barny Boatman (United Kingdom)
Ole Schemion's enjoyed an incredible year and few would be able to argue the accolade, he even pipped Daniel Negreanu to the post with his final table performance at EPT Prague. Toby Lewis had a great year online winning FTOPS and WCOOP events for six-figure scores, about which we interviewed him at the time.
Nineteen-year-old Adrian Mateos Diaz claimed the Rookie of the Year title, a much deserved award - read this if you'd like to know why. In short, he won the Estrellas Madrid Main Event, decided to turn pro, binked $100,000's in the Spring Championship of Poker and then won the WSOPE Main Event for a million. Nice life.
Country Player of the Year titles, as well as European Live Poker Player of the Year and Female Poker Player of the Year, were determined by GPI ratings, which total player's tournament results from across the year using factors including buy-in, field size and finishing position. You can't argue with cold, hard numbers.
The GPI Players of the Year
Belgian Poker Player of the Year: David Kitai
Finnish Poker Player of the Year: Joni Jouhkimainen
French Poker Player of the Year: Benjamin Pollak
United Kingdom Poker Player of the Year: Stephen Chidwick
Irish Poker Player of the Year: Dermot Blain
Italian Poker Player of the Year: Dario Sammartino
Dutch Poker Player of the Year: Govert Metaal
Spanish Poker Player of the Year: Adrian Mateos Diaz
Ukrainian Poker Player of the Year: Yevgeniy Timoshenko
Other awards were decided by a panel of industry figures, the line-up of which you can see at the bottom of this post. Among those were the European Poker Event of the Year, which was won by the Full Tilt Poker UKIPT Galway festival, and the lifetime achievement award, which was won by Barny Boatman. The Hendon Mob man has been up for Tournament Performance of the Year, thanks to his WSOP bracelet win this summer. PokerStars Blog caught him moments after.
"It makes me feel kinda old, but it's very nice," said Boatman, drink in hand. "I honestly didn't see it coming... It's lovely because of what it represents to me. It's the relationships and the friendships that I've made in the game. It's my friends telling me, whatever, that they like me. That's a different kind of thing from winning trophies and money, which are all well and good and that's what we do it for, but you're only in this life once and if you can't make good friends then what's it all about?"
Boatman is a well-liked figure, particularly in the UK where appearances from him, his brother, Ross, and fellow Hendon Mob members Ram Vaswani and Joe Beevers helped to kick-start the poker boom with spirited performances on Late Night Poker. Boatman had often been seen as the bridesmaid, coming close to a title but failing to win a key flip late on, but it would always been accepted with good grace. Having come close with a runner-up spot at the WSOP back in 2002 it took nine years for Boatman to get really close to a major again: he finished fourth at EPT Sanremo for €225,000. Then, this summer gone by, Boatman managed to cross that final hurdle and won Event #59 at the World Series for $546,080. The celebrations were long, wild and long awaited.
Boatman may have been typically humble about the award, "If you stand in one place long enough someone comes up to you and hands you one of these things," but was seen clutching his trophy in his off-drink hand well after the awards had wrapped up.
We on the Blog often get an inside look on the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and can attest to the amount of time, passion and dedication of PokerStars Live Poker Specialist Neil Johnson and UKIPT President Kirsty Thompson. Both would be quick to say that it's a team effort, but congratulations are due for Johnson's Industry Person of the Year award and Thompson's UKIPT team.
The GPI Awards jury
Stephen Chidwick: Player and winner of the "UK POY 2013" Award (UK)
Alexandre Dreyfus: GPI and The Hendon Mob (France)
Bruno Fitoussi: GPI European Poker Awards President (France)
Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier: Player (France)
Chris Hall: Journalist/PokerNews (UK)
Sandra Naujoks: Player and winner of the "Europe's Leading Lady Award" in 2008 & 2009 (Germany)
Luca Pagano: Player (Italy)
Erik Valterego Rosenberg: Journalist/Poker.se (Sweden)
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.