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Devilfish, Panka, Shorr Out Front as PL Award Voting Winds Down
Just two weeks remain in the public voting for the PokerListings 2014 Spirit of Poker awards and favorites have begun to emerge.
All told 24 players are still in the running for one of our three awards to be handed out during the Battle of Malta in November.
This is the 2nd year of the PokerListings Spirit of Poker awards which highlight players in the poker community who inspire in more ways than just big results.
By the volume of voting so far we can tell the idea is hitting home with poker fans.
For the full list of nominees for this year's awards and the reasoning behind each player's nomination, head to the Spirit of Poker Awards page and be sure to cast your vote before August 31.
Leaders Emerge Down Homestretch
With voting open over the summer several thousand readers have already taken part in the election process.
When voting closes on August 31 the top three finalists in each award category will make the shortlist to be considered by our PokerListings voting panel, from which three winners will emerge. Here's how the voting stands:
1) Shorr, Lew Neck-and-Neck
In our signature award category, Most Inspiring Player, three very prominent names have risen to the top of the counts.
Our nominees in this category are a true collection of some of the most inspiring people in today’s global poker community so it's only fitting the results at this point are the closest.
Alabama's Shannon Shorr leads the MIP voting right with PokerStars Team Online pro Randy "nanonoko" Lew a close second. German high-stakes pro/effective altruist Philipp Gruissem sits third.
Consistency, Multipicity, Generosity
Three inspiring players, indeed, if you think of what they stand for. Shorr is an amazing example of consistency.
Having travelled the global circuit for more than a decade he's one of the few players who keeps winning every year without the help of a full-time sponsor.
Apart from the challenges in poker he's also a guy who likes to challenge himself. Only recently he climbed Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro and the way he thinks and writes about poker in his blog is an inspiration to every player.
Nanonoko is a living legend in the world of multi-tabling and his exploits have put him into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Lew loves to play and loves to share with his fans. He’s very active on social media which gives millions of players the chance to gain from his experience. At this stage, Lew (33%) trails Shorr (36%) by just 3% of the votes.
In third is Philipp Gruissem. The German high roller stands like no one else for high buy-ins and a strong sense for charity.
With his commitment to Effective Altruism and as a co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving, he has kicked off a movement where poker players take responsibility not only for themselves but also for society as a whole.
Head to the “Most Inspiring Players” page to cast your vote.
Last year’s winner: Naoya Kihara, Japan’s only WSOP bracelet winner and flagbearer of poker in the Far East.
2) Devilfish, Thor and Tilly Pull Ahead
In our Living Legend category we recognize the men and women who were into poker before hoodies were invented, when you preferred to sit with your back against the wall and when wearing sunglasses meant you actually were a bad guy - you weren't just trying to look like one.
Now think of Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott. You kind of have to. The life story of the 60-year-old from Kingston-upon-Hull is so wild it couldn’t have been invented better by a screenwriter. If it is ever used for a movie, the director will probably be Guy Ritchie.
A softer, gentler Devilfish has taken over at the tables lately but the same vicious wit that got him here shows up from time to time too.
In second place at the moment: Thor Hansen. People tend to overuse superlatives but the Viking from Norway is, truly, a living legend.
He battled the live tables in Las Vegas for several decades and when cancer tried to get the better of him he fought back and is still there. An idol if there’s ever been one.
Jennifer Tilly is third in the voting. The actress-turned-poker-pro proved a long time ago that she's not a fluke at the poker table.
With her gregarious personality, steady results and infectious enthusiasm caught by all around her her impact on the game of poker can't be overstated.
Go to the “Living legends page” to cast your vote.
Last year’s winner: Pierre Neuville, the “Serial Qualifier” from Belgium.
3) Panka Leads Scandis
There are players who’ve "made" it, and there are players who will make it. Some are already on the way.
For now voters are favoring Poland's Dominik Panka to be the next big star in poker. Panka appeared on the poker stage over the past year with two big bangs -- winning the PCA main event and the EPT Deauville high roller event in close succession.
Sofia Lövgren from Sweden is nominated a second time in a row for the PokerListings Awards. She has recently moved to a new sponsor, 888poker, and her presence in the poker community is always growing with 4,400 friends on Facebook and almost 4,000 followers on Twitter.
She's currently holding down second place in the Rising Star voting.
On her heels is fellow Scandinavian Yngve Steen from Norway. Last year he won the WCOOP leaderboard and he 's already left his mark in several live tournaments. It's only a question of time until he takes down his first major title.
Go to the “Rising Stars” page to cast your vote.
Last year’s winner: Luca Moschitta from Italy, who has recently moved to Malta to continue his poker career.
Voting Ends August 31!
Get your vote in on each of the Spirit of Poker Award pages to have your voice heard and give credit to the players who you think deserve recognition.
Voting closes at 11.59 PM on August 31st.
The 2014 PokerListings Spirit of Poker Awards ceremony will take place during the Battle of Malta 2014, November 6-9.