Inaugural Player of the Year Awards deemed a success

The inaugural Card Player Player of the Year Awards Gala was hailed as a success by attendees and organizers alike following an evening of entertainment and accolades last week. The show took place on February 15 at the Music Box Theatre in downtown Hollywood, and was attended by some of the world's best poker players and a number of Hollywood personalities.

Calvin Ayre, founder and CEO of, hosted the event together with MC Brad Garrett, an actor famous for his role on the TV series "Everybody Loves Raymond." Ayre credited the Player of the Year Awards with solidifying poker as a mainstream pastime that appeals to celebrities and a broad demographic of Americans.

Players who received recognition for their poker accomplishments included "Player of the Year" Michael Gracz, Chip Reese, Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton, and Jennifer Harman.

Also in attendance were David Pham, Greg Raymer, John Phan, Gavin Smith, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Matt Savage, Patrik Antonius, Quinn Do, Laura Prepon, Danny and Chris Masterson, Bijou Phillips, Don Felder, and Gilby Clarke.

The following is a complete list of awards and recipients:

Best Cash Game Player
Chip Reese

Poker Ambassador
Mike Sexton

Best No-Limit Player
Phil Ivey

Most Entertaining Player
Mike Matusow

Best Female Player
Jennifer Harman

Best Heads-Up Player
Phil Ivey

Best Mixed Game Player
Chip Reese

Breakthrough Player
Michael Gracz

Most Feared Player
Phil Ivey

Most Underrated Player
Allen Cunningham

Best Celebrity Player
Jennifer Tilly

Favorite Poker Player
Daniel Negreanu

Lifetime Achievement
Doyle Brunson

Player of the Year
Men “The Master” Nguyen

To see the full list of nominations, please see Player of the Year Awards Gala Nominees.

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