Rant: Let’s Award the Real Poker Stars


Human beings are creatures of habit.

Our actions are nothing more than a series of automated reflexes based on society's instructions.

We go through life just clicking buttons and most of us don’t even know it.

January is the time of the year that various establishments within the poker community will reward those people who they believe have excelled in their area of expertise during the previous 12 months.

Another form of clicking buttons.

A Predictable Snorefest

As a young footballer I won the Player of the Year award six years on the trot. Each award was a joyful experience for me but with the exception of my first trophy I always turned up expecting to win.

Daniel Negreanu
Negreanu deserves a ton of awards but so do those behind the scenes.

It wasn’t just me either. Everyone expected me to win. It was an anti-climax and by the sixth year I don’t even think my parents bothered to turn up.

What should have been the highlight of the night turned into a predictable snore-fest.

Instead, the highlight of the night became the award for Clubman of the Year. This was the award dished out to the young lad whose only experience of walking onto a stage to accept an award was wedged between wet dreams.

This is when the awards ceremony became real. This is when we stopped clicking buttons.

People woke from their slumber, the noise generated by the slapping of hands was deafening and tears flowed freely. The smile on those kid’s faces. I will always remember the smiles.

Only a Part of the Machine

In January, the establishments in the poker community will once again dish out their awards. There will be champagne, high heels and a lot of singing and dancing. But there won’t be a Clubman of the Year.

Poker players deserve to have their achievements recognized. After all, it is their beautiful game. But when you break it down they are only a part of the machine.

The likes of Chris Moorman and Daniel Negreanu deserve to collapse their cabinets underneath the weight of more gold. But what about the people who deal to them? Write about them? Photograph them? Interview them? Film them?

These awards ceremonies are a little too elitist for my taste. The organizers live in fear that the ceremony would become diluted with filth should the superstars of the game have to mingle with the faceless folk who still have work to do when the chips are bagged and tagged.

Less Champagne, More Pomagne

If you're worried about a lack of trophies then let me help you out.

Event of the year? Who cares?

Beers Jukka
Less champagne, more suds.

Instead, why not have an award for the most beautifully shot photograph of the year?

Who do you think would be beaming with more pride? The EPT Head Honcho with a life expectancy of 3-4 years or the Italian photographer who doesn’t even have enough money to buy a decent camera and yet will do this until the day he dies?

Card Room of the year? Who cares? Software Product of the Year? Who cares?

I want to see an award for the best hostess, the most interesting and thought-provoking writer, the best photographer, the best-shot videos and the most efficient and heartwarming dealers.

In short, I want to introduce more awards for the Clubmen (and Women) of the Year.

Less Champagne and more Pomagne please.

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