Urbanovich, Mateos, Holz, Boeree Star at European Poker Awards

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The 15th annual European Poker Awards have been awarded.

The ceremony took place this evening in the Blue Gin Bar of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, next to the EPT Grand Final.

Joe Stapleton of PokerStars' EPT Live fame hosted and a total of 12 prizes were awarded, among them Player of the Year and Female Player of the Year which were pre-determined by the Global Poker Index rankings and went to Fedor Holz and Liv Boeree.

Polish young gun Dzmitry Urbanovich was unsurprisingly named the Breakout Player of the Year while Spain's quiet dominator Adrian Mateos was recognized for winning the EPT Grand Final title last year.

The biggest surprise might be the success of the Norwegian Poker Championship, which managed to win in two categories, and the most moving moment of the evening came – appropriately – when the award for “Moment of the Year” went to cancer survivor John Gale.

The final award was also a surprise, a jury award dedicated to someone in the industry who’s had a special and long-lasting impact on poker in Europe and beyond.

Nominees and Winners (in bold) of 2016 EPAs

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Dima the breakout star.

GPI Player of the Year – Fedor Holz

GPI Female Player of the Year – Liv Boeree

Media Person of the Year – Frank op de Woerd, Lee Davy, Neil Stoddart, Remko Rinkema

Industry Person of the Year – Edgar Stuchly, Hermance Blum, Luca Vivaldi, Rob Yong, Thomas Lamatsch

Breakout Player of the Year – Charles Carrel, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Fedor Holz, Rainer Kempe

Tournament Performance of the Year – Adrian Mateos (EPT Grand Final), Barny Boatman (2nd WSOP bracelet in Berlin), Fedor Holz (WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas), Mustapha Kanit (EPT Barcelona €10k High Roller)

Event of the Year (under €2,000 buy-in) – Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona, Norwegian Poker Championship, PokerListings Battle of Malta, WPT500 Dusk till Dawn

Event of the Year (over €2,000 buy-in) – EPT Barcelona ME, EPT Grand Final ME, EPT Prague ME, WSOP Europe ME

Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year – Norwegian Championship broadcast sports style, PokerStars Play Along app, PokerStars using sports superstars for global campaign, WSOPE remote twitch broadcasts

Moment of the Year – Dzmitry Urbanovich wins 4th side event at EPT Malta, Mateos vs Lodden epic hand at the EPT Grand Final, John Gale returns to poker after a brain tumour and wins a WSOP bracelet, Pierre Neuville qualifies for the November Nine

Poker Media Content of the Year – Sam Grafton; The future of poker in the post boom era; Neil Stoddart - The thrill of victory , the agony of defeat capturing Montury consoling Messina at the EPT Malta; Jesse May – Devilfish: A friend with a heart of gold; Remko Rinkema – The Remko report with Eli Elezra

Jury Prize for Special AchievementNeil Stoddart, photographer for the EPT since the final of Season 2. 

The jury this year consisted of Donnie Peters of PokerNews, Erik Rosenberg of Poker.se, Eric Danis of the GPI, Liv Boeree and Anatoly Filatov as player representatives, Dirk Oetzmann of PokerListings and Alex Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker League.

Winners Words

“This means a lot to me. I mainly want to thank my friends as without them, I wouldn’t be here.” -- Fedor Holz

“Thanks to everyone who’s still so supportive of me on the tour, PokerStars, Alex, and of course Igor, my everything.” -- Liv Boeree

“It’s an incredible moment for me, I’m very happy. I’ll make it quick, thank you very much.” -- Dzmitry Urbanovich

“I have to thank the Global Poker Index. Again, a small nation wins. The Championship have been incredible. It’s been amazing, thank you.” -- Thomas Udness, Norwegian Championships

“I want to dedicate this prize to the Devilfish. This award shows that European poker players know how important he was for poker. If he was here, he’d say: 'Fucking joke, mate. I die and you get a prize for the obituary.'” -- Jesse May

“I’m really overwhelmed. I’m shaking. I have a tremendous respect for everyone on the European Poker Tour. This is where it all started. Thanks to Adam Pliska, who was my mentor. Thanks to all the players, the jury and everyone.” -- Hermance Blum

“This award means a lot. As someone who doesn’t play, this is the highest recognition you can get in the industry.” -- Remko Rinkema

“We’re innovative, and we think that poker is still on the rise. We’ve only started broadcasting in 2015 and now we’re here.” -- Thomas Udele, Norwegian Championships

“I’m very surprised. Thanks to the jury and to PokerStars for hiring me in the first place. Thanks to the media people and, well, the players. Without them I wouldn’t be here.” -- Neil Stoddart

“I guess I should get sick more often.” -- John Gale

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