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(Video) Panka, Shorr, Hansen Accept 2014 Spirit of Poker Awards
There's more to poker than just money and PokerListings has once again honored three players who go above and beyond to exemplify the true spirit of poker.
Dominik Panka, Thor Hansen and Shannon Shorr won this year's Spirit of Poker Awards thanks to receiving more online votes than any of their competitors.
Panka won in the category of Rising Star, Hansen in Living Legend and Shorr in Most Inspiring Player.
Both Panka and Hansen were competing in the 2014 Battle of Malta and were able to accept the award in person while Shorr sent in a video acceptance speech since he couldn't attend the event.
“I'm very humbled and proud,” said Thor Hansen after being presented with his award by Battle of Malta host Maria Ho.
“I've been playing poker for 50+ years and I don't get this very often so I'm very proud.”
Hansen recently opened up on camera in an extended and candid interview with PokerListings about his long poker career and it's easy to see why he received the most votes in the Living Legend category.
Panka "I Enjoy My Role as a Poker Ambassador"
At the other end of the age spectrum was Dominik Panka.
At 23 years old Panka is already Poland's leading all-time money winner but, in keeping with the spirit of these awards, Panka emphasized poker means more to him than just money.
“I appreciate it a lot,” said Panka. “I think I had a lot of good fortune this season. Poker is such a difficult discipline, especially right now, so I'm very grateful for being so fortunate and for winning this award.
“Poker is definitely the kind of game where it's hard to compare players to each other apart from how much money they earn but for me it's about a little bit more.
“In Poland poker is a bit of a gray area so whenever poker gets attention I try to be there as a bit of a poker ambassador.”
And finally Shannon Shorr, who's long been respected in the poker community as an ambassador for the game, sent in a short video from America where he was busy playing poker.
“I'd like to congratulate all the finalists,” said Shorr. “All of them are great people doing great things. I'm happy to accept this award because any of us could have gotten it.”
Check out the full video below and keep clicking to watch more video from the 2014 Battle of Malta.