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At the 2014 Battle of Malta, PokerListings honored three very special poker players with the Spirit of Poker Awards. Dominik Panka, Thor Hansen and Shannon Shorr took the second-ever SOPA awards in the categories of Rising Star, Living Legend and Most Inspiring Player, respectively. Both Panka and Hansen were in Malta to receive the award but Shorr was unable to attend and sent in a video acceptance speech. Each player beat out a tough lineup of poker pro's and received more votes in order to win. Check out the video and watch Battle of Malta host Maria Ho present the awards, plus a few words from each of our winners.
Narrator: So often in the poker world, players are measured by how much money they've won. At Poker Listings, we say there's more to poker than just money.
For the second year in a row, Poker Listings recognizes three players that go above and beyond to exemplify the true spirit of poker.
Thor Hanson has been making a living as a gambler for over fifty years and his reputation for being one of the game's good guys is legendary. From Oslo to Las Vegas, Hanson has seen as much of the poker world as anyone. And, luckily for us, he's still around to talk about it.
Maria Ho: Hi I'm Maria Ho here at the Battle of Malta and standing next to me, he needs no introduction, it's Thor Hanson. And I'm so proud to present to you, on behalf of Poker Listings, the 2014 Spirit of Poker Awards for Living Legend. Could you please tell us what it means to you to win this award?
Thor: I'm very humbled and proud, of course. I've been playing poker for fifty plus years and I don't get this very often so I'm very proud, yeah.
Maria: Thank you for setting such a good example for all of the poker players out there, myself included. And we are so happy and so honored that we could present this award to you today.
Thor: Thank you very much Maria.
Dominik Panka blew up this year when he took down the PCA Main Event and EPT Deauville High Roller in the same month. He's already polled as leading, all-time earner, but the consensus is, this is just the beginning.
Maria: On behalf of Poker Listings, I would like to present you, Dominik Panka, with the Rising Star award for the 2014, Poker Listings Spirit of Poker Award.
Dominik: I feel very well, of course. I appreciate it a lot. I think I had a lot of good fortune in this season, so Poker is such a difficult, especially right now, discipline. I'm very grateful for being so fortunate and for this award as well.
Shannon Shorr has been crushing poker tournaments and engaging poker fans since 2006. At twenty-nine years old, he's had more life experiences than people twice his age and he's shared his journey every step of the way with one of the best poker blogs on the internet.
Shannon: Hey guys this is Shannon Shorr. I would like to thank all of you who voted and thank Poker Listings for giving me the award of Most Inspiring Player in the Spirit of Poker awards category. I'd also like to congratulate all of the finalists. All of them are great people doing great things. So I'm happy to accept this award because any of us could have gotten it.