PokerListings Spirit of Poker Awards 2017

Spirit of Poker Awards 2017 | Vote for Most Inspiring Poker Players

John Hesp 7680

Update: The votes are in and we have our 2017 Spirit of Poker Awards winners! Congratulations to:

  • Most Inspiring Player - Liv Boeree
  • Rising Star - Espen Uhlen Jørstad
  • Living Legend - Per Hildebrand

Thank you to everyone who voted! The 2017 Spirit of Poker Awards will be presented at the 2017 Battle of Malta! See you there!


With several Player of the Year Awards already out there in the poker industry, when we created the annual Spirit of Poker awards we wanted to recognize a different type of player.

At PokerListings our mission is to bring new players from all walks of life and of all levels of interest into the game so we felt a true poker award had to acknowledge something above and beyond just tournament wins or big scores.

Results matter, sure. And there are few things more inspiring to an ambitious poker player than a string of impressive cashes. But it’s the players who bring joy, heart, imagination, innovation and timelessness to poker who truly inspire us and others to pick up the game -- and then spend a lifetime trying to master it.

Our debut PokerListings Spirit of Poker Awards – won by Luca MoschittaNaoya Kihara and Pierre Neuville – captured exactly what we had in mind. Our 2014 winners - Dominik PankaThor Hansen and Shannon Shorr - did likewise.

Humberto Brenes, Anatoly Filatov and Charlie Carrel set the bar even higher in 2015 with their dazzling results and personalities and our 2016 winners Felipe RamosKonstantin Puchkov and Silje Nilsen were equally inspiring.

And as we found all throughout the 3-month long public voting process, the idea of true poker “spirits” continues to touch a chord among poker players so we’re thrilled to announce the next group of nominees for 2017.

Click on the individual award headers to learn more about each player. Awards ceremony will be at the 2017 Battle of Malta in November!

2017 Most Inspiring Player Award

Ema Zajmovic (Photo: WPT)
  • Liv Boeree (UK)
  • Jeff Gross (USA)
  • Kenny Hallaert (BEL)
  • John Hesp (UK)
  • Max Pescatori (ITA)
  • Mikhail Semin (RUS)
  • Ema Zajmovic (CAN)
  • Jaime Staples (CAN)

2017 Rising Star Award

  • Kelly Winterhalter (USA)
  • Oriol Fernández (SPA)
  • Espen Uhlen Jørstad (NOR)
  • Parker “TonkaaaaP” Talbot (CAN)
  • Vivian Saliba (USA)

2017 Living Legend Award

  • Barny Boatman (ENG)
  • Padraig Parkinson (IRL)
  • Mike Sexton (USA)
  • Marcel Luske (NED)
  • Per Hildebrand (SWE)

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