Since 2020, we have been awarding the best poker operators and innovators in the poker business with our PokerListings Operator Awards. Every year the operators are nominated and awarded in several categories.
Here are the winners and nominees from 2021:
Best Software 2021
This award is for outstanding software. Who has the sleekest interface, the best features and the best graphics right now? In this category we award the poker operator with the best overall software solution for players.
GGPoker had a breakthrough last year when they struck a deal with the WSOP to host the World Series of Poker Online, giving them a huge boost in brand recognition and player base. But all that would not have been possible without their strong and innovative software.
GGPoker offers a rich variety of game modes (among others rush poker, spins, all-in-or-fold and 6+ Hold’em), unique features like staking or smart HUDs and integrated tracking tools. Overall GGPoker offers awesome features for grinders and recreational players alike. Within a few years GGPoker became a serious contender for the online poker crown and in 2021 it overtook PokerSars for the first time in player numbers on the PokerScout ranking.
Nominees: PokerStars, GGPoker, Pokio
Best Beginner Software 2021
Which operator offers the ideal environment for players who are brand new to the game? This prize goes to the poker site with the best product for newbies and which does the best job of attracting new online poker players.
For many years 888poker has done a tremendous job, acquiring new players and promoting poker as a recreational game. 888poker offers a true no-deposit bonus, freeroll promotions worth hundreds of thousands dollars each quarter and a software which is easy to understand and navigate. While being one of the oldest online poker operators 888poker certainly is one of the best for newbies.
Nominees: Unibet, 888poker, Tiger Gaming, Pokio
Best Grinder Software 2021
PokerListings also awards the best software option for grinders. The award in this category goes to the operator that has the best environment for professional players. This includes the most extensive game selection and the most lucrative VIP program for players who play a lot of poker.
The party network (partypoker, Coral and Ladbrokes) is arguably one of the best for grinders and professional players. The network offers 20% rakeback for all players and this can go up to 40% for players that rake at least $1.2k per week. Another 10% is added for super high volume grinders.
This year it was an incredibly close rase between PokerStars in partypoker in this category, but eventually we decided to give the award to partypoker for their VIP system, their rake races and their high stakes games selection.
Nominees: partypoker, PokerStars, iPoker (Betsafe)
Best Poker Operator 2021
This award goes to the poker room that performed best overall this year - the all-rounder that ticked all the boxes: game options, support, promotions, tournament series and guarantees.
You can’t think ‘online poker’ without the renowned PokerStars brand - a trailblazer in the industry, especially when it comes to software customization and reliability. PokerStars has a vast variety that even in 2021, no other provider can match, including niche H.O.R.S.E & Razz games.
With the poker room’s global reach, traffic is solid across time zones with games running 24/7. What’s more, this year PokerStars returned to a sensible VIP program, providing good value for players across all levels. This cements their 'Best Operator' award.
Nominees: partypoker, PokerStars, 888poker, GGPoker
Best Online Series 2021
There have been many great online series this year. But which one is the best in terms of overall event management, promotion and support? This award goes to the operator who gave us the best tournament series in 2021.
Winner: WSOP Online 2021 (GGPoker)
This year's winner is the Online WSOP. Two operators offered WSOP Online events this year: wsop.com with 41 events for US players and GGPoker with 33 events for all international players.
Since the international version was much larger than the US version our nomination is mainly for GGPoker. The operator offered a $5k main event with a $20m guarantee which was the largest single online tournament of 2021.
Nominees: WCOOP (Stars), Spring Festival (GGPoker), Micro Millions (Stars) and the WSOP Online (GGPoker)
PokerListings Player's Favourite 2021
Which poker room has the most fans and dedicated players this year? Here it were the PokerListings readers who took center stage and voted for their favourite poker operator.
Players voted via a Twitter poll that lasted over one week, PokerStars came out on top with a narrow lead over GGPoker.
Nominees: PokerStars, GGPoker, iPoker (Betsafe) and 888poker
Poker Innovation of the year 2021
Online poker is constantly evolving and new games and variants are constantly being added on all sites. But which operator had the best poker innovation in 2021? This award goes to the best new product idea this year.
Winner: The Festival Series
The Festival Series was the odd one out in our list of nominees as it is a live poker and casino experience. The event series was launched in September 2021 and was the first to combine Poker, Roulette, Blackjack and Sports Betting into one week-long Festival for poker and casino players alike.
It was received enthusiastically and will return in 2022 with more stops on more locations. We might have been a bit biased but we felt that The Festival beat all the other nominations this year.
Nominees: PokerStars Learn, Battle Royale at GGPoker, Flip & Go at GGPoker and The Festival Series