It was my second time in Paris for the European Poker Awards, hopefully I will get invited next year so I can say with some authenticity “Oh Paris yes its lovely, we go every year”. Last year we stayed for several days after the awards but this time round we went for just the weekend. It’s actually really nice not having that extra pressure of feeling we have to cram in a load of site seeing and instead concentrate on a couple of good nights out and relaxing.
This year a WPT event was on so that were significantly more poker people around and a lot more people I knew. Nothing confirms this more than the all too familiar occasion of Mad Marty Wilson appearing from nowhere, telling a quick story that actually lasts a lifetime then disappearing into the night. I’ve always told my girlfriend story after story of Marty’s and finally she got to meet him, I told her as he arrived in the Aviation Club “Your life is never going to be the same again, you can never un-meet Marty”.
He didn’t disappoint either, top form as always and up for an award no less. Gina loved every yarn he spun throughout the weekend and we shared a table with him, Jesse May, Simon Trumper and David Vamplew throughout the awards (The latter being a really nice kid, I have been explaining to Gina how the new breed of young British players currently crushing live poker are also very down to earth, she was really impressed because most of us would act like dicks with all that money).
I was pretty pleased with how the awards went, given most of the winners were the ones I voted for. Jake Cody I think thoroughly deserved both his awards, I can’t see past Liv Boeree in her category and it was hard not to vote for the biggest winner of the year in the online category. I think the WSOPE is the toughest event of the year (or was at least) so I thought James Bord deserved his award and Tony G for me was the biggest ‘personality’ of the year no doubt.
The best staff category was tough, as I had to choose between my old mucker Marty and Simon Trumper, the guy who runs the greatest poker venue in the world. Thankfully any inner conflict was taken out of my hands, because a very deserving Gerrard Retamero won that event.
I was also delighted to see Nic Szeremta win the lifetime achievement award. This I think was the first time a non poker player (He plays poker, just that’s not why he won) won this award which gives me some hope in 30 odd years time. Tony G reminded everyone that without Nic, we poker media types may not have jobs (He also gave me the biggest laugh of the night by saying “He didn’t make the money, but he had the heart”).
After that, not much to tell you other than it was a free bar and the biggest bonus of the weekend, no hangover the next day, which really is a rare occurrence when I’m paying so how I managed to survive the journey home I will never know.
Rookie of the Year – Jake Cody
Internet Player of the Year - Andreas Torbergsen
Outstanding tournament performance – James Bord
Europe’s Leading Lady – Liv Boeree
Poker staff person of the year - Gerard Serra Retamero ,TK Events
Rob Gardner Memorial Award for the Poker Personality of 2010 – Tony G
Player of the Year – Jake Cody
Lifetime achievement award - Nic Szeremeta
So Paris, valentines weekend, fancy awards do, free Moet all night – not a bad brag, but I have been brought right back down to earth as soon as I got to the UK. I’m now off to the dentist, I chipped my bloody tooth yesterday on a bloody liquorice torpedo last night and it hurts like hell.