The Global Poker Index (GPI) has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years as its charismatic CEO Alex Dreyfus looks to globally promote poker and change its reputation from a game of chance to game of skill. The GPI has launched a number of interesting initiatives such as the American Poker Awards and the Global Poker Masters to build a bigger brand and a global fan following.
The GPI recently announced its list of nominees for the European Poker Awards (EPA) which is scheduled to take place this March in Malta.
The EPA will feature a total of 13 categories such as the poker ambassador of the year, tournament performance of the year, female player of the year, media person of the year, rising start of the year and player of the year.
One of the awards that was missing from the list of award categories was the best online player of the year award. The GPI decided to eliminate this category from its 2015 EPA awards because it was hard to track and analyze online poker player’s performances and judge the accuracy of player data. CEO Dreyfus said “it is difficult to have a global vision of nicknames” and that is why the GPI has decided to do away with this award. The GPI had included the best online poker player award since 2009 and has recognized past winners such as Toby Lewis (2013); Jens Kyllonen (2012); Ilari Sahamies (2011); Andreas Torbergsen (2010) and Patrik Antonius (2009).
When Andreas Torbergsen found out that the GPI had eliminated the award he was not very happy and took to social media to express his disappointing saying that the GPI had neglected a huge part of the poker industry. Torbergsen also decided to launch an online poll and ask the poker community to provide their feedback on whether the EPA should feature a best online poker player award.
A number of people took the survey and at the end the majority of people agreed with Andreas Torbergsen and stated that the GPI must feature a best online poker player award. Only 9% of the respondents disagreed and stated that the EPA should be a live poker award only event.
The GPI decided to reconsider its stance after receiving such feedback and decided that to re-instate at least one online poker award at the 2016 EPA as it did not want the popularity of the event to decline.