The British Poker Awards

British Poker Awards

I haven’t participated in any kind of awards ceremony before, I was very much looking forward to experiencing what it’s like walking down a red carpet, rubbing shoulders with (poker) stars and listening to ‘amazing’ “thank you” speeches:)

I was supporting Genting of course and I was very proud to be a part of the company & it’s team which has been nominated in a number of significant categories:

1. Best UK Poker Tournament (Genting Poker Series @ Fox Poker Club)

2. Best Card Room Restaurant ( Palm Beach Casino)

3. Best Card Room Bar (Palm Beach Casino)

4. Biggest Contribution to Growing & Promoting Poker (Gary Oakes & Kevin Proctor)

Perhaps the most anticipated & talked about category of the British Poker Awards 2012, was the newly introduced – “The Biggest Contributor to Growing & Promoting Poker” award and I was really hoping we could pick this one up.

Gary Oakes is a top chap and he is one of the hardest working, devoted and nicest guys in the Poker industry.

He has been doing his upmost over the last year to promote tournament poker and to create great value & superb experience games to the players.

This has been done via introduction of the Genting Poker Series & improving the facilities of a number of Genting Clubs as well as joining forces with the Hendon Mob Forum.

I really felt he deserved winning this award the most!

Anyway, back to the ceremony:)

So hair, make-up and the evening dress sorted and I was heading to the prestigious yacht H.M.S. President moored on the North bank of the River Thames.

The venue itself and the views from the boat were spectacular. We were lucky with the weather too; it was a sunny day and perfect for pre-ceremony drinks & canapes on the deck. I think the biggest surprise of the night, at least for me, was a live entertainment by the Palm Beach band!

The Palm Beach Band
The Palm Beach Band in action;)

The group was made of the Palm Beach Poker Club room manager, card room supervisor and two waitresses – who could have know about this awesome hidden talent!

They were great and provided an extra level of entertainment.

A few drinks & songs later we were heading downstairs to one of the conference rooms to find out the winners of the British Poker Awards 2012.

It was a good start for us when Genting’s partner in poker Hendon Mob picked up the first award of the night for the “Best Poker Forum”. Barny Boatman was the one to claim the trophy and seemed very proud & grateful! WD HM!

The “Best Card Room Bar” nomination came next and we were cheering loud for the Palm Beach Casino, who were announced as the winners. Without being biased, I honestly can’t think of a more stunning casino bar in the UK, where you can have amazing cocktails 24/7 served by friendly & gorgeous waitresses:) This is a fact!

Palm Beach Casino Bar
Palm Beach Casino Bar

Sam Trickett was the star of the night. He picked up a well deserved 3 awards – best cash games player, best tournament player & player of the year.

There is no doubt he had a tremendous 12 months, winning over $10mil & doing the UK poker community proud.

Hopefully he can add a WSOP bracelet to his winnings next.

I was holding my breath when the winner of the “Biggest Contribution to Growing & Promoting Poker” was read….Gary was sitting next to me and he was not moving either…one time!!?

It was not meant to be this year. Kirsty Thompson (known as the mother of UKIPT) came on the top. I am very happy for Kirsty and I think she has done a splendid job in terms of UKIPT’s success.

However, I was very much gutted for Genting and its team to have not won more:(

Hey ho, there is always next year and I’m sure that this has given us even more motivation and determination to do better. I am confident that the Genting Poker Series is going to go from strength to strength and are going to seriously challenge it’s competition.

Once the awards ceremony was over, we were off to the party room to celebrate the winners. It was a very well organised & fun event and a big thank you goes to the Bluff Europe crew for making this event a huge success.

Daiva caricature

I took advantage of the free bar and subsequently enjoying meeting new interesting people and catching up with the old mates. I even had the pleasure of getting a caricature done.

I’ll let you be the judge of whether this looks like me.

They had a great Dj too and there was a huge dance floor to take care of, so as you can guess, I spend most of the night dancing away.

I eventually dragged myself home to get some kip, with the English Poker Open starting the next couple of days- but that is another blog coming soon….

Daiva x