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Global Awards honor best of best


APT Lion Trophy among big winners

Best trophy The Lion is the perfect animal to represent the Asian Poker Tour and the game of poker. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF APT

The Asian Poker Tour joined the list of honorees in the 5th annual Global Poker Awards when its Taipei Lion Trophy was voted the Best Trophy by the community.

A pillar of the industry, Doyle Brunson’s dedication to the game was also commemorated with the 2023 Poker Icon award. The night ended with Ali Nejad offering his gratitude to all those who helped him clinch this award, from mentors, inspirations, down to his fans.

APT co-owner Michael Soyza explains the ethos behind these stunning new additions to the Asian Poker Tour: “When deciding on the direction of the new trophies, we felt that it was important to pay homage to the heritage of the APT — which spans more than a decade — while at the same time modernizing the aesthetic of our trophies in line with our ‘New Era’ theme.”

With those goals in mind, the APT, he said, set out to design a trophy that remains distinctly “APT” but with a modern twist. The previous APT trophies featured mythical Foo Lions — also known as Chinese guardian lions.

As a tribute to the old trophy, the APT decided to retain the lion as the main element, but  are no longer based on Foo Lions, but the traditional “King of The Jungle” instead.

“In addition to being a part of the old APT’s legacy, the lion is the perfect animal to represent the APT and the game of poker. Lions are a symbol of family as they live in groups known as prides,” Syza said.

The 5th annual Global Poker Awards wrapped up its festivities earlier this week with 29 trophies awarded throughout the night, highlighting exemplary player performances and standout contributions in the poker industry.

Held in the PokerGO® Studio at Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, the evening ceremony saw its halls filled with its share of poker players, personalities, and well-known figures within the community.

Repeat winners were seen all around beginning with four-time recipient of the GPI Female Player of the Year, Kristen Foxen. Players’ Choice for Toughest Opponent also saw third time straight winner Stephen Chidwick, stand up to the title once again, remaining to be the only player to do so in history.

First time GPA winners such as GPI Poker Player of the Year Bin Weng and GPI Mid-Major Player of the Year Nick Pupillo, were likewise honored for their outstanding performances along with Isaac Haxton who claimed the PokerGO Player of the Year title with three wins, fourteen cashes and over $7.2 Million in PGT winnings.


‘Lions are a symbol of family as they live in groups known as prides.’


Other figures who emerged as maiden winners included Jans Arends (Breakout Player), Toby Stone (Tournament Director), Ali Nejad (Broadcaster), Marle Spragg (X/Twitter Personality), Jaman Burton (Vlogger), Daniel Sepiol (Final Table), and Bert Stevens (Streamer). Content creators who have helped transform poker into a whole new ordeal, were also recognized for their contributions including Caitlin Comeskey for the Best Short-Term Content Creator award, Greg Liow for Fans’ Choice — Personality, and The Chip Race as a returning recipient for Best Podcast.

Global brands World Poker Tour, Pokerstars, and World Series of Poker, similarly added awards to their roster of achievements with WPT Prime coming out as this year’s Best Mid-Major Tour/Circuit and Adam Pliska as Best Industry Person. Pokerstars LIVE, on the other hand, was Fans’ Choice as Best Live Stream and saw its lead director for EPT Toby Stone, clinch his first career GPA. WSOP lastly, was proud to have its Main Event dubbed as the Best Event of the year.


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