Poker-King.com 2008 Year-End AwardsPublished on December 23rd, 2008 10:48 pm EST
The last major poker tournament of the year is now in the books, so we thought that now would be a perfect time to unveil our 2008 year-end awards. Who are we to be giving out awards? Good question - I don't have an answer for you. Nonetheless, here are our awards for 2008:
1. Player of the Year - Phil Ivey. In our mind, Phil Ivey is undoubtedly the best poker player in the world. He made over $8 million dollars in 2008 on Full Tilt Poker. He didn't just dominate one game - he dominated all of the different games that he played, whether it was Pot Limit Omaha, No Limit Hold'em, HORSE or Omaha Hi/Lo.
Phil also made over $2 million dollars playing in "live" tournaments. This included winning his first WPT title at the 2008 L.A. Poker Classic.
An all-around impressive year for Phil Ivey (not including the seven-figure hit he took betting on the Lakers in the NBA Finals).
2. Hand of the Year - Patrik Antonius vs "LarsLuzak". There were many unbelievable hands in 2008, but this one came out on top due to: a) the size of the pot ($606k) and b) the bad beat that was dished out on the river. It's always painful to lose to a one-outer on the river - it's even more painful to lose a $606,000 pot to a one-outer on the river.
The board read 3-5-8-A-8. Both stacks were quickly shipped in on the river, with "LarsLuzak" insta-calling the push from Patrik Antonius. Antonius showed pocket Eights for rivered quads and "LarsLuzak" mucked, later revealing that he had held pocket Aces. A pretty amazing hand that deserves "Hand of the Year" honors.
3. Story of the Year - The Ultimatebet Scandal. In 2007 we had the Absolute Poker scandal. In 2008, it was the Ultimatebet "superuser" scandal. I really hope that the biggest story in 2009 is a positive one for the industry.
I won't recap the entire story, as I am sure that you are already aware of the details. Ultimatebet ended up shelling out millions of dollars in refunds, and their reputation was permanently tarnished in the industry.
Note: the most viewed story of the year on our network was the Full Tilt Poker / Cardrunners story that first detailed the partnership between the two companies.
4. Most Searched Player of 2008 On Our Network - Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies. We received at least 20,000 "Ziigmund" related searches in 2008.
5. Poker Room of the Year - Pokerstars. The 800 pound gorilla of the online poker industry continues to thrive and grow post-UIGEA. The company is planning on putting themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records on December 28th by hosting the largest poker tournament ever - a $500k guaranteed tournament that will very likely have 35,000 entrants. Pokerstars still has the best customer service of any major online poker room, despite their monstrous client base. For that, they get the poker room of the year nod.
6. Most Impressive Tournament Victory - Phil Galfond, $5k PLO Rebuy event at the 2008 WSOP. Galfond certainly earned his first WSOP bracelet by outlasting a field that was filled with tough players. The final table included:
1. David Benyamine
2. Johnny Chan
3. Daniel Negreanu
4. Phil Hellmuth Jr
5. John Juanda
Many of the "name" pros at the final table praised Galfond's play and poise after the tournament had concluded.
There were many impressive performances in 2008, but this one really stands out for me.
7. Most Embarrassing Performance - Tiffany Michelle / Scotty Nguyen (tie). Both of these players put in equally embarrassing performances at the 2008 World Series of Poker.
8. Most Impressive Performance - Ivan Demidov reaching the final table of both the World Series of Poker main event and the World Series of Poker Europe main event. Demidov ended up finishing in second place in the 2008 WSOP main event and third place at the WSOPE main event. An absolutely unbelievable performance that may never be duplicated.
Link Love. Some of our favorite sites:
Wicked Chops Poker
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I hope that everyone has a great 2009. Best wishes and stay safe,
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