Things just keep getting better for Antonio Esfandiari. Capping off a year that saw him win two more World Series of Poker bracelets and becoming poker’s all-time leading money winner, Esfandiari captured two 2013 BLUFF Reader’s Choice Awards joining Daniel Negreanu as the only winner of more than one BLUFF RCA.
Over 10,000 poker fans voted in the annual awards and those voters chose Esfandiari as “Favorite TV Personality” for the second year in a row and named his victory in the Big One for One Drop as the “Top ‘On the Felt’ Moment of 2012″. Esfandiari beat out the likes of Kara Scott, Mike Sexton and Olivier Busquet to win Favorite TV Personality. Other nominees in the Top “On the Felt” Moment category included Phil Hellmuth winning bracelet #13 at WSOP Europe and Phil Ivey making five WSOP final tables.
The Big One for One Drop also won for “Best Final Table of 2012″ with 51% of the vote. The brainchild of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, The One Drop final table included Esfandiari, Laliberte, Sam Trickett, David Einhorn, Hellmuth, Brian Rast, Bobby Baldwin, Richard Yong and Sexton.
Negreanu took home the awards for “Favorite Male Player” and “Favorite Poker Tweeter”, a category that saw him take over 50% of the vote. Negreanu’s fellow Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst won “Favorite Female Player”, beating out Liv Boeree and Amanda Musumeci in the process.
PokerStars also walked away with an RCA of their own and they did it in dominant fashion. The purchase of Full Tilt Poker by PokerStars, which saw Rest of World players paid back in a timely manner, took hom 71% of the votes in the “Top ‘Off the Felt’ Moment of 2012″ category.
The most hotly contested category was for “Favorite Web-based Poker Show”. The final tally saw EPTLive beat out the WPT Live Stream by only nine votes. After winning every RCA for “Favorite Poker Blog” in the history of the awards, Wicked Chops Poker had to settle for second place this year. Diamond Flush Poker beat out the long-time incumbents by 3%.
WSOP Main Event champion Greg Merson beat out BLUFF Player of the Year Marvin Rettenmaier and POY runner-up Dan Smith to take home “Breakout Performer of the Year”. Not surprisingly Phil Ivey won the award for “Favorite High Roller Tournament Player” with Esfandiari narrowly missing out on a third win.
Other winners included Aria (Favorite Las Vegas Poker Room), The Bicycle Casino (Favorite California Poker Room) and Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood (Favorite Florida Poker Room).
Complete list of winners:
- Favorite TV Personality: Antonio Esfandiari – 35%
- Top “On the Felt” Moment of 2012: Antonio Esfandiari Wins the Big One for One Drop – 35%
- Top “Off the Felt” Moment of 2012: PokerStars buys Full Tilt Poker, pays back Rest of World players- 71%
- Favorite Male Player: Daniel Negreanu – 31%
- Favorite Female Player: Vanessa Selbst – 41%
- Favorite Poker Tweeter: Daniel Negreanu – 54%
- Breakout Performer of the Year: Greg Merson – 51%
- Favorite Web-based Poker Show: EPT Live – 26%
- Favorite High Roller Tournament Player: Phil Ivey – 36%
- Best Final Table of 2012: Big One for One Drop – 51%
- Favorite Poker Blog: Diamond Flush Poker – 37%
- Favorite Las Vegas Poker Room: Aria – 38%
- Favorite California Poker Room: Bicycle Casino – 37%
- Favorite Florida Poker Room: Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood – 44%