The Essential Guide to the GPI Global Poker Awards 2024 – Part 2: Content Creators

  • Bert Stevens’ crude and hilarious online poker streams are a breath of fresh air
  • Jaman Burton’s animated comic strips are joys to watch, deserving of Best Vlogger
  • Books are often overlooked, but Alex O’Brien should win the Best Written Content award
  • Danny Maxwell’s photo of the WSOP Main Event bubble is extraordinary
GPI Global Poker Awards logo
David Lappin continues predicting the winners of the 2024 Global Poker Awards. [Image: Global Poker Index]

The era of the content creator

It used to be the case that more poker players played for the win. By that I mean they prioritized winning the tournament above winning the most money, making decisions that resulted in a greater number of victories even if those decisions actually cost them EV (expected value). 

Some part of that was how they did not adequately comprehend the ICM (Independent Chip Model) implications of their YOLO-choices. Another part of that was the fact that for a period of time in poker, winning a big poker tournament meant there was a high likelihood of getting sponsorship from a poker site. The abundance of these deals was added value for players and a huge incentive to torch tournament equity in high risk spots. 

we are in the era of the content creator

These days, that is not the model. Poker sites realized quite a while ago that showcasing lucky players had a limited impact. Instead, they usually sign players who offer something in terms of content production. A creator that reaches an audience via their podcast or Twitch stream, their blog or vlog, their social media or short-form sketches offers far more value to a sponsor than a high-volume end boss. So, it is unsurprising, since we are in the era of the content creator, that these talented people also get acknowledged at the Global Poker Awards. 

USA dominates 

Last week, I hit up Global Poker Index President and all round great guy Eric Danis for a quick Q&A ahead of the Global Poker Awards. In a blatant attempt to throw him, I lead with:

“I know that you know that I think there is a heavy North American bias when it comes to the Global Poker Awards. Since the awards began, there have been 332 award nominations across five years, 254 of which have gone to North Americans (76.5%), 62 to Europeans (18.5%) and just 22 to the rest of the world (5%).”

You know what they say at journalism school: Catch them off guard with an unnecessarily reflexive statement and then follow it up by citing a boring statistic. I continued: 

“My assumption is that the jury pool skews American, but you said to me recently that I was wrong about that. Can you tell me the rough % of North American, European and Rest of World jury members and what do you think can be done to get broader inclusion?”

getting more voters from outside the US…doesn’t automatically mean more votes for non-Americans”

Unfortunately for me, Danis held his ground, replying: “I’ll say this – getting more voters from outside the US (I say the US because you know I’m offended, as a proud Canadian, to be lumped into a pool with the US as the two countries are vastly different) doesn’t automatically mean more votes for non-Americans – nor should it, necessarily.”

You don’t become president of anything without being able to pivot away from scurrilous gotcha questions. Danis continued:

“The US dominates the poker sphere so I think it’s normal that more Americans get nominated … do I wish that more deserving candidates from outside the US would receive more recognition? ABSOLUTELY, but I also feel that it’s disrespectful to those final nominees to say that they are not deserving of their nomination.”

There’s no doubt that the nominees in all the categories have done great work, but I do wish that the nominations better reflected the global game that we play. In any case, without further ado, let’s dive into the categories honoring content creators.


  • Caitlin Comeskey
  • Will Jaffe
  • Jamie Kerstetter
  • Marle Spragg

This is a wonky category because Twitter is a platform onto which you can post video content, but video content has its own category, so I think it should be distinctly the written tweets or memes/gifs on which one is judged. On those grounds, I would have expected to see people like Barry Carter, Barny Boatman, Luke Vrabel, Phil Galfond, or Kevin Mathers in the mix.

Instead, we have three of the best short form video content creators who post their work to the platform and the undisputed queen of Twitter who seems to post less and less each year. Nonetheless I’d give it to Kerstetter because Comesky, Spragg, and Jaffe all have personalities in the real world whereas I quite like the idea of her only possessing a personality within Elon Musk’s tawdry Hellscape.


  • Kevin Martin “kevinmartin”
  • Benjamin Spragg “Spraggy”
  • Bert Stevens “girafganger7”
  • Lex Veldhuis “LexVeldhuis”

Veldhuis revolutionized the Twitch platform for poker and has made a big splash on YouTube since broadening his streaming horizons. Spragg is the most natural entertainer that we have in the game with the ability to spin plates on the online felt whilst spinning yarns for his audience. Martin is a Reality TV star who has brought his viewers along for the ride during his poker odyssey from newbie to pro.

a restorative moment during a turbulent year for online poker

Bert Stephens is special – a genuine talent on the tables who is unfiltered as he rides the poker rollercoaster, wearing his heart on his sleeve. Girafganger7 exploded into the streaming space in 2023 and his live-streamed victory of the WSOP Online Main Event was a restorative moment during a turbulent year for online poker. Chain-smoking, slamming tables, swearing like a pirate, and firing his shots from a countryside outhouse on his bespoke little farm, Stephens is a breath of fresh air and I think he will win the award.


  • Jaman Burton “TheDrawingDeadVlog”
  • Corey Eyring “corey_eyring”
  • Daniel Negreanu “dnegspoker”
  • Brad Owen “BradOwenPoker”
  • Alexander Seibt “Wolfgang_Poker”

I have a confession that may surprise readers who are familiar with my past tête-à-têtes: I actually watch most of Daniel Negreanu’s vlogs. They are well produced, superbly edited, and feature one of my least favorite people in poker doing his bollocks. What’s not to love? Brad Owen is a master of his craft and undeniably the GOAT of this art form.

Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with the vlogs of Eyring and Seibt, so am not in a position to judge this category properly, but I am a big fan of the creativity demonstrated by Jaman Burton whose beautifully rendered animated comic strip vlogs are an absolute treat. For that reason, I’m plumbing for him.


  • Caitlin Comeskey
  • Gregory Liow “Greg Goes All In”
  • Marle Spragg
  • Alexander Seibt “Wolfgang Poker”

Art is often defined by the limitations put on it by various factors. Short-form content in the wrong hands is throwaway and cringe but, in the right hands, it is wonderfully creative and clever. Sethypoker should have made the list and maybe even won the category, but those who were shortlisted did tremendous work last year.

Comesky is side-splittingly hilarious when she’s doing her impressions and skits based on real-life happenings. Spragg’s sketches are well written and cleverly conceived. Seibt has found a mainstream audience for his humorous hand histories. I suspect, however, that it is Liow’s year as the GregGoesAllIn character reached new levels of comedy, often thanks to the inclusion of some slapstick elements with him being beaten up repeatedly.


  • Only Friends Podcast (Matt Berkey, Melissa Schubert, Landon Tice and friends)
  • Poker in the Ears (James Hartigan, Joseph Stapleton for PokerStars)
  • The Chip Race Poker Podcast (David K Lappin, Dara O’Kearney, Barry Carter for Unibet Poker)
  • Thinking Poker (Andrew Brokos, Carlos Welch)

Last year’s winner “Only Friends” continued to churn out episodes at a rapid clip in 2023 and there is no doubting the commitment that goes into creating that volume. “Poker in the Ears” are stalwarts in the space, now celebrating their tenth year on air. The handsome trio behind “The Chip Race” podcast recently dropped their 150th show, 20 of which went out in 2023:

“Thinking Poker” is the OG poker podcast and its omission from the GPA nominations in previous years was always disappointing. Andrew Brokos and Carlos Welch put out a particularly impressive and eclectic batch of episodes in 2023 and I sincerely hope that they take this one down.


As nice as it is to honor individual written pieces, the lack of a “Best Writer” or “Best Journalist” is sorely missing. As a result, I prefer to judge candidates in this category on all their writing in 2023. With that in mind, Brad Willis is perhaps my favorite writer in poker and I predict big things from under his leadership in a poker media landscape that badly needs improvement. Connor Richards is a very talented writer who always does interesting feature pieces. David Hill is a tremendous wordsmith and his work for WPT this year was excellent.

I think that Alex O’Brien is most deserving for her superb book The Truth Detective which carries a throughline about how poker demands a certain rigor in logical faculties and consistency in thought process. Books generally underperform in this category, but I think O’Brien may buck the trend this year.


The PokerGO tribute to the legend that will always be Doyle was beautiful and fitting. The Phil Galfond video about Phil Ivey was fun. Spragg crushed it with a brilliant short about a player trying to do a crash-course on ICM (shoutout to Dominic Nitsche for his perfectly blunt cameo).

My favorite of these videos, however, is Caitlyn Comesky’s chameleon takedown/love letter of Hustler’s Million Dollar cash game. Even if the impression is not perfect (and sometimes because of it), Comesky’s ability to capture the essence of a character is sublime.


  • Matthew Berglund: “Inconsolable”
  • Hayley Hochstetler: “Weinman Wins”
  • Rachel Kay Winter: “Schulman Cool”
  • Danny Maxwell: “On the Bubble”

Poker photography is different from virtually every kind of photography. It requires a knowledge of the game, the context, and an ability to work well in poorly lit rooms. This year’s nominations capture ecstasy, agony, anticipation, and a very cool winner’s photo.

Berglund found beauty in defeat. Hochstetler depicted a moment of pure elation. Winter worked with Schulman to present a picture-perfect foreshortened image of aloofness, poise, and smoothness. In a manic moment, Maxwell somehow created an image of extraordinary composition, dozens of arms drawing the eye to the center of the picture as the bubble bursts in the WSOP Main Event.

Next week in Part 3, I will look at the nominations in categories that honor industry figures.

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