Many poker fans and players were quite shocked as partypoker was crowned Poker Operator of the Year at the EGR Operator Awards ceremony held in London last Thursday, October 26. With this triumphant win, partypoker has finally unseated PokerStars, the biggest online poker site in the world, which won the particular award consecutively in the past three years.
Managing Director of partypoker, Tom Waters, said: "We are delighted that partypoker was voted poker operator of the year at the EGR awards last night. partypoker has been transformed from a declining brand to a poker site that is now delivering a real challenge to the global poker market. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the partypoker team over the last year and hopefully this is just the beginning."
partypoker's owner GVC Holdings, was also able to snag the award for Casino Operator of the Year.
The acknowledgment is a result of GVC's year-long effort to rebrand partypoker. They have made a series of clever moves that helped propel themselves to the road of success: the creation of the partypoker LIVE and MILLIONS brands, the signing of John Duthie, the signing of Mike Sexton, and the signing of Fedor Holz.
partypoker welcomed Poker Hall of Famer and legendary broadcaster Mike Sexton to become their Chairman when they debuted in 2001. To take on his new role, Sexton retired from his role as the WPT's lead announcer. Like he did in the WPT for many years, Sexton went all-in and dedicated himself to growing partypoker. A poker icon himself on and off the felt, Sexton recruited many of the industry's best players to represent partypoker, and one of them is Fedor Holz.
Fedor Holz, age 24, is of German lineage with over $26 million in lifetime live tournament wins. Under his online moniker "CrownUpGuy", he's also won millions. His recent signing at partypoker as a partner has attracted a lot of the type of fans that the company is trying to reach.
Not only that, Team partypoker has built up its roster with notable celebrities such as tennis legend Boris Becker, the colorful Marcel Luske, and poker crushers such as Johnny Lodden, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Kristen Bicknell, and Sam Trickett.
Of course, partypoker and GVC Holdings were not the only big winners at EGR Operator Awards ceremony that Thursday. Up to 29 awards were given out to casino operators.
The Stars Group, parent company of PokerStars, did not go home empty handed. They've won two awards, one for Best Marketing Campaign, and the other one for Mobile Poker Product.
The biggest winner was Sky Betting and Gaming, taking home four awards, namely In-Play Sports Operator, Football Betting Operator, Sports Betting Operator, and Mobile Operator. Sky Betting is a company in the UK founded in 2003 that owns popular gambling sites Sky Bet, Sky Bingo, Sky Vegas, and many more.