Key figures at the IFP World Championships were among those at a lavish ceremony in Paris earlier this week for the 11th Annual European Poker Awards.

Now one of the most prestigious events in poker, the awards marks the achievement of players at the tables over the past 12 months, as well as key figures off the tables.
Collecting the coveted prize of Player of the Year was Englishman Sam Trickett, a member of the UK Nations Cup team, who had an outstanding 2011.
Trickett began his 2011 in form that he would continue throughout the year, posting his first win in the A$100,000 no-limit hold’em event at the Aussie Millions before finishing second in the A$250,000 High Roller event just days later.After reaching the final table of the WPT Diamond Championship in France, Trickett cashed twice in the World Series before returning to France, the South this time, to win the Partouche Poker Tour main event in Cannes. Trickett then reached two further finals, first in the EPT London High Roller event before finishing fourth in the World Series of Poker Europe pot-limit Omaha. In all, Trickett closed the book on 2011 with nearly $4.6 million in prize money.

Elsewhere there were awards for World Series of Poker Main Event winner Pius Heinz who collected the gong for Best Tournament Performance, while Andrey Pateychuk was named Rookie of the Year, for his EPT and a WPT titles, won within six weeks of each other.

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier picked up the Rob Gardner Memorial Award for the Poker Personality of 2011. The Frenchman won two EPT High Roller events in 2011, as well as a World Series bracelet. He also took part in a much hyped kick boxing contest again fellow Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis (he lost).

Away from the tables Jesse May collected the Lifetime Achievement Award. May, known as “The voice of poker,” has commentated on poker for more than a decade, his restrained and hushed enthusiasm familiar as the voice introducing Late Night Poker in the 1990s, the show that turned many people on to the game. May was also in the commentary box at the IFP World Championships.

To read about the rest of the winners from the European Poker Awards, go to the Card Player website.