This prestigious award gives recognition to operators and affiliates for setting the standard across the board in 30 categories.
The main contenders for this year’s award held at London’s extravagant Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane were none other than Partypoker, 888poker, Pokerdom, Sky Betting & Gaming, and the three-time winner of the Operator of the Year’s title – PokerStars, looking to seal the deal for the 4th straight year.
However, thanks to the Partypoker’s management team and the extraordinary and positive changes it took over the last 12 months, they were able to end PokerStars’ run and all their efforts and hard work paid off in spades as they are now able to call themselves the 2017 Poker Operator of the Year!
Tom Waters, Managing Director of Partypoker, 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 a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Partypoker team over the last year and hopefully, this is just the beginning.”
GVC Holdings’ Rebranding of Partypoker
QVC Holdings, the owner of the Partypoker brand, wanted to be more than just PokerStars’ alternative and envisioned taking over the online poker sector by becoming the biggest online poker operator – which they can now proudly claim to be true.
In an effort to achieve this lofty goal, Partypoker needed a new direction and a new captain at the helm. It was time to bring in the big guns in the name of Mike Sexton, legendary player, broadcaster and Poker Hall of Famer.
Sexton, who helped launch the pioneering poker site back in 2001, returned to the company once again as the Chairman and was all in as he said, “We are not aiming for second place’. His sole objective was to dethrone the unchallenged PokerStars.
Of the many things that he did, one of them was to bring on board more big-named players under the company’s wings, including Fedor Holz – considered by many as the best player in the game today and a younger version of Phil Ivey. With this one move alone, it was clear that Sexton was not going to tiptoe around this challenge, but to meet it head-on with guns blazing.
In recognizing the mob of dissatisfied and angry poker fans due to main competitor PokerStars’ move towards a more recreational-friendly business model that lacked deep tournaments, Sexton was quick to take advantage of this opportunity and quickly added a newly revamped tournament schedule and live tours, reintroduced rakeback awards for players, refreshed its software, as well as add a huge slew of the games top players.
All of Sexton’s effort did not go to waste and everything paid off in the end.
To round off a very successful year, parent company GVC Holdings also won the Casino Operator of the Year award to finish the night with two prestigious titles.