Unibet-sponsored “The Chip Race” podcast wins GPI Global Poker Award

Dara O’Kearney & David Lappin

Unibet Poker is thrilled to announce that the Chip Race podcast, hosted by Unibet Ambassadors David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney, has won Best Podcast at the inaugural GPI Global Poker Awards last Friday (April 5).

The Chip Race, which first launched in 2015, has broadcast a total of 57 episodes to date, including 25 episodes in 2018. The podcast follows a radio show format with five different segments including guest appearances from top players. Nominees for the Awards were selected by more than 130 Nomination Panel members from around the globe with a jury of industry representatives selecting the eventual winners.

Lappin and O’Kearney first came across each other online some ten years ago and became friends after meeting at the Irish Open in 2011. They are now two of the most successful poker players in Irish history having cashed in more live poker tournaments than any of their compatriots, with combined live tournament earnings of more than $1.5 million.

The initial focus of The Chip Race was on Irish poker and players. The show became immensely popular but a lack of funding meant an 18-month hiatus before David Pomroy, then Unibet’s Head of Poker, appointed Lappin and O’Kearney as Unibet Ambassadors in 2016 and The Chip Race was back in business.

Since then a long list of top pros have appeared on the show including Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Jake Cody,Chris Moorman, Barny Boatman, Kara Scott, Kenny Hallaertand Niall Farrell. The podcast is now on Series 8 – click the following for Episode 5, Episode 6and Episode 7. Other favourite episodes include shows featuring Niall Farrell, Jennifer Tilly, Tom Hall, Phil Hellmuthand Maria Konnikova.

The podcast faced tough competition in the GPI Global Poker Awards with a shortlist dominated by American podcasts from the likes of PokerNews, PokerCentral and PocketFives. Both Bradley, from PocketFives, and Sarah Herring, who co-presents the PokerNews podcast, won awards in other categories.

David Lappin said: “If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t have bet on us. We were up against some seriously talented and established big hitters in this category, so I was absolutely gob-smacked to hear our name read out. We do work hard on the show – each one takes around 30 hours to prepare and record – but we definitely couldn’t do it without a lot of support. Huge thanks to all those involved including Willie Elliot, Daiva Byrne, Tom Stanton, Ian Simpson and Daragh Davey. We also want to thank Unibet who have always given us the freedom to make the show we want. They trust our instincts so it’s heartening to see that trust translate into something that has found a loyal audience. Winning this award is the cherry on top.”

O’Kearney added: “The show has always been primarily about the guests, and we have been incredibly lucky that so many great people have said yes to appearing. We’d especially like to thank Jennifer Tilly who not only agreed to be our first superstar guest – which really helped put us in the spotlight – but who has then continued to support and promote us behind the scenes. We also want to give a big thanks to Daiva Byrne whose intelligent input has helped us ensure that ladies in poker are adequately reflected on the show.

“Winning this award is a nice vindication not just for us but also for everyone who contributes to the show and our tribe of listeners who are incredibly passionate in spreading the word.”

Neither Lappin or O’Kearney were in Vegas to receive their award; Lappin was at home in Malta while O’Kearney was watching the live stream in London with Daiva Byrne and her husband.

Nataly Sopacuaperu, Unibet’s Head of Events and Sponsorship, said “We are absolutely delighted that the Chip Race has achieved worldwide recognition at these Awards. Dara and David have put so much work into The Chip Race and it really is an outstanding show.”

Unibet was also nominated in two other categories: Kenny Hallaert for Tournament Director and the Unibet Open for Mid-Major Tour/Circuit.

GPI president Eric Danis said: “Our global initiatives behind the European Poker Awards and the American Poker Awards come together starting this year. We’re excited to bring recognition to the poker world’s best players and most prominent industry contributors on an unprecedented scale with the GPI Global Poker Awards.”


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