About WSOP

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WSOP

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The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest collection of poker tournaments in the world today. 50 events and growing, every winner of the month long series recieves a cash prize and a gold bracelet with the knowledge behind it that the winner had beaten the best poker players in the world.
The WSOP is split into different types of poker events such as Limit Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud and the Main Event concluding the WSOP is always No Limit Texas Hold'em and is a $10,000 buy-in event. Only one event, introduced in 2006, has a larger buy-in and that is the $50,000 HORSE Championship. It comprises of the most popular mixed poker games; Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud - Eight or better, also known as Hi-lo.

WSOP Beginnings

In its inception, the WSOP actually began as a Texas Gamblers Reunion held in of all places, Reno Nevada. No one thought in 1968 that the part-owner of the Holiday Casino (Reno) Tom Moore, and Vic Vickery would create what became an event who's prize pool runs into the tens of millions of dollars. The first games played were cash games of assorted types spread over several days that were of the highest stakes. Notables such as Doyle Brunson, 'Amarillo Slim', Johnny Moss, Puggy Pearson and Benny Binion made the trek to reap the rewards. Crandell Addington went on to win the first of these meetings and also placed in the top ten of the WSOP Main Event 8 times overall.
Benny Binion, usually credited with starting the WSOP, began hosting the event at his casino, Binion’s Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada in 1970. They played mixed cash games at Binion’s as well the first year, where Johnny Moss was voted by his peers as the winner and he won a silver cup as a trophy. The next year the tournament became a freeze-out format and 7 players paid $5,000 to see who would win the WSOP and it was Johnny Moss again.
Pokers first ambassador title goes to “Amarillo Slim” Preston, who in 1972 had a huge upset hand and parlayed his good fortune into massive publicity that got him onto the “Tonight Show” 11 times and gave the WSOP worldwide attention and eventually, TV coverage.

WSOP Growth

The type of games has changed over the years from the first WSOP Main Event being purely No Limit Texas Hold’em, a second event was added in 1973, 5 card stud. Since those early times, there are now no less than 50 events which have notably included H.O.R.S.E., S.H.O.E., Lowball, Eight or Better variants along with 5 Card Stud and even Chinese poker. Each of which has a cash prize and the winner is awarded a gold bracelet.


The size of the WSOP has grown considerably over the years. A huge jump from 4.700 to 23,000 players occurred from 2000 to 2005. The WSOP’s Main Event being the biggest draw with 839 entrants in 2003 to a staggering 8,773 players in the 2007 $10,000 buy-in annual. “The Moneymaker Effect” is given as the reason for the explosive growth since 2003, wit h an unlikely winner but likeable everyman, Chris Moneymaker. He parlayed a $40 online tournament into the first place at the 2003 WSOP’s Main Event. Moneymaker himself attributed his own growing interest in poker to the movie “Rounders” (1998) Starring Matt Damon, who is a college student that builds his bankroll so he can one day play at the WSOP.
Now many people have multiple WSOP bracelets for their participation in the numerous events that take place every year. The most bracelets held by any one player is Phil “Poker-Brat” Hellmuth with 11 bracelets – all in Texas Hold’em, followed by 2 time and back-to-back WSOP Main Event winner Johnny Chan who is also tied with back-to-back winner Doyle Brunson, both with 10 bracelets each.

WSOP The Harrah’s Era

In 2004 after suffering the loss of owner Jack Binion, Binion’s Horseshoe was purchased by Harrah’s Entertainment. Just in the nick of time, as the poker boom had begun, the WSOP was moved in its entirety from the small Horseshoe Casino to the gigantic Rio Hotel and Casino a couple of miles up the strip.
Eventually Harrah’s sold the Binion’s hotel and casino to MTR Entertainment Group but retained the brands “World Series of Poker” and “Horseshoe Casino”. Binion’s played host to the inaugural WSOP Tournament of Champions in which Annie Duke won a $2 million dollar, winner take all prize beating a dejected Phil Hellmuth who went home with nothing for second place. Harrah’s also ushered in the WSOP Circuit Events, each comprised of several tournaments including a $10,000 buy-in event at several of the Harrah’s properties across the United States. The only cancellation of a WSOP Circuit Event was at the Grand Hotel Biloxi in Mississippi, because of damage suffered from Hurricane Katrina.

WSOP on TV

1973 was the first year that CBS broadcast the WSOP on American television and was hosted by Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. CBS showed the WSOP as specials on television into the late 1970’s. The 1980’s had several specials made and were shown mainly on CBS. Very little poker was seen in the specials that aired and the action had to be carried by the commentators much of the time because there were no ‘pocket cams’, showing the unseen hole cards of everyone at the table, which debuted in 2002. In 2003 was the first year that ESPN covered more than just the WSOP Main Event. Instead, many of the events leading up to the Main Event were shown, with a 1 hour episode devoted to each. For the WSOP Main Event in 2003 and beyond, there was a 1 hour episode for each day that the event was played. The expansion continued to 2005 when the WSOP Circuit Events were also covered with 1 hour specials dedicated to each tournament.

WSOP The Main Event

The first WSOP Main Event was in 1971 and had a $5,000 buy-in and No Limit Texas Hold’em was the only game played. All subsequent WSOP Main Events from 1972 and on have had a $10,000 buy-in. The winner of the WSOP Main Event is termed the worlds best and is awarded a cash prize and the aforementioned gold bracelet. Many people believe that in order to be a true world champion you must master all of the disciplines of poker and therefore the winner of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Tournament is considered by many to be the true world champion. With its larger buy-in and more difficult game skills, poker professionals lobbied to have the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Tournament instated because of the huge growth of the WSOP Main Event into the thousands of players who were more likely to be amateurs than seasoned professional players. In so, the higher buy-in and several disciplines would dissuade amateurs from taking the risk of playing such an event.


Very few have ever won the WSOP Main Event more than once. Johnny Moss won in 1971 and again in 1974. Doyle Brunson won in 1976 and 1977. Stu Ungar won in 1980, 1981 and 1997. Johnny Chan won in 1987 and 1988.


Many players play Satellite Tournaments to qualify for the WSOP Main Event. In a Satellite Tournament, Several players buy-in for a portion of the sum of the cost for a seat at the WSOP Main Events $10,000 buy-in. The winner of the Satellite then goes on to play in the Main. 2003 Champ Chris Moneymaker won a $40 Satellite to get his WSOP seat. Most recently, 2007 WSOP Main Event winner Jerry Yang won his seat at the Pechanga Resort and Hotel at a $225 Satellite WSOP event. His first place prize was $8,250,000.

WSOP Player of the Year

In 2004 all of the open events which everyone can play (not the dealer only event, woman’s tournament) were counted towards becoming WSOP Player of the Year. Since 2006, because of the incredible amount of winnings awarded to the winners of the WSOP Main Event and $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, Player of the Year points were not given for those events either. Daniel Negreanu, Allen Cunningham, Jeff Madsen and Tom Schneider have taken WSOP Player of the Year honors in 2004-2007 respectively.

WSOP Europe (wsope)

In 2007 the World Series truly became worldly with the first group of events held outside the United States with the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE). In all, 3 bracelets were awarded in the events that took place in London from September 6-17th which featured a £10,000 GBP No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament. The winner of the WSOPE Main Event was internet pehnom, Annette Obrestad, 1 day before she turned 19 years old. Unlike the 21 year old limit in the United States for a players’ age, in London, players can be 18 or older to enter the WSOPE Tournaments making her the youngest bracelet winner ever.

WSOP Misc

Many marketing opportunities have been made available to the consumers with WSOP branding since the poker boom. There was a videogame of the WSOP Tournament of Champions released in 2006 featuring several noted professional players including their voices and likenesses portrayed in a 3D environment. In Harrah’s Casinos you may happen upon a WSOP themed slot machine as well.
In 2007 Harrah’s created the WSOP Academy. Featuring several professional players and past champions, the Academy hopes to teach the skills necessary to compete and win at the WSOP.

Read More About WSOP in WIKIPEDIA (wiki encyclopedia)
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