The World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most prestigious and famous event in the poker world.
Dating back to the 1970s, this is the longest running poker tournament in history. In addition, the Main Event of the World Series of Poker offers the richest poker prize as well a coveted bracelet.
The tournament began in 1970 when its founder, Benny Binion, invited the best players to his Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas to battle for poker supremacy.
The 1st WSOP was decided by playing No Limit Texas Hold Em poker and only the six best poker players in the world competed.
This championship is now known as the Main Event or Championship Event. It has the largest number of entrants, the richest prize pool, and the most fame attached to it of all the events.
The yearly champion of the WSOP becomes a living legend and earns the title of “The World Champion of Poker”.
The WSOP has grown immensely since the 1970s with the introduction of World Series of Poker satellites. With satellites, a player can enter a smaller buy-in tournament to win their entry into one of the many events.
The series now has a total of 57 events and tens of thousands of players competing throughout the series. The World Series of Poker Main Event now has thousands of entrants peaking at 8,773 players.
The WSOP is decided by a tournament freeze-out format where all entrants continue play until there is only one player remaining. The 1st event held in 1970 did not use this format, but rather a cash game format where the winner was then selected by a secret ballot.
The Main Event is decided by No Limit Texas Hold Em. Other events at the WSOP include Limit Hold Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Low, Seven-Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Low, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, and H.O.R.S.E.
The buy-in for the events varies from as low as $1,000 to $50,000 for the Poker Player’s Championship Event. All other “Championship Events” have a buy-in of $10,000.
Online Texas Hold Em poker and poker on TV have both played a huge part in the growth of the number of entrants for the Championship Event of the series. The number of entrants has exploded since 2003 when Chris Moneymaker became the 1st online satellite entrant to win the Main Event in a field of 839 players.
Chris Moneymaker effectively turned his $40 online buy-in into $2,500,000!
With the Main Event being broadcast on ESPN and Moneymaker being an online amateur, the number of online players with similar dreams has boosted the Main Event entrants by about ten-fold in only a few short years. This is popularly known as the “Moneymaker Effect”.
The Main Event of the World Series of Poker has been won multiple times by the likes of Johnny Moss (1970, 1971, and 1974), Stu Ungar (1980, 1981, and 1997), Doyle Brunson (1976 and 1977), and Johnny Chan (1987 and 1988). Johnny Chan finished as runner-up to Phil Hellmuth as Chan tried to complete the hat trick in 1989. Doyle Brunson and Johnny Moss have also been runners-up.
Other famous WSOP accomplishments include Phil Hellmuth’s record of 11 bracelets, with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan close behind with 10 bracelets each. Dan Harrington has also won the Main Event 1995 and finished 6th in 1987, 3rd in 2003 (of 839 entrants), and 4th in 2004 (of 2,576 entrants). These back-to-back final table finishes in the large fields are considered truly remarkable.
The World Series of Poker takes place between May and July annually. The Main Event Final Table is postponed until November so that it can be broadcast live in order to increase the suspense of the event for ESPN’s viewers.
Winning the Championship Event of the WSOP is the dream of every poker player. The winner becomes an instant celebrity and multi-millionaire. The World Series of Poker is a life changing event and often provides the rags-to-riches storylines that are the stuff of Hollywood movies.
Most of the recent winners of the Main Event have come from the online poker world and have won satellite tournaments to get there, literally turning a few dollars into a fortune.
With all the WSOP satellite tournaments running at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, you have a chance to make your own rags-to-riches story today. We hope to see you on ESPN at the final table!Share This With Others:
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