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The WSOP

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About the WSOP:

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest and most renowned poker series in the world.  With over 50 different tournaments taking place each year, by far the most revered and publicized is the $10,000 No Limit Texas Holdem Main Event, which usually draws over 6,000 of the world’s best poker players.  The winner of the event is crowned the poker world champion, and every event in the WSOP rewards a giant cash prize and a bracelet to the winner.

History of the WSOP

The World Series of Poker in 1970 was a invitational where Beny Binion (hotel owner) invited six of the world’s best players to compete at the Horseshoe Casino.  The first tournament of its kind was actually not a freezeout, but rather an event with a set start and stop time, and the winner was voted by ballot (unlike al modern WSOP tournaments).

At first, the WSOP grew slowly and it was 12 years before the WSOP drew 52 participants. In fact, it was not until the WSOP 2004, one year after the famous Moneymaker Poker Boom, that for the first time the WSOP received over 1000 entrants.  For those unaware, the Moneymaker Boom is a metaphor for the surprising victory of online poker qualifier Christ Moneymaker, who managed to knock out some of the world’s best professional poker players and scoop the $2.5 million first place prize.

His victory propelled the popularity of poker tournament and online poker, and greatly increased the amount of advertising, broadcasting and sponsorship revenue for the game (which subsequently led to increased success and entrants).

Games at the WSOP

The WSOP contains an assortment of poker events and game varieties.  The most famous and popular is Texas Holdem, however other WSOP poker variants include Omaha (Pot Limit, Hi-Lo, Eight or Better), along with Seven Card Stud, Razz and nowadays HORSE (Holdem Omaha Eight or Better Razz Seven Card Stud Eight of Better), HOSE and SHOE.

Memorable WSOP Moments

There have been many memorable moments during the Main Events, including Jack Straus’s 1982 comeback win after discovering he had one $500 chip left when he though he was out of the tournament.  In the 1989 WSOP, the Canadian prodigy Phil Hellmuth won his first bracelet at the age of 23, knocking out poker legend Jonny Chan and gaining the record as the youngest player ever to win the event.  Christ Money Maker and Greg Raymer (winners in 2003 and 2004) each qualified for the main event through satellite tournaments at PokerStars.  The last two years’ WSOP bracelets to Peter Eastgate and Joe Cada have each broken records as the youngest ever players to win the event.


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