The World Series of Poker

02 Jul 2009

With the growing popularity of poker gaming the introduction of the world poker competition seems to be inevitable.  The World Series of Poker or WSOP is in fact the oldest world poker tournament that takes part every year and attracts millions of gamblers all over the world. It was first held back in 1970s at the Binion's Horseshoe Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. At those times that was the first gaming event in the championship format. Later, two casino owners Tom Moore and Vic Vickrey held the Texas Gamblers Reunion that is usually associated with the beginning of the WSOP.

Originally, the WSOP event involved few players and it wasn't well known outside Las Vegas. To popularize the competition Binion who hosted the tournament held it in the freezout format. The 1972 winner of the WSOP "Amarillo Slim" Preston turned his victory into the real triumph and in that way drew the public attention to the event. One year later, in 1973, the World Series was first televised on CBS Sports.

In 1978 the tournament saw a few changes. That year the Main Event prize for the first time was divided between five players with the best results. In addition, the first woman, Barbara Freer, took part in the WSOP that had been considered male only. 

In a few years the World Series of Poker grew in scale and it consisted of 13 events, including Ladies World Championship, in 1982. In 1990s after Binion left the WSOP business, the tournament lost its popularity and many players refused to take part in the WSOP. But after the introduction of the World Poker Tour (WPT) in 2003 it gained its recognition back. A new stage of the World Series was started by the victory of a young player Chris Moneymaker in 2003.  


During the first WSOP events the winner was chosen through the secret ballot and that was quite easy as the tournament involved few players. As it has been already said, in 1973 the World Series included 13 events and this number grew up to 55 with the Main Event in 2007. To get to the Main Event the player have to win the WSOP bracelet at one of the events. Finally, the top players are gathered at the Texas Hold'em table and compete for the main prize and the title of the World Champion of Poker.

The amount of the prize usually depends on the number of participants as it is formed of the entry fees of the participants. As a rule, the WSOP prize pool increases every year.

The only players who managed to win the Main Even of the WSOP several times in a raw are Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar and Johnny Chan.

Back to articles list