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The history of WSOP

Söndag 28 Juni, Haylie Kramer

playing cardsThe World Series of Poker, commonly referred to as the WSOP, came to be back in the 1970s when Ted Binion started the tournament based on a five-month high-stakes marathon that took place 20 years prior between Johnny Moss and “Nick the Greek” Dandolos. That event attracted so many spectators that Binion hoped to recreate the attention with the first WSOP, and it worked. The winner of first WSOP was Johnny Moss, also winner of the high-stakes tourney that the WSOP was modeled after, but he won by popular vote, not by process of elimination. By the second WSOP event, they had decided to crown the winner based on the last player standing. Again, this was Johnny Moss. Amarillo Slim won the third WSOP, and the rest is history, as the tournament has only continued to grow more and more every year.

The hype

Poker, in general, has developed exponentially since the 70s, as has the WSOP tournament. The amount of WSOP bracelets a player has won, ultimately defines that players career. Since the establishment of online poker and satellite tournaments, the hype surrounding the WSOP has increased. Once the final table is determined, there’s buzz about the players and everyone has a pick for who will win. The 2008 WSOP didn’t fail to bring about topics of gossip like the players, who sold advertising spots to be displayed on their bodies for the televised final table event, on Ebay, which went for thousands of dollars. There was also the looming possibility that Peter Eastgate would become the youngest player to win the WSOP Main Event, at 22 years of age, taking the title from Phil Helmuth, who has been a WSOP repeat player for decades. Eastgate did win, over $9.1 million, in fact.

WSOP - available for everyone

The online satellite tournament factor, though, that makes it literally possible for any poker player in the world to potentially end up at a WSOP event, or even the final table, is what makes the tournament so magical. Before Chris Moneymaker won his seat via a satellite tournament on PokerStars and actually won the whole tournament, live on TV, the world hadn’t taken too much notice of the event. The 2003 WSOP that Moneymaker won, though, changed the WSOP forever. It is now the most talked about live tournament in the world, with the main event still held in Las Vegas, Nevada where it started out back in 1970 with only a handful of players. It now seats thousands of players every year with a $10,000 price tag on the buy-in.

The WSOP stands to grow even more, as more poker players go professional and find their way to the WSOP to stand out in the growing population of the poker community.