WSOP World Series of Poker Tournaments

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WSOP World Series of Poker Tournaments

WSOP or World Series of Poker is the largest and the most respected poker gaming event of the world, with the winner of its main event regarded as the World Champion of Poker.

WSOP Live Poker Tournaments at the World Series of Poker

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WSOP Poker Tournament Contents List Below

World Series of Poker Prize Money and General Info Including:

  • WSOP Online & Online Poker Sites
  • Poker Academy
  • Game History
  • First Tournament Popularity and Growth
  • Circuit and Circuit Ring
  • The Main Event
  • November Nine
  • Players, Rankings, Hall of Fame and Records

WSOP, The event is an annual series of poker tournaments that is held in Las Vegas and is sponsored by Ceasars Entertainment Corporation, formerly known as Harrah’s Entertainment. The origin of WSOP dates back 43 years to 1970 at a small casino called Horseshoe Casino, Las Vegas; since then, WSOP gained acceptance outside of Las Vegas and continues to rise in popularity.

Ceasars Entertainment claims to have paid more than $1.6 billion in total prize money and counting. The 2017 WSOP is going to feature 74 different gold bracelet poker events, covering most of the major poker variations, which take place over 50 consecutive days in the months of June and July.

The winner of each WSOP poker event receives a poker gold bracelet along with a monetary prize that depends on the number of entrants and the buy-in amounts that ranges from $333 to $111,111 in 2017. The WSOP Poker series also features the most sought after award a poker player can win, as the winner of the “Main Event”. The main event is the $10,000 tag team no-limit Hold’em in which teams of 2-4 persons put the buy-ins together.

Over the years, WSOP has evolved, adding new poker variations and higher prize money with more event locations. In the beginning, most of the tournaments of the event was a variation of Texas Hold’em and 7 Card Stud, but with the rising popularity of the event and increase in the number of players, variety of poker variants was added making the total tournaments rise to 74.

World Series of Poker also started poker tournaments in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific as WSOPE (World Series of Poker Europe), WSOP- Africa and WSOP APAC (Asia Pacific) respectively in the year 2007, 2010 and 2012.

Poker WSOP Online

Caesars Entertainment took the Poker Tournament event online with The website, however, is only for the residents of the state of Nevada. is an interactive website that offers the residents of Nevada (and eligible poker players) the opportunity to enjoy Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud and other popular poker variants from the comforts of their homes. The players also get the option to play for real money and even participate in live tournament poker events through satellite.

WSOP Poker Academy

The World Series of Poker Academy was established in the year 2005. It is a school which helps poker players in developing their poker skills and strategies. The program, yet another major step taken by WSOP to establish itself as the ultimate poker leader, duration is of 1-3 days. Recently, an Academy also launched in its Online Interactive Poker School.

WSOP Game History

The beginning of The World Series Of Poker wasn’t as glamorous as we see it today. It began back in 1970, when there were less than 50 poker tables in the entire Las Vegas event, in a small casino called Horseshoe owned by Benny Binion.

Benny Binion is the man who realized the need of a grand and defining poker tournament and is credited with starting and growing the WSOP.

It is said that in 1969, Tom Moore, a player from Texas and part owner of the Holiday Casino of Reno, and Vic Vickrey, a gambling insider, jointly invited many poker players to Reno to attend the first, and only, Texas Gambler Reunion.

The players, including Benny Binion, played many high stakes poker games over a few days. The other notable players include Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Rudy “Minnesota Fats Wanderone, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim Preston, Johny Moss and Puggy Pearson. These are the players who would go on to participate and eventually win the inaugural  WSOP tournaments.

However, that meeting turned out to be the first and last Texas gambler Reunion. Moore and Vickrey decided to pass on the meeting the following year, Benny Binion inspired by the meeting in Reno, saw the potential it could rise up to and designed the championship format for the World Series of Poker.

The First World Series of Poker

The first WSOP started with a few people and gathered no media and public attention and little press coverage. Hardly anyone outside of Las Vegas knew about the tournament or even participated in it. The first Poker champion, Johny Moss, was selected in a vote by his peers as the best all around player. Johny didn’t even win a single poker tournament that year. Binion observed the game and improved it continuously adding new tournaments and cash prize for the winners.

Poker Tournaments Popularity and Exposure

The main turning point for WSOP was the Amario Slim Preston’s win in the year 1972. Preston was one of the 12 entries of that year and brought huge publicity to the Circuit. Later, he became poker’s and the Poker Tours greatest ambassador and went on a tour that brought major publicity to all things WSOP.

Growth over the years of Tournament Poker

Since 1971, cash prizes have been awarded to the winner of all events in the poker tournaments.  Followed by Preston’s publicity in 1972, WSOP got the TV coverage in the year, 1973, for the first time, covered by CBS Sports. It also expanded itself to include four others events- 7 Card Stud, Razz, No Limit Hold’em and Deuce to Seven Draw. Puggy Pearson was the winner that year, followed by Johny Moss in the year 1974 (also in 1970 and 1971) and Doyle Brunson in the year 1975 and 1976. Since 1976, a bracelet has been awarded to the winners of every event.

The next big change happened in the year 1978 when all the top five finishers got cash prize by splitting the main event’s prize money. In the same year, Barbara Freer became the first woman to enter the famous tournament, breaking the all-male fraternity. The next year saw an amateur, Hal Fowler, win the main event giving hope to many other amateur poker players from all over the world, who later followed his footsteps and participated in the tournament to try out their luck.

In 1981, NBC Sports filmed the WSOP event and introduced poker in many homes that was further cemented by a New Yorker, Stu Ungar, winning the poker title that year and the year before. By 1982, a Ladies World Championship was added to event along with the $10,000 buy-in Main Event.

In spite of everything, World Series Poker growth in the first decade was comparatively slow that improved dramatically with the introduction of satellite tournaments. Now, the ordinary poker players got the chance to compete with the best players of the world from the comforts of their homes.

By 1987, there were over 2100 entrants in all the events. The WSOP continued to be popular and saw spectacular growth and changes over the next few years mainly from exploding amount of prize money with higher participation.

In 2003, the win of Chris Moneymaker, an online qualifier was another turning point for ever growing super tournament of poker. The extensive coverage and broadcast of his win on ESPN encouraged millions of people to start playing online poker and ignited the online poker industry.

This sudden growth in online poker is also called “the Moneymaker effect” for Chris Moneymaker.

All of this was taking place in the small casino, Horseshoe. Soon the popularity of the WSOP outgrew the space in the Horseshoe Casino; people were cramped in the building during the WSOP season.

In 2004, Horseshoe was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment that, in 2010, became Caesars Entertainment Corporation, along with the rights to the WSOP.. The WSOP was then moved to the Harrah’s owned Rio All Suites Casino and Hotel in 2005 that was spacious and could host many poker events. This, subsequently, led to adding of more poker tournaments and different variants and as a result more people flew to Vegas every year to participate in this poker spectacle.

By 2006, the WSOP has become a massive annual gaming event and the richest one at that. It has also expanded its reach in many other cities and casinos and added various tournaments, with the winners of each event receiving a gold bracelet.

In the recent years, non-bracelet events have also been added to the Poker Tournament Circuit like World Series of Rock, Paper and Scissors and Ante Up for Africa.

The WSOP Circuit

In 2005, WSOP began a poker tournament circuit where qualifying players at various sites were eligible for a “Tournament of Champions”, a $2 million made for TV, winner-take-it-all event. The circuit events spread over many months, following a fixed schedule for the events at each circuit. It is a build up to the main event of WSOP. Many circuit events led up to the main event and the players qualifying from each of these circuits then participate in the no-limit Texas Hold’em Main Event.

A WSOP Circuit National Championship started in 2011 as a closed event with 100 total players. The winner of each circuit main event and the highest scorer at each of the circuit stops gets to play in the Final Circuit National Championship.

The 2016-2017 WSOP Circuit started in August 2016 at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. It features 22 US Circuit stops and 6 international circuit stops with up to 8 more expected stops by the end of the circuit season. The 2016-2017 Poker tournament circuit is the thirteenth series of the WSOP circuit and is expected to be the biggest till date.

WSOP Circuit Ring

Like the bracelets awarded to the winner of the various WSOP tournaments, a ring is awarded in the preliminary events of the various WSOP Circuit. Each Poker Circuit Casino hosts a number of Ring Events with varying amounts of buy-in suitable for all the poker players. Winners of these Ring Events are awarded with a WSOP Circuit Ring and get a chance to participate in the World Series of Poker Main Event.

WSOP Poker Main Event

Since 1972, the Main Event of the Poker Tournament is the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Hold’em. In 1971, the buy-in was of $5000. The winner of the Main Event is referred to as the unofficial World Champion of Poker and receives a gold bracelet and the largest prize in the tournament.

The Main Event is a grand event and many weeks (or even months) of tournaments led up to it. The WSOP 2016 Main Event began in July with the Final Table played over 3 days from October 30 to November 1. It attracted more than 6,500 players from all over the world generating a prize pool of over $63 million. The WSOP 2016 champion was Qui Nguyen who won approx $8 million. Other top 1011 players also received cash prize from the prize pool.

WSOP Main Event 2017 Youtube Video Series 

The November Nine

The nine final contestants who play the final table are called the November Nine. One among this November Nine contestant would win the Main Event and become the World Champion of Poker. In order to generate hype around November Nine, ESPN and Harrah’s started delaying the main event to start right before the broadcast timing.

Notable WSOP Players

Following are some of the notable players of the circuit tournaments who won the highest number of bracelets or the highest amount of prize money playing poker:

1.Phil Hellmuth14$13,645,226
2.Phil Ivey10$6,547,112
3.Johny Chan10$4,635,014
4.Doyle Brunson10$2,994,116
5.Johny Moss9$834,422
6.Erik Seidel8$5,352,474
7.Men Nguyen7$4,056,634
8.Billy Baxter7$1,210,920
9.Daniel Negreanu6$16,339,760
10.TJ Cloutier6$4,647,661
11.Jeff Lisandro6$4,191,481
12.Layne Flack6$2,749,817
13.Ted Forrest6$2,009,170
14.Jay Heimowitz6$1,521,798
15.Allen Cunningham5$7,811,676

WSOP World Rankings

The WSOP world rankings are a cumulative measure of the performance of each country in the last Poker Main event. The ranking is calculated on the basis of the total prize money won by the players of a particular country. Each player is required to declare his or her country to be designated to him or her. The top 10 countries for the WSOP 2016 are the following:

1.   United States54$148,105,895
2.             United Kingdom3$11,362,356
3.             Germany1$8,943,329
4.             Canada1$8,597,668
5.             Austria1$4,488,411
6.             Australia0$4,032,724
7.             Belgium2$3,458,729
8.             Czech Republic2$3,086,412
9.             Spain0$2,882,770
10.        Russian Federation1$2,849,140

Player of the Year

GPI Score

The GPI is a system for ranking the best poker players of the world based on the performance of each player in the qualifying tournaments over the last 36 months period. To be ranked in GPI, a player needs to finish a tournament in cash position, that is, a player should receive a portion of the total cash prize for their performance in the qualifying tournaments. A qualifying tournament is where more than 21 players participate and with a buy-in of $1 or more. If a player has won multiple cash prizes in the tournament, the final score would be calculated on the highest finishing position of the player.

WSOP Player of the Year

The WSOP Player of the Year (POY) award is given to the player with the highest GPI score which is calculated on the basis of a player’s GPI (Global Poker Index) Score throughout the WSOP event. The Player of the Year is been awarded since 2004 and only “open”, where all the players can participate, WSOP events’ scores are taken into account for the final calculation eliminating the Seniors, Ladies and the Casino Employees events.

Poker Hall of Fame

The World Series of Poker also honor players with a Poker Hall of Fame. Since 1979, WSOP has honored 42 players with its Hall of Fame. The selection criteria for the Hall of Fame are based on the playing methods of the player along with the playing stakes. It also takes into account a player’s contribution to the growth and success of poker.

WSOP Records

List of the Major records set by the players in WSOP, WSOPE and WSOP APAC

  • Most Bracelets- Phil Hellmuth with 14 bracelets
  • Most Earnings- Antonio Esfandiari with the total earning of $21,107,812
  • Most Cashes- Phil Hellmuth with 109 cashes win.
  • Most Final Tables- Phil Hellmuth making to 53 Final Tables
  • Youngest Bracelet Winner- Annette Obrestad who was 18 years and 364 days
  • Oldest Bracelet Winner- Johny Moss on his 81st birthday
  • Most Final Tables in one year- An Tran, made it to 6 Final Tables in the year 1992
  • Most cashes in one year- Ismael Bojang, total 13 cashes in the year 2014
  • WSOP faq’s


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