World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker, which is mostly known as simply the WSOP, is by far the most prestigious of all live poker tournaments.
The first WSOP took place in 1970 and it was organised by the notorious Benny Binion. Benny was a left over from poker’s wild beginnings; he had multiple criminal convictions including two for murder and was a member of the mob. He was also one of the Las Vegas casino pioneers.
In 1970 he invited six top poker players to take part in a cash game to be held in his famous Horseshoe Casino in which the player voted to be the best won a trophy. The following year the format was changed to a $10,000 buy-in freeze-out tournament.
The tournament was repeated on an annual basis and its size increased gradually and by the 1980’s the filed had grown to 52. Later it became possible to qualify for the tournament through satellites, and that led to a rapid increase in the number of participants. Over the next five years the field grew to over 2,000 and many more events were added; nowadays there are 57 individual ones and the WSOP attracts over 20,000 players. Today more and more players play poker or free poker online, but still these tournament remains the biggest event in the poker world.
The WSOP Main Event is the most important poker bracelet in the world. This is a $10,000 buy in no limit Texas Hold’em Freezeout. As well as being the most prestigious, it is also the richest. In 2009 it was won by Joe Cada who was the youngest ever player to win. He collected a prize of $8,546,435 and the runner up, Davin Moon a self employed logger, collected $5,182,601. The biggest prize of all was $12,000,000 which was won by Jamie Gold in 2006.
The format of the main Event has changed over recent years. Originally if was played through completely during the months of June and July, but recently the tournament has been played only until the final table has been decided. There is then a break until November when the final table reconvenes and is played out to the end. The reason for this is to attract larger and very lucrative television audiences. The final table participants have become known as the “November Nine”.
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