The World Series of Poker (WSOP) dates back to 1970, when Benny Binion, an American gambling icon invited seven best-known poker players to the Horseshoe Casino for a single tournament, provided with a set start and stop time, where a winner was determined by secret ballot.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and the winner receives a World Series of Poker bracelet (introduced in 1976), the most coveted award among poker players and a cash based on the number of entrants. The winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event is considered to be the World Champion of Poker. Stu Ungar and Johnny Moss are the only players to have won the Main Event three times.
The tournament flourished with the introduction of satellite tournaments in 1980 which allowed players to win their way into the various events. There were whopping 2100 entrants by 1987 in the entire series, giving WSOP a massive amount of growth. Player with the most points accumulated throughout the WSOP gets a Player of the Year (POY) award. Nine different players have been awarded till now with Daniel Negreanu as a two-time winner.
WSOP also crowned player with the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame and has honored 42 individuals since 1979. The criteria involve players playing consistently well, playing high stakes and those who competes against accredited top competition. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has paid more than $1.6 billion in total prize money till date which makes it the leading, richest and most respected gaming event in the world.
The first online player to win WSOP was Chris Moneymaker in 2003 and his journey was broadcast throughout the world on ESPN. This was the time which kindled the poker boom and encouraged millions of people to start playing online poker. This poker boom resulted in the growth of poker industry which also known as the “the Moneymaker effect”.
- World Series of Poker- Europe
The WSOP event took place outside of Las Vegas for the first time in 2007 with the inauguration of WSOP Europe. It consisted of three events held in London from Sep 6 to 7, 2007. The main event was won by 19-year-old Annette Obrestad which made her the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet. The record is yet to be broken as the minimum legal age to play in Nevada is 21.
- World Series of Poker – Africa
The WSOP expanded for the second time and this time to South Africa in 2010 as WSOPA. The WSOPA was considered a circuit event with the winners getting Championship Rings instead of bracelets. The WSOPA did not take place in 2011 but resumed in 2012.
- World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific
The WSOP and Australian casino Crown Melbourne equally declared the creation of the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP APAC) on April 30, 2012. The first event featured five bracelets.