The World Series of Poker has a proud 52-year legacy, featuring 52 editions over its long lifespan. What began as an intimate Las Vegas cash game has evolved into an international spectacle that draws millions of avid fans from around the globe.
In 1970, Benny Binion invited some of Hollywood’s elite to his Horseshoe Casino for a poker tournament. Little did he know, his efforts would lead to what would become one of the largest and most renowned poker tournaments worldwide.
Benny Binion’s first World Series of Poker
In 1970, Benny Binion hosted a poker tournament at his casino the Horseshoe in Las Vegas. This consisted of cash games such as Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Stud and Razz.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is one of the biggest and most renowned poker tournaments worldwide. It is now televised worldwide and draws thousands of players from every corner of the globe every year.
The tournament began at Reno’s Holiday Casino, but later moved to Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas. Organised by Binion himself, this annual event became a cornerstone of the casino’s legacy.
The first amateur to win a WSOP Main Event
In 1979, Hal Fowler made history as the first amateur to win a World Series of Poker Main Event. This remarkable accomplishment spurred an increase in amateur participation in WSOP tournaments ever since.
In 2003, accountant Chris Moneymaker earned his place at the Main Event by qualifying through a satellite and winning an impressive $2.5 million in prize money. His victory spurred widespread attention towards the World Series of Poker (WSOP), sparking its meteoric rise to mainstream acceptance.
It also contributed to our poker vocabulary by coining an iconic phrase: “chip and a chair.” That expression refers to when an amateur comes back from being down one chip to win the main event. But did you know there were other memorable moments featuring amateur champions at WSOP Main Events? Here are eight fun stories and lesser-known facts about past champions from this prestigious series.
The first Main Event to be televised
The World Series of Poker, an annual poker tournament that has been taking place since 1970, is one of the premier events worldwide. It draws thousands of players from every corner of the globe – both renowned professionals and novices alike – each year.
In addition to the WSOP Main Event, there are several other events in the series featuring various types of poker, buy-ins and betting structures. Of these events, the Main Event is considered the most prestigious and is seen as poker’s Super Bowl.
At first, television coverage of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) only aired as one-hour specials. However, that expanded considerably in the early 1980s when ESPN took over broadcasting duties.
The first Main Event to feature a hole card camera
The World Series of Poker has a rich and colorful history, filled with some incredible dramas and creating iconic stars. In this 10-part miniseries, we’ll look back on 10 key events throughout its illustrious and captivating narrative.
In 1970, the original World Series of Poker began and it wasn’t quite what it is today. Instead of being a tournament with an established start and end time, that first World Series of Poker consisted of cash games featuring multiple poker variants.
In 1971, the series adopted an all-tournament format and the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship became its Main Event. To this day it remains one of the most renowned WSOP bracelet events and considered to be the pinnacle test for poker players’ skillset.
The first Main Event to feature a cash game
At 10:58 local time on July 2, poker player Adam Weintraub watches as the clock ticks away until cards begin flying in this year’s WSOP Main Event. It will remain a moment that will always remain fresh in his mind as he prepares for his first taste of big pots and high pressure. As Adam settles into his seat, it becomes obvious that this day will be emotional for him — as well as all those taking their first shots at the Main Event. Additionally, it promises to go down in poker history as one of the most unforgettable days ever witnessed by many during its course.