World Series of Poker Videos (WSOP)
World Series of Poker Videos (WSOP) — Brief Tournament History
Many consider the victor of the World Series of Poker Main Event to be the best poker player in the world for that year. They even receive an unofficial crown of the World Champion of Poker. But the early days weren’t so glorious.
The initial attempts at a tournament which would bring together the most skillful poker players to one competition originated in 1969. Vic Vickrey and Tom Moore organized Texas Gamblers Reunion in Holiday Casino in Reno, Nevada. Participation in the tournament was invitational, and it took place over a few days. However, they never made a follow-up.
Instead, one of the players present at the Reunion, Benny Binion, decided to make a similar event in his own casino, Binion’s Horseshoe. The casino, rather expectedly, was in Las Vegas. Mind you, at the time, Las Vegas had only 50 poker tables in total, while the Horseshoe had none. Again, the tournament was invitation-only, and Johnny Moss became the world’s first poker champion.
Binion organized this tournament annually, but there wasn’t much traction until 1972 when the charismatic and talkative Amarillo Slim Preston won the WSOP. Preston went public with his most wonderous success in the history of mankind (even though there were only 12 participants), which helped the tournament gain press coverage and television broadcast.
As time passed by, more players started participating in the tournament, while the organizers increased the number of different events. The first 1970 edition contained Texas Hold ‘Em, Seven-card Stud, Five-card Stud, Razz, and Deuce-to-Seven Lowball. It also represents the only WSOP edition that didn’t have a freeze-out main event, which they introduced the following year. In reality, there was no main event at all, with Johnny Moss being voted the winner. For those unfamiliar with the term, a freeze-out means that once you buy in, the chips you have is what you get. You can’t buy back in — once you’re out, that’s it for you.
Over the years, many poker variants came and went, with variants such as H.O.R.S.E., Chinese poker, and S.H.O.E. being left out and returning to the tournament, depending on the year.
In 2019 WSOP, the 50th annual tournament edition, will contain the following poker variants: Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha (three subvariants), Short Deck, Seven-card Stud (three variants), Seven-card Razz, Ace to Five, Deuce to Seven, Badugi, Badacey, Badeucey, Deuce-to-Seven No-Limit Single Draw, and Five-card No-Limit Single Draw. There will be 89 different bracelet events.
Winner of every individual event gets a winner’s bracelet and prize money. They then participate in the main event tournament, with no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em as the game of choice, the winner of which is crowned the World Champion of Poker. The amount of money players receive is dependent on the number of participants overall.
As per usual, WSOP organizers take a commission of 6–10 percent, while the remainder of buy-in funds goes to the prize pool. For example, the highest-ever prize received happened in 2006, when Jamie Gold finished the main event victorious and received $12 million. The number of entrants that year was 8,773, making this the greatest poker tournament in history, both prize- and entry-wise.
Phil Hellmuth, having won 15 event bracelets, is the most successful player in the competition. His closest followers are Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan, all sitting at 10. Hellmuth also has the record number of final table finishes (53) and most in-the-money finishes (109). Hellmuth has two championship wins, once in 1989 and another in the European edition (WSOPE) in 2012, making him the only one to have won both the WSOP and the WSOPE.
Regarding main events only, legendary Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar are the only two players who managed to finish first three times. On the other hand, Jesse Alto and Doyle Brunson have competed for the main reward the most times, having the most number of main event finishes — six. No player managed to win three times consecutively, but four players did it twice in a row. Those players are Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Moss, and Johnny Chan. Chan’s 1988 victory has been portrayed in the movie Rounders.
In contrast, perhaps the unluckiest player is Howard Andrew, who managed to qualify for the main event every single time from 1974 until 2014. However, he failed to be crowned the poker champion on all of the 41 occasions. Similarly, An Tran holds the record for most final table finishes in one year, having participated in six final tables in 1992, but he failed to get a single bracelet.
Watch World Series of Poker Videos
With the WSOP being the most coveted poker tournament, it’s only normal it provided us with some fantastic moments. Players who’re looking to step up their game, as well as people who are just interested in poker in general, should watch World Series Poker videos.
For example, in 1982, we saw one of the greatest poker success stories, when Jack Straus thought he was out of the competition. However, it turned out he had a single $500 chip left, which he used to mount a comeback and win the tournament. In this section of our website, you’ll be able to find videos of some of the most iconic hands in poker history.
There are full episodes available for you to watch, so you can even follow the whole path of inspirational wins. For instance, you can see how the 2003 and 2004 winners progressed. Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer were the first winners who won the WSOP main event after qualifying via an online poker tournament.
So visit our poker videos WSOP section, where you’ll find all the content related to this competition, and you’ll be able to see how the pros handle themselves in high-stake situations. On top of that, there are many interviews and shows about the tournaments, so players can walk you through how they’ve dealt with specific high-octane hands.