This year, the World Series of Poker celebrates its 50th anniversary. Due to this date, let’s refresh in memory the most iconic moments in WSOP history. What were the most surprising victories and defeats in poker? Who won the biggest jackpot? Let’s see what stories the biggest poker tournament has collected for half a century.
The World Series of Poker was first held in 1970. It was a small single tournament that took place in Horseshoe Casino (now Binion’s Gambling Hall) in Las Vegas. The owner of the casino Benny Binnion decided to invite 5 best poker players of that time for a single game and this decision initiated the biggest long-lasting tournament in the history of poker. Nowadays, WSOP consists of 101 events featuring poker competitions, numerous entertainments, and lots of participants eager for winning.
Even if you are green in poker, you should have heard about WSOP. However, even compulsive gamblers might not remember all iconic moments in WSOP history. For this occasion, we have collected the top-5 most memorable events that ever happened in a series of poker tournaments.
The top-5 iconic moments in WSOP history
We have chosen 5 great moments in the World Series of Poker history together with Intertops Casino. As the most popular casino in the US, it knows everything about poker and its biggest tournament is not an exception. So, what will WSOP be always remembered for?
Biggest bluff at WSOP
Bluffing is an essential part of the poker game, want it or not. It makes players give up even if they have a relatively good hand, but not the supreme one like Royal Flush. Just make them convinced in the opponent’s supremacy and you will be on top. This is what exactly took place at one of the World Series of Poker tournaments in 2003.
Chris Moneymaker was an amateur player who won a seat in WSOP via online casinos in the US. He was set against a pro, Sam Farha, but even professionals can lose. During the game, Chris bluffed “all-in” having just a King in his hand. He did it so perfectly that Farha gave up his pair of 9’s. As a result, Moneymaker won the whole tournament with $2.5 million and started his own company. His performance at WSOP was also remarkable as one of the best poker hands in history.
Phil Hellmut and his records
One of the best poker players in the world established several records at WSOP. Phil Hellmut’s name has been placed in the Poker Hall of Fame for breaking 4 records, which is the best result among all poker stars at the tournament. Let’s see what achievements brought the American gambler to these heights.
Hellmut has won the most bracelets in WSOP history (15). He also won the most bracelets per year (3 in 1993), however, he shared this achievement with five other players. But this isn’t it as Hellmut is also the player with most final tables (59), which is way more than any other poker star. Finally, he holds the record of most money finishes (151).
The dream jackpot
The biggest winning sum from a single tournament was taken in 2012. Another American poker star Antoni Esfandiari won more than $18 million per one event at the Big One for One Drop. By winning this jackpot, Esfandiari put his name in the poker history for the largest single payout in this game with the runner-up who won around $12 million.
As one of the best poker players in the world, Antoni Esfandiari broke some other records at the competition. His iconic moments in WSOP history included, for example, #1 for all-time tournament winnings, until Daniel Negreanu broke his record in 2014. In general, Antoni won 3 WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tours. His success is partly based on his magician career, which looks like a story from Hollywood movies about poker.
Longest WSOP game
Sometimes the battle for the main poker prize lasts for hours, especially if both rivals are equally skilled & lucky. One of these games entered the list of the iconic moments in WSOP history. In 2018, John Cynn played against Tony Miles for a record-breaking twelve hours. Two poker competitors played the whole night for the main prize. This ever-lasting Main Event final brought Cynn a long-awaited victory at WSOP with the $8.8 million jackpot, while his rival won $5 million. An American player has been waiting for his triumph for two years. In 2016, he finished 11th at the World Series of Poker, so his improvement for 10 places is truly impressive.
Another long-lasting game at WSOP took place a few years ago. John Hennigan defeated Daniel Negreanu in a 4-hour battle in 2018. As a result, he won more than $245.000 and a bracelet.
The weirdest incident that entered history
The 2019 incident entered the list of the iconic moments in WSOP history in spite of its weirdness. At the Main Event, an unknown player was disqualified from the tournament and lost his $10000 buy-in. This made him take off his pants and expose himself in front of hundreds of players. In addition, the unlucky player threw his shoe at a dealer and left the casino.
The incident hit all headlines last year. Luckily, incidents like this don’t happen at online casinos like Intertops as one could hardly want to see anyone naked. Yet sometimes WSOP is memorable for events like these, it is still the most prestigious tournament in the world.