The World Series of Poker was first held in 1970 and more than 40 years it is one of the most prestigious poker tournaments, which expanded from its Las Vegas home to two other continents bringing together the best poker players in the world, all dreaming of the golden bracelet.
The WSOP witnessed glorious moments and even more are yet to come
• The first event was held in 1970
• Phil Hellmuth won a total of 13 WSOP Bracelets
• “The Magician” Esfandiari is the all-time money leader with $18,346,673
The most desired poker award, the WSOP Bracelet was introduced in 1976, and became the visible award in addition to the monetary prize and fame each player gets, when they win the tournament.
For its long existence the WSOP witnessed countless amazing performances, exquisite individual rises and falls and above all the devotion of players, organizes, sponsors, etc. who did and are still giving their best in the name of the poker game.
Of course some events are more impressive than others and here are five of the most splendid events in the history of WSOP from the beginning up till nowadays.
Phil Hellmuth won a total of 13 WSOP Bracelets
The WSOP expanded throughout the years and currently there are also the World Series of Poker Europe and the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific, which make the tournament even tougher one, as thousands of players are trying to show the skills acquired in international and US poker rooms.
Phil Hellmuth was in a tough battle with Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, which had to determine who will have the most bracelets. Hellmuth opponents stopped at 10, but he had other plans.
In 2007 he won his 11th bracelet, when he mastered 2,628 entrants in a $1,500 no-limit Hold’em event and in 2012 he grabbed his 12th title beating Don Zewin.
2012 was definitely one of Phil’s luckiest years as in the fall he won the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe main event and rounded his WSOP titles to 13, becoming the only player who had won both the WSOP in the US and the WSOP Europe main events.
Biggest prize in the poker history
One of the facts that are always mentioned about WSOP is the fact that it constantly has had big prize pool. As the number of entrants grew throughout the years, so were the awards.
The big game that broke all sorts of records took place in 2012, when 48 players spent around $1 million on buy-ins for the Big One For One Drop event. The organizer Guy Laliberte managed to rise over $5 million for charity and also formed the biggest first prize in the history of WSOP – $18,346,673.
This impressive amount made the winner Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari the all-time money leader in the WSOP tournament so far. This event was extremely successful and even the runner-ups grabbed amazing million-dollar prizes. The event is back in the game this year, so a new record may soon be broken again.
Chris Moneymaker legacy
When the name of Moneymaker is mentioned in the poker scene, everyone speaks with true admiration and respect. He was just 27 when he won the 2003 WSOP and took home the amazing $2.5 million dollars.
What is even more impressive is that he had only spent $39 to win place in the tournament and his fabulous game was shown on TV.
Following this year, more and more entrants began to participate in WSOP and the game became even more popular among regular citizens, who were inspired by Moneymaker and wanted to follow his steps and win big.
He was and still is a particular role model for young players under 30 years old, who always site him as their main motivation to fulfill their dreams and be part of the gambling news around the world.
Annette Obrestad’s win at WSOP Europe
The WSOP Circuit was created in 2005 and various events took place throughout the country up until 2007 when the first WSOP Europe took place in London, making it the first event, which gave the bracelet outside of Las Vegas.
It seems particularly symbolic that from 362 players, the winner was 18 years old female player Annette Obrestad, who won GBP 1 million, but more importantly she became the first player under 21 years to win WSOP main event.
She was representative of the new poker era and is still the youngest WSOP winner, as she won a day before she turned 19. So far there have been a total of 43 events from WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia Pacific and they have been welcoming participants who were 18 or older.
First satellite winner grabs the big title
Tom McEvoy’s win was another milestone in the evolution of the game, as he was part of a satellite tournament. Through these tournaments more players were given the chance to play at a world championship.
Eric Drache, WSOP manager, was the first to form the idea of satellites through discovering great poker players, who were playing for very small amounts and he offered them a single-table freezeout for a main event buy-in.
1983 was the first year in which amateur players were more that than pro poker players, but more importantly it was the first year when satellite winner became the star champion.
Tom McEvoy was just an amateur player, ex-accountant, who didn’t have anything to do with the image of the regular bracelet winners. His win showed that anyone could win WSOP tournament if they were passionate about poker and believed in themselves.