The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. It was first held in 1970 and has since become an annual event. Caesars Entertainment hosts the WSOP, and the Main Event is televised on ESPN. In this blog post, we’ll look at the history of the WSOP, from its humble beginnings to its current status as the biggest poker tournament in the world. So without further ado, let’s jump into it!
The 1970s – The Origins of WSOP
The first-ever World Series of Poker was virtually an unknown event. It was held at the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, owned by Benny Binion.The tournament was invite-only and only attracted a handful of well-known poker players. Nevertheless, it was a success and laid the foundation for the world’s biggest poker tournament.
The 1980s – The First Boom Period
The WSOP began to take off in the early 1980s. In 1982, there were 52 entrants in the Main Event, a significant increase from previous years. The prize pool also grew significantly, reaching $520,000.
This growth continued throughout the decade, with increasing numbers of entrants and prize money. Moreover, the WSOP began to attract more and more media attention, which helped to raise its profile even further.
The 1990s – The Second Boom Period
The 1990s was the second boom period for the WSOP. In 1993, entry into the Main Event cost $10,000, a significant amount of money. However, this didn’t deter players, as 231 entrants registered for the tournament’s main event. This growth continued throughout the decade, with ever-increasing numbers of entrants and prize pools. By 1999, the Main Event had a prize pool of $1 million!
The 2000s – The Moneymaker Effect
In 2003, an amateur player named Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event after qualifying through an online poker tournament. This victory sent shockwaves through the poker world and sparked a new wave of interest in the game.
Suddenly, everyone wanted to play poker! The WSOP experienced a massive boom as a result of the Moneymaker Effect. In 2004, there were 2,576 entrants in the Main Event, an enormous increase from the previous year. The prize pool also grew to an astonishing $5 million. This growth continued in subsequent years; by 2006, the Main Event had a record-breaking 8,773 entrants.
The 2010’s – The Post-Black Friday Era
In 2011, the US government passed legislation that effectively made online poker illegal. This event, known as Black Friday, dealt a severe blow to the online poker industry, resulting in many online poker sites closing their doors to US players.
Despite this setback, the WSOP continued to grow in popularity. In 2012, the Main Event had a prize pool of $8,531,853; in 2014, the Main Event attracted 6,683 entrants, and the first place prize was $10,000,000.
The 2020’s – The New Decade: WSOP Online
The WSOP is still going strong in the new decade. In 2020, the tournament was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, an online version allowed players worldwide to participate when it returned in 2021.
The 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) took place from September 30 – November 23 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event was the 52nd WSOP event and featured 88 bracelet events. The main event will have an almost $25 million guaranteed prize pool.
The WSOP for 2022 was held in Bally’s Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas from May 31 – July 20. This year featured 88 bracelet events and culminated with the Tournament of Champions. Espen Jørstad dominated the final table, with $10,000,000 as the prize money.
The Future of WSOP
The WSOP has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1970s. It has become the world’s biggest and most prestigious poker tournament, attracting players from all over the globe. And with the recent shift to online poker, it is only poised to grow even further in the years to come.
So what does the future hold for the WSOP? Only time will tell. But one thing is sure: the World Series of Poker is here to stay!
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