bgo Takes a Look at the World Series of Poker History
Every year the World Series of Poker (WSOP), a series of prolific poker tournaments is held at the Grand Dame of gambling dreams: Las Vegas.
However, its origins go way back to the 70s and are far removed from the glitz and glamour of its present-day appearance. It was, in fact, a humble getogether that attracted a crowd and built up recognition that a date was needed to mark some of the biggest and best gamblers across the country. And what better place but at the pinnacle point of poker and gambling: the hot sizzling deserts of Nevada and their cool casinos.
It’s hard to believe that there were fewer than 50 poker tables in the entire state of Nevada once upon a time. But this is true. The host casino didn’t even have a poker room and any contests were held in small rooms crammed full of keen gamblers overheating and they placed their bets.
It is said that poker icon, Benny Binion was not only instrumental, but key to the success of the way poker is played today in large competitions. He dreamt up an idea of inviting seven of the best known poker players to one place at the famous Horseshoe Casino. It’s also alleged that two other men were influential to the tournament’s origins, Tom Moore and Vic Vickrey, who set up a one and only Texan Gambler’s Reunion, which attracted some of the big gamblers of the time.
The high-stake cash games went down well and both events are widely credited for beginning the WSOP we know it today.
As time has gone on, this spectacular tournament has grown in size; in both the number of events and in the number of participants. Each year, the big grand finale of the WSOP is the $10,000 no-limit hold'em "Main Event," which, since 2004, has attracted entrants numbering in the thousands. A far-cry from the small gathering that found their way to the Horseshoe Casino. The glory is status in such rich history, but it is also monetary too. With a multi-million dollar cash prize and a bracelet, which has become the most coveted award a poker player can win, the tournament attracts large competition. So important is the series that the winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event is considered to be the World Champion of Poker.
As of 2012, the WSOP consisted of 61 events and it’s still going strong and the bright lights burn as they ever did – for Binion and all the others that helped get the part started.
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