The WSOP Main Event is poker’s most prestigious tournament with 2018 being the 49th running of the World Series of Poker. Running for 49 consecutive days, the schedule includes cash games, deep stack tournaments and gold bracelets.
The casinos will be full of poker enthusiasts from all over the world. Many UK online casino websites have held special online tournaments called “satellites” which gives amateurs the chance to qualify and play live at the WSOP in Vegas.
But it was a far more modest set up when the very first WSOP took place back in 1970 with only a small group of players involved. There was no climatic tournament, in fact there was very little reported about the event at all.
Yet decade by decade WSOP has grown into a massive spectacle which is widely reported and televised, attracting viewers and players alike from about the globe. The World Series of Poker is the big one, the one that has grown to be the most prestigious event to take place on the poker calendar.
The first WSOP took place at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino over the course of a few days amongst a small group of players.
1969 saw Tom Moore inviting players to his Holiday Hotel to and event called the ‘Texas Gamblers Reunion.’ Vic Vickrey was Moore’s associate and came up with this marketing approach to bolster up business at the hotels casino.
Although the tournament never generated enough revenue because everyone who played, played poker Moore was not interested in hosting WSOP again, and this is how Benny Binion and his son Jack began with WSOP asking whether Moore minded if they held a similar annual event at the Horseshoe.
Making WSOP a contest made it more exciting for spectators, and in 1971 at the second staging of the WSOP, six players put up $5000 each to play. There were also four other buy-in events that cost $1000 that year.
1972 saw the buy-in increased to $10,000, although it was Binion that covered the extra £5000. Preston finally became world champion and embarked on a yearlong publicity tour, and thanks to his efforts CBS made a documentary covering WSOP in 1973, with Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder narrating.
1973 has 13 entrants who put up the full $10,000 buy-in themselves, with Walter ‘Puggy’ Pearson winning the titles and the £130,000 prize pool.
By 1979 WSOP finally exceeded 50 players, with Hal Fowler’s victory being the first instance of a non-professional player winning the main event.