The World Series Of Poker tournament
One of the richest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world is the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Since first played in 1970, the WSOP has been held annually at Binion's Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has grown in popularity since then.
The World Series of Poker began in 1970 but became a real competition in 1971. It wasn't until 1991 that the prize money hit $1,000,000 (one million US dollars). Since then the prizes have continued to grow and the publicity and popularity of the game has sky-rocketed. What many people don't realize about the World Series of Poker is that it is not just a single tournament.
The World Series of Poker draws many of the top poker pros, but it is not their exclusive domain. Players come from all walks of life and most of the poker players are amateurs. In the 2003 World Series of Poker the ($2.5m) prize was won by an amateur online player called Chris Moneymaker who got in by winning a $40 online tournament.
The poker frenzy created by the TV shows caused more people to enter the 2004 WSOP than ever before. In 2003 there were 839 entries into the main event (no limit Texas Hold'em poker), by 2004 this number had risen to 2576. This doubled the jackpot and ensured that the top five players would all leave as millionaires.
In 2004, the final championship World Series of Poker event, no limit Texas Holdem, had 2,576 entries and a record setting first prize of $5 million.
The 2004 World Series of Poker was won by an online player called Greg "The Fossilman" Raymer. Interestingly he too qualified to play by winning an online tournament on the same website that had allowed Chris Moneymaker to play in the previous year.
In fact the final two players were both online qualifiers from the same website. Such wins can only benefit the game and the World Series of Poker, since it gives the impression that with a little practice online and some luck anyone can win a World Series of Poker title and the money that goes along with that.
The World Series of Poker actually consists of a number of poker tournaments of various poker games including Texas Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud Poker, and HORSE (a rotation of Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Stud Eight or Better). There are also Lowball and Hi-Low split poker games.
The winner of each World Series of Poker tournament event is awarded a gold bracelet (which many players value more than the cash prize). The cash prizes are substantial typically ranging in the low to mid six figures with the first place prize for last year's Championship event setting a new record at $5 million.
Poker tournament buy-ins generally range from $1,000 to $5,000 with the Championship tournament having a buy-in of $10,000. Players can also get into the Championship tournament by winning World Series of Poker satellite tournaments.
Of course, when most people think of the World Series Of Poker they think of the most publicized game, the grande finale of the entire event. This is the championship that everyone wants to win because it is by far the biggest event and is certainly the most prestigious.
The event in question is the No Limit Texas Holdem event. The winner is crowned the World Champion and gets his picture installed in the Gallery of Champions. The World Series Of Poker winner also gets the bracelet and of course the massive prize money.
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