World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker
This is still the largest and most prestigious series of poker tournaments in the world, offering upwards of 60 events in multiple games types over several weeks and paying out millions of dollars in cash prizes. A poker players standing in the community is often judged on how many bracelets he has, the WSOP awarding, along with the cash, a gold bracelet to the winner of each event.
The History of the WSOP:
World Series of Poker History from [ESPN http://espn.go.com/eoe/wsop/history.html ](more at site)
Though the World Series of Poker made its official debut in 1970, the idea of the Horseshoe's annual tournament was actually conceived more than two decades earlier.
In the summer of 1949, as the story goes, inveterate gambler Nicholas 'Nick the Greek' Dandolos approached Benny Binion with an unusual request - to challenge the best in a high-stakes poker marathon. Binion agreed to set up a match between Dandolos and the legendary Johnny Moss, with the stipulation that the game would be played in public view.
During the course of the marathon, which lasted five months with breaks only for sleep, the two men played every form of poker imaginable. Moss ultimately won "the biggest game in town" and an estimated $2 million. When the Greek lost his last pot, he arose from his chair, bowed slightly, and uttered the now-famous words, "Mr. Moss, I have to let you go." Dandolos then went upstairs to bed.
Though significant in its own way as a chapter in poker history, the five-month marathon took on added importance to Benny Binion. He noted that the public had gathered outside the casino each day to watch the game with the fervor of dedicated sports fans, and he was amazed at the attention the event had attracted. But it wasn't until 1970 that Binion decided to re-create this excitement and stage a battle of poker giants - dubbed the "World Series Of Poker" - to determine who would be worthy of the title "World Champion." Some of the best players in the country were assembled, and Johnny Moss came out on top. The decision was democratic in that the champion was decided by popular vote.
The following year, the winner was determined by a freezeout competition, with players being systematically eliminated until one player had all the chips. Moss again was declared the World Champion. In 1972, when Thomas "Amarillo Slim" Preston won the title and went on the talk-show circuit, the WSOP began to gain a wider following.
WSOP retrospective