World Series of Poker Champions

wsopSo, you’ve been playing (and winning!) for quite some time now and you might want to play in a more exciting, competitive, and challenging event. After all, you can’t help but want to take your game to the next level, right? In that case, joining the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the way to go!

The idea for the first WSOP Tournament came from a simple Texas Gambling Reunion. It was an invitational, prestigious event, which Texas-based Tom Moore sponsored. The Texas Gambling Reunion was held in Reno at the Holiday Hotel and Casino, with Crandell Addington emerging as the winner.

In 1970, the tournament evolved into what it is until today: a multi-game tournament, wherein a series of card games took place. These card games include seven-card stud, five-card stud, razz, lowball draw, Texas hold ’em, and deuce to seven. It wasn’t until 1971 that a Main Event was included in the tournament, which is a freeze-out Texas hold ‘em poker game.

World Series of Poker Champions (WSOP) is like the NBA Playoffs of basketball—this is THE event, the tournament where the best poker players converge to determine ONE champ. The first ever WSOP was held in 1971, and back then, you have to be a well-known poker player at the Horseshoe Casino. The Horseshoe Casino is then owned by Benny Binion, the person who thought of holding the first WSOP event.

The first-ever World Series of Poker champion (1970) was Johnny Moss. He was actually voted by his peers as the first WSOP champion, and he won a silver cup as his prize. Moss, as a young boy, was taught cheating techniques by double dealers of the game. But rather than using this knowledge to win, he used it to make poker games a clean, fair competition.

When he was a teenager, he was hired by a local saloon to supervise poker games and make sure that every player plays fairly. As he watched every game from behind the players’ shoulders, he picked up valuable techniques and strategies of playing the game. It wasn’t long after he got that job (2 years) that he decided to become a rounder—a person who travels all over the country in search of card games. Moss also won the 1971 and 1974 WSOP tournaments.

Another well-known World Series of Poker champion is Thomas Austin Preston, Jr., nicknamed Amarillo Slim. Like Moss, he was also a rounder before he became a well-known poker player, who looked for card gaming action all over United States. He traveled with professional poker legends Doyle Brunson (who was the first person to win two consecutive WSOP Tournaments, 1976 and 1977) and Sailor Roberts (World Series of Poker champion of 1975). Amarillo Slim also hosted one of the most popular poker tournaments of his time in 1980, the Second Annual Poker Classic. Eventually, the series was called the Super Bowl of Poker.

The latest WSOP Tournament (40th) has 57 bracelet events, which started late in May of 2009 and will end in the middle of July. Apart from the bracelet events, the tournament will also hold a number of special events and a few satellite tournaments. The games will be held in the Amazon Room at Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

So, if you’ve been having a hard time looking for opponents who can actually beat you, and you’re beginning to get bored with the game, why not try to join the next WSOP Tournament? Who knows? You might be a World Series of Poker champion, or maybe even become the next Jimmy Moss or Amarillo Slim!