Ready to play?
Get the Natural8 app on your desktop or mobile and start winning now!
The WSOP is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious poker competition in the world. Every year, thousands of poker players battle it out in hopes of being the next world champion. Some of them participate in World Series of Poker not only to win money, but the prestige, international fame, and bragging rights that come with winning one of the highly-coveted WSOP bracelets.
For poker players, this is the ultimate goal.
WSOP is a tournament series where poker players of all skill levels, from low-stakes players to high rollers, can test out their skills against each other in live poker tournaments, perhaps even against the poker legends, to find out who is the next world poker champion.
It has been held annually in Las Vegas ever since it first started in 1970. The first WSOP took place at Binion’s Horseshoe, where a series of cash games that included five-card stud, deuce to seven low-ball draw, razz, seven-card stud, and Texas Hold'em poker were played.
At its inception at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, there was only a series of cash games. Now, there are more than 100 events running during the annual WSOP, with most major poker variants featured.
Over the years, WSOP has expanded into WSOP Europe, WSOP Circuit, WSOP Africa, WSOP Asia Pacific, WSOP International Circuit, and WSOP Online. In fact, in WSOP Circuit, players can win the WSOP Circuit rings, making it the only WSOP variant with a physical prize that is not cash.
The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is the first WSOP-branded tournament held outside the United States. Since 1970, participants have had to travel to Las Vegas if they wanted to compete in the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
The main tournaments were where the highly-coveted bracelets could be won, but previously, players could only win it in Las Vegas. When WSOPE was first held in 2007, it marked the first time that a WSOP bracelet was awarded outside Las Vegas.
Fun fact: Annette Obrestad became the youngest WSOP bracelet winner when she won the inaugural WSOPE Main Event the day before her 19th birthday.
The WSOP Online was a one-off WSOP-variant that happened because of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Due to the worldwide restrictions and the rise of infections, players were unable to go to Las Vegas for the live event. Hence, it was brought online.
WSOP Online hit a few records with its $50 Big 50, which was the lowest buy-in for a WSOP event in history, as well as the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event that came with a $25 million guaranteed prize pool, which was the highest guaranteed prize pool in online poker history..
The first WSOP was completely unknown to the public and there was barely, if any, press coverage. Of course, people from outside of Las Vegas wouldn’t even know about the series nor did they care about the outcome. The inaugural world champion, Johnny Moss, did not even win a poker tournament. He was elected 'best all-around player' in a vote by his peers after several days of high-stakes card playing.
'Amarillo Slim' Preston's victory in 1972 was perhaps the turning point in the history of WSOP. He became the poker’s living ambassador, appearing as a guest on The Tonight’s Show eleven times as well as being cast in movies. He even wrote a bestselling book!
By the next WSOP, there was already some heat on poker, and WSOP made it into the big screen when CBS Sports televised for the first time. In 1978, the Main Event's prize money was divided up for the first time, which created a payout system as we know it today. It was also in 1978 when Barbara Freer became the first female player in WSOP.
However, the next year was when WSOP really made it big. In 1979, for the first time ever, Hal Fowler, an amateur, defeated the elites to win the year’s Main Event. He became the role model of many aspiring amateur players, including foreign players who began to make the annual trip to Las Vegas.
By 1982, a Ladies World Championship was added to the series. Over the next few years, more women and international players joined the competition. 1990 was the first year a non-American won the championship. Mansour Matloubi, an Iranian expatriate in England, took the most prestigious prize in poker overseas for the first time.
The prize for the Main Event hit the million mark in 1991, when Brad Daugherty took home $1,000,000 alongside a WSOP bracelet. From there on, the prize keeps growing each year. In 2021, Koray Aldemir from Germany took home $8,000,000 when he won the Main Event.
WSOP has gone through many changes, from the size of the series to the number of events to the location of the events and the variants, but despite all the changes, one thing has remained the same since 1972: the $10,000 buy-in for WSOP Main Event (No-limit Texas Hold'em).
WSOP normally runs between the months of June until July, except for certain years such as the period between 2008 - 2016 (fun fact: the contestants at the final tables were known as November Nine because WSOP ended in November during these years) and during the time of the pandemic.
The series used to be held in a small alcove at Binion’s Horseshoe, at a time when the casino didn’t even have a poker room. In 2005, after the rights to WSOP was sold off, the location for the series was shifted to Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was taken online for the first time. However, it soon returned to in-person play at Rio Hotel by September 2021.
Surprisingly, in 2022, the organizers of WSOP made a bold decision to relocate the series to Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino at the Las Vegas Strip.
To Be Announced