Without a doubt, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious poker competition in the world. Each year, thousands of poker players participate in the WSOP not only to win money, but also to gain the prestige, international fame, and bragging rights that come with winning one of the highly-coveted WSOP bracelets.
The Humble Beginning of WSOP
The first ever WSOP in 1970 was completely unknown to the public, as there was barely any press coverage, if any. Johnny Moss became the first “World Champion of Poker” when he was voted the “best all-around player” by his peers after several days of high-stakes games and received a silver cup as a prize.
It was not until two years later when “Amarillo Slim” Preston’s victory changed the course of WSOP history. Poker’s living ambassador, Preston talked widely about poker and appeared as a guest on The Tonight’s Show eleven times as well as being cast in movies. He even wrote a bestselling book!
Over the years, 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).
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. In the same year, Barbara Freer became the first female player in WSOP.
However, it was in 1979 that WSOP became really big. For the first time ever, Hal Fowler, an amateur, defeated the elites and won the year’s Main Event. He became the role model of many aspiring amateur players. Since then, many amateur players, including foreign players, make the annual trip to Las Vegas to take their chance on the felt table.
Million Dollar Main Event
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.
The WSOP Main Events tend to have the largest prize pools. However, there have been certain years where the payouts of other WSOP events surpassed the Main Events’ payouts. For example, in 2012, WSOP hosted an event with the largest buy-in in poker history – “Big One for One Drop”. The $1,000,000 buy-in charitable event broke the previous records for the highest single payout in WSOP history when Antonio Esfandiari took home $18,346,673 – a record that remains unsurpassed in WSOP.
The Expansion and Growth of WSOP
With the rise of its popularity, WSOP soon expanded into WSOP Europe, WSOP Circuit, WSOP Africa, WSOP Asia Pacific, and WSOP International Circuit. In WSOP Circuit, players can also win the WSOP Circuit rings, making it the only WSOP variant with a physical prize that is not cash.
Since 2020, there has been a new edition to the ever-expanding WSOP series – the WSOP Online. The first WSOP Online series made headlines when one of its events – Event 77: $5,000 Main Event – broke the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest prize pool for an online poker tournament with a $27,559,500 prize pool.
The 2022 WSOP Online
The 2022 WSOP Online series comes with 33 bracelets events. If you are unable to make it to the live WSOP, this is the best chance for you to get your hand on one of the highly-coveted bracelets. Winners of the bracelet events will be inducted into GGTeam Champions, where plenty of benefits await.
Even if you don’t play in any of the bracelet events, you can still partake in the WSOP Online $22,000 Daily Leaderboard promotion and stand a chance to win a share of $1,000,000 in gift boxes.
If you are playing with Natural8, you will automatically be eligible for Natural8-exclusive promotions that are worth up to $350,000. Get extra bounties when you spot or knockout Natural8’s Team Hot ambassadors. Natural8 winners of bracelet events will also be inducted into Natural8’s Team Bling, where sponsorships worth up to $100,000 await.
For more information on WSOP Online, please visit Natural8.
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