History of the World Series of Poker - WSOP

History Of The World Series Of Poker


World Series of Poker officially started in 1970 by Benny Binion, owner of Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although 1970 was the first official tournament to determine the "World Champion," the idea for the game actually came about 21 years earlier in 1949 when Nicloas "The Greek" Dandalos came to Las Vegas and approached Benny Binnion to set up a no-limit poker marathon so Nick could challenge the best poker players in the world. Benny Binnion agreed and arranged a publicly viewed match between Nick Dandalos and the best poker player of the time, Johnny Moss.

The marathon match lasted five months with short sleep breaks, and they played every kind of poker known to man. Johnny Moss finally beat Nick "The Greek" and ended up winning over 2 million dollars.

21 years later Benny Binion decided to restage the game and invite some of the best poker players in the world to determine the "World Champion" and the World Series of Poker was born. Johnny Moss became the first World Series Of Poker Champion by wining the first tournament and also winning again the following year. The first tournament had 7 players, followed by 13 the second year. Binion hoped that someday his tournament would grow to 50 players. The 1982 game had 52 players and the game started growing fast specially after the introduction of satellite competitions. 5 years later the tournament grew to over 2,000 players and the 2002 tournament attracted over 7,500 players. The 2005 World Series Of Poker is expected to draw over 8000 entrants paying an entry fee of $10,000 each and thousands more will try to win a seat at the World Series Of Poker through online satellite tournaments. With an expected prize pool in excess of $80 million, each contestant at the final table will take home at least $1 million in prize money.