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WSOP History

The first ever WSOP took place in 1970, back when there were only about 50 poker tables in the entire city of Las Vegas. The venue which hosted that event was about the size of a hotel room, and there were only a handful of participants who had no idea that they were in fact making poker history.
Benny Binion is considered to be the father of the WSOP, although there were two other people who contributed massively: Vic Vickrey, a gambler with thorough knowledge about the inner workings of the gambling industry and with proper visions about the future of the game of poker, and Tom Moore. Together, Vic and Moore were responsible for inviting the participants in the first ever WSOP. Due to the invitation only nature of the event and to the small number of participants nobody really cared about the outcome of the Series – a far cry from the global hysteria that it stirs up these days. The first winner, Johnny Moss, was elected by the other participants, so basically he didn’t really have to win an event to pocket the title.

For the second edition of the Series, improvements were made to the format: the event was played as a freezeout tournament. There were only 7 participants, each of whom posted a $5k entry. Johnny Moss was the winner yet again, successfully defending his title. Amarillo Slim Preston was the first significant winner of the event, in the sense that he became the first true ambassador of the game. His 1972 WSOP victory was quite probably the most significant turning point in the history of the game.

1973 witnessed the first ever televised WSOP. Rather comical by modern standards, the images of the Series went out to the public, offering a glimpse into the world of the WSOP for the first time for the masses.
Puggy Pearson won then, followed by Johnny Moss and then by Doyle Brunson. The rest – as they say – is history…
Nowadays, thousands of players attend each of the 50 or so events. Many of these players qualify online through sites like PokerStars, which offer players the opportunity to go to the WSOP for small change.

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