World Series of Poker (WSOP)

World Series of Poker


World Series of Poker is an annual poker event organized in the US. Its roots are found back in 1949 when Nick ‘The Greek’ Dandolos and eventual champion Johnny Moss played against each other in a 5-month-long series of poker. However, the WSOP Champion title was awarded for the first time in 1970 when the gangster-turned-casino boss, Benny Binion, invited several poker players to his Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. Since then WSOP has been gaining popularity across the globe transcending national boundaries and continuously being revered by the global poker community.

What Is World Series of Poker (WSOP)

As explained above, it is one of the most renowned and reputed poker tournaments worldwide, and it is held in Las Vegas every year. It is a platform where poker players participate and compete with fellow players to gain recognition and win hefty sums of money. The "Main Event" is the most popular WSOP tournament, and the Main Event winners have earned the prestigious title of World Champions. 

Apart from the main event, WSOP has numerous other attractive poker events organized in different formats and buy-ins. This feature of WSOP opens up opportunities for players of all levels to participate and win big.

Tournament Format

All WSOP events have been cash tournaments. Currently, Texas Holdem, Omaha Holdem, 7 Card Stud, and other lowball variants like Razz are played. Like most other poker cash tournaments, here too the sponsoring casino takes an entry fee depending upon the buy-in and gives out the rest to the winners. The winner of the latest WSOP 2023 main event Daniel Weinman, received a prize money of nearly 12 million US Dollars.


Over the years, the WSOP has grown immensely both in the number of events it conducts and in the number of participants. Every year, the WSOP has a $10,000 No-Limit Hold 'em Main Event, which has attracted thousands of entrants. The winner of this main event receives multi-million dollar prize money and a gold bracelet, which remains the dream of every poker player across the globe.

Main Event

In 1970, the winner of the WSOP Main Event was selected by secret ballot. In 1971, the main event was the $5000 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold'em. From 1972 onwards, the main event has been a $10,000 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament. The winner of the main event gets the largest prize of the tournament, along with a gold bracelet. In addition to that, the winner’s picture is placed in the Gallery of Champions at the legendary Binion’s Horseshoe.

Main Event winners

The winners of the WSOP main event are as follows:



Prize Money (in USD)

Johnny Moss 1971 30,000
Johnny Moss 1972 80,000
Thomas Preston 1973 130,000
Walter Pearson 1974 160,000
Brian Roberts 1975 210,000
Doyle Bruson 1976 220,000
Doyle Bruson 1977 340,000
Bobby Baldwin 1978 210,000
Hal Fowler 1979 270,000
Stu Ungar 1980 385,000
Stu Ungar 1981 375,000
Jack Straus 1982 520,000
Tom McEvoy 1983 540,000
Jack Keller 1984 660,000
Bill Smith 1985 700,000
Berry Johnston 1986 570,000
Johnny Chan 1987 625,000
Johnny Chan 1988 700,000
Phil Hellmuth 1989 755,000
Mansour Matloubi 1990 895,000
Brad Daugherty 1991 1,000,000
Hamid Dastmalchi 1992 1,000,000
Jim Bechtel 1993 1,000,000
Russ Hamilton 1994 1,000,000
Dan Harrington 1995 1,000,000
Huck Seed 1996 1,000,000
Stu Ungar 1997 1,000,000
Scotty Nguyen 1998 1,000,000
Noel Furlong 1999 1,000,000
Chris Fergusen 2000 1,500,000
Carlos Mortensen 2001 1,500,000
Robert Varkonyi 2002 2,000,000
Chris Moneymaker 2003 2,500,000
Greg Raymer 2004 5,000,000
Joe Hachem 2005 7,500,000
Jamie Gold 2006 12,000,000
Jerry Yang 2007 8,250,000
Peter Eastgate 2008 9,152,416
Joe Cada 2009 8,574,649
Jonathan Duhamel 2010 8,944,138
Pius Heinz 2011 8,715,638
Greg Merson 2012 8,531,853
Ryan Riess 2013 8,359,531
Martin Jacobson 2014 10,000,000
Joe Mckeehen 2015 7,683,346
Qui Nguyen 2016 8,005,310
Scott Blumstein 2017 8,150,000
John Cynn 2018 8,800,000
Hossein Ensan 2019 10,000,000
Damian Salas 2020 1,550,969
Koray Aldemir 2021 8,000,000
Espen Uhlen Jorstad 2022 10,000,000
Daniel Weinman 2023 12,100,000

Player of the Year (POY)

The Player of the Year (POY) title is awarded to the player with the highest number of points accumulated throughout the WSOP; this includes only the open events, where all players can participate. However, until 2010, the POY was based upon the performance of the player solely at the WSOP in Las Vegas; from 2011 onwards the POY was declared based on the performance of a player in WSOP Las Vegas as well as WSOP Europe.

The Player of the Year title for the year 2023 was awarded to Daniel Weinman.

Poker Hall of Fame

Benny Binion founded the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979. He did so as he wanted to create a legacy to preserve the memories of the best poker players who have ever lived and have contributed to the game. The idea is to identify the players who have shown their mettle over a very long period. Usually, one or two members are selected for the Poker Hall of Fame every year.


The concept of a bracelet in WSOP was introduced by Benny Binion in 1976 to introduce a distinguishing element in the game. The first bracelet was worth $500. This concept was quite accepted amongst the poker community at that time and the concept has evolved over the years since then. With the years passing by, the bracelets have become costlier and much flashier, which makes them look quite premium compared to bracelets from other events.

In recent years, with the popularity of poker rising, the number of bracelet events conducted in WSOP has increased too. 

Women at the WSOP

The women's champions of the World Series of Poker are as follows:

Prize (US$)
Jackie McDaniels 1977 $5,580
Terry King 1978 $10,080
Barbara Freer 1979 $12,720
Deby Callihan 1980 $14,880
Ruth Godfrey 1981 $17,600
June Field 1982 $16,000
Carolyn Gardner 1983 $16,000
Karen Wolfson 1984 $15,000
Rose Pifer 1985 $18,500
Barbara Enright 1986 $16,400
Linda Ryke-Drucker 1987 $16,800
Loretta Huber 1988 $17,000
Alma McClelland 1989 $18,600
Marie Gabert 1990 $22,000
Donna Ward 1991 $28,200
Shari Flanzer 1992 $38,000
Phyllis Kessler 1993 $32,800
Barbara Enright 1994 $38,400
Starla Brodie 1995 $35,200
Susie Isaacs 1996 $42,000
Susie Isaacs 1997 $38,000
Mandy Commanda 1998 $40,000
Christina Pie 1999 $34,000
Nani Dollison 2000 $53,200
Nani Dollison 2001 $41,130
Catherine Brown 2002 $39,880
Barb Rugolo 2003 $40,700
Hung Doan 2004 $58,530
Jennifer Tilly 2005 $158,335
Mary Jones Meyer 2006 $236,094
Sally Boyer 2007 $262,077
Svetlana Gromenkova 2008 $224,702
Lisa Hamilton 2009 $195,390
Vanessa Hellebuyck 2010 $192,132
Marsha Wolak 2011 $192,344
Yen Dang 2012 $170,587
Kristen Bicknell 2013 $173,922
Haixia Zhang 2014 $153,470
Jacquelyn Scott 2015 $153,876
Courtney Kennedy 2016 $149,108
Heidi May 2017 $135,098
Jessica Dawley 2018 $130,230
Jiyoung Kim 2019 $167,308
Lara Eisenberg 2021 $115,694
Jessica Teusl 2022 $166,975
Tamar Abraham 2023 $192,167

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you play WSOP for real money?

The World Series of Poker can be played to win real money by participating in the tournament and competing with fellow players for cash prizes. 

Where is the WSOP held?

The World Series of Poker is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 

How much does it cost to participate in the World Series of Poker?

The cost of participation in the WSOP differs depending on the tournament you want to participate in. Participating in a small tournament costs a buy-in of around a few hundred dollars whereas participating in the main event will cost several thousand dollars.

How many players are there at the WSOP?

The WSOP can have thousands of players from around the globe participating in the event to win cash prizes and earn the title of world champion. 

What is a WSOP bracelet?

A WSOP bracelet is a renowned award presented to the winners of the poker tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The poker players who perform magnificently in the series are awarded the WSOP Bracelet.


Since its inception in 1970, WSOP has gained huge publicity and has offered recognition and huge cash prizes to poker players worldwide. The WSOP Main Event attracts international players because of its attractive cash prizes, gold bracelet, and the Player of the Year title to the poker players with exceptional performance. It also incorporates the Poker Hall of Fame for seasoned players and recognizes the women’s champions. WSOP tournaments are highly anticipated and competitive, allowing players to gather and test their skills and expertise to win real money.

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