The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is an annual event held in Las Vegas since the 1970s. It consists of a series of tournaments covering game types across the whole poker spectrum, although in recent years it has become ever-more dominated by Texas Hold’Em which by 2014 accounted for over half of the event’s 65 tournaments.
The World Series of Poker began in 1970 when seven of the world’s most famous professional poker players were invited to take part in a private tournament at the Horsheshoe Casino in Las Vegas, but it has since grown over the years to attract thousands of entrants. The event now receives extensive TV coverage, and has has become the focus of much marketing and spun-off licensed products from DVDs to video games, and latterly WSOP-branded online gaming.
One of the main reasons for the WSOP’s fame is the Main Event tournament which rounds off the event every year. This consists of a no-limit Hold’Em game in which the eventual winner can expect to pocket a multi-million dollar cash prize, along with the coveted World Series of Poker champion’s bracelet which has been awarded to the final winner since 1971. Such is the level of prize money now available – the record currently stands at over $15m – that the overall winner is instantly catapulted into the all-time professional poker top earners list, and earns a place in poker’s hall of fame.
The World Series of Poker is traditionally held over a couple of days in June or July, but the big-money final event has been delayed until November since 2008.