The World Series of Poker is a series of poker tournaments that takes place in Las Vegas every summer. It features the best poker players in the world playing in tournaments that feature a wide variety of poker variations and a wide range of buy-ins and prize pools. The winner of each tournament in the series receives a gold World Series of Poker bracelet, the most prestigious accessory in the whole wide world of poker.
Ninety Poker Tournaments in the Series
Some people confuse the World Series of Poker with the World Series of Baseball. This is a mistake you should avoid. The World Series of Baseball involves two teams who play a maximum of seven games to determine one world champion. The World Series of Poker is much bigger than that.
The 2019 World Series of Poker took place in the Rio Casino in Las Vegas over a seven-week period from May 28 through July 16. It comprised 90 separate poker tournaments. The games played in the various tournaments included Seven Card Stud; Limit Texas Hold’em; No-Limit Texas Hold’em; Pot Limit Omaha; Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw; Razz; and others.
The size of the tournaments ranged from 74 players to 28,371 players, and buy-ins ranged from $400 to $100,000. The biggest prize was an even 10 million dollars for first place in Event #73, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.
The World Series of Poker is huge.
World Series of Poker Bracelets
The winner of each tournament in the World Series of Poker receives, in addition to his cash prize, a beautiful World Series of Poker bracelet. The bracelets are made of gold and are quite valuable, but the prestige value of a World Series of Poker bracelet is even greater than the monetary value.
After all, the bracelet proclaims loud and clear that its wearer is someone rare and special: a WSOP tournament winner. Phil Hellmuth is the owner of the most WSOP bracelets: 15 of them. Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson have won 10 apiece; Johnny Moss won 9.
The World Series of Poker Main Event
Every tournament at the World Series of Poker is important, and every World Series of Poker bracelet is prestigious, but the World Series of Poker Main Event is, well, the main event. It is a $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold’Em tournament that is universally recognized as the most important and the most prestigious tournament in the entire World Series of Poker and, in fact, in the entire world.
Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar have each won three Main Event bracelets; Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan have won two apiece. The 2019 Main Event, which featured 8,569 players, a prize pool of $80,548,600, and a first-place prize of $10,000,000, was won by Hossein Ensan, originally from Iran and now living in Germany. Congratulations, Hossein!
Online Poker Events at the WSOP
Keeping up with the realities of the modern world, in which so many people love to play poker online, the WSOP organizers have, in recent years, added online poker tournaments to the World Series of Poker schedule.
It started with one tournament in the 2015 WSOP and it reached nine online poker tournaments in 2019. The biggest online poker tournament at the 2019 WSOP in terms of number of players was the $400 Online No-Limit Hold’em Tournament (Event #7), with 2,825 entries.
It was won by Yong Keun Kwon of Palisades Park, New Jersey. The biggest in terms of prizes was the $3,200 Online No-Limit High Roller Tournament (Event # 74), with a prize pool of $1,802,720 and a first-place prize of $411,561, won by Brandon Adams of Pensacola, Florida.
It was also interesting to see some of the world’s greats, including Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Dario Sammartino, play poker online and win cashes at the 2019 World Series of Poker. It just goes to show how online poker has become totally integrated and respected in the highest echelons of the game. As, of course, it should be.