History of the World Series of Poker – 2005 in Review

The 36th annual WSOP set the world alight by becoming the largest poker tournament ever to be hosted by a brick and mortar casino and well over five thousand poker connoisseurs entered the celebrated main event alone. What is really noteworthy is that over one thousand entrants qualified via the biggest online poker room in the world, PokerStars!

It was also, sadly, the end of an era – for the very first time the entire WSOP, bar the final two days of the main event, was held at an alternative venue to co-founder Benny Binion’s flagship Casino, Binion’s Horseshoe, and there were surely moments of deep nostalgia for the players and organisers who had ardently supported the tour since its naissance forty odd years ago!

The Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, one of Harrah’s many casino properties, took over the mantle as host to the WSOP and the largest poker tournament in the world was finally contested just off Las Vegas’ famed strip!

The Main Event

With record-breaking entries to the main event, and most other scheduled events, the prize pool was quite considerable and the $7.5 million up for grabs at the final table of the main event was, at the time, the richest purse in world sport. 

Australian Joe Hachem outlasted and out blasted 5618 other players to claim the moola and the bracelet. It was touch and go to begin with for Hachem – he was short of chips for most of his innings at the final table but came good when there were just three other players left standing! His straight was good enough to claim the title from runner-up, Steve Dannenmann.

Hachem, who represents PokerStars, was not the only man-made millionaire of the day – every one at the final table was richly rewarded for their efforts and even Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow, who finished ninth, was in the money to the tune of a cool million dollars!

A point of interest is that although a record number of entrants qualified online, Hachem was not one of them, he paid the full $10 000 buy-in to the event and must have felt vindicated once he claimed the massive chip stack. The two previous WSOP main event winners, Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker both qualified online!