History of the World Series of Poker / 2008 Poker Tournament Guide

The World Series of Poker was the brilliant idea of a number of poker devotees, but one man made the dream into a reality – the incomparable Benny Binion and sons.

Although the very first WSOP was hosted by Tom Moore and held in 1968 in Reno, it was arguably a dress rehearsal for grander things to come. The Reno event was on an invitational basis only and was won by another acclaimed co-founder of the modern WSOP, Crandell Addington.

He not only became the inaugural WSOP Champion but has since etched his name into poker playing lore by making it to the final ten of the main event a total of eight times – a remarkable record that still stands today!

Binion’s Vision Fulfilled

In 1970 Benny Binion took up the challenge and moved the fledgling tour to the gaming capitol of the world, Las Vegas and his very own Horseshoe Casino. The infant tour consisted of a series of cash games including razz, 5 & 7 card stud and Texas holdem and Johnny Moss was duly crowned the first World Champion of Poker. The popular main event was added a year later.

Over the years, the tour has developed into the power house it is today but it is constantly re-inventing itself by adding new events and removing old ones. The contentious $50 000 H.O.R.S.E event is one such relatively new addition to the WSOP family.

In 2004 Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, together with the rights to the WSOP, was purchased by the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment, Harrah’s Casino Hotel Group and since 2005 the WSOP has been hosted by one of Harrah’s flagship casinos, The Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino, situated just off the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Player of the Year Award

The trend in recent years has seen rank amateurs claiming the main event, the accompanying bracelet, millions of dollars and the unofficial title of World Poker Champion with boring regularity.

In an effort to acknowledge the skill of authentic and dedicated poker players it was decided to introduce the Player of the Year Award in 2004. Hence the player with the most points accumulated throughout the tournament would be recognised, and in 2006 the organisers took the award one step further by eliminating both the main event and the H.O.R.S.E event from the points standing.

Players of the Year

  • 2004 – Daniel Negreanu with 1 bracelet, 5 final tables and 6 money finishes
  • 2005 – Allen Cunningham with 1 bracelet, 4 final tables and 5 money finishes
  • 2006 – Jeff Madsen 2 bracelet, 4 final tables and 4 money finishes
  • 2007 – Tom Schneider 2 bracelet, 3 final tables and 3 money finishes