For football it is the Super Bowl, for hockey The Stanley Cup and for poker it is the WSOP, aka the World Series of Poker. Each fall this mega event, nearly a year in the making descends upon Las Vegas and with it come pro and amateur poker players from across the globe. These men and women have one mission, to rise to the top to be the world's greatest poker player.
While most of us think of the World Series of Poker as the final event featuring the Phil Iveys and Daniel Negreanus of the world (neither have ever won the main event by the way) the WSOP is actually a series of 58 events that culminate in the Main Event every June and July with the occasional push back to October or November.
History of the World Series of Poker
Fathered by poker player and casino owner Benny Binion in 1970, the WSOP's first Main Event featured just seven of the world's top poker players in a winner take all Texas Hold 'Em tournament. Since then it has evolved into a massive annual tournament that takes "bracelet winners" from 58 regional tournaments and ends with one winner taking what has become a massive pot. The $10,000 buyin has been the standard since 1972.
Where is the World Series of Poker Main Event?
For most of its existence the WSOP took place at Binion's Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas, but for the last several years, sue in part to the increased popularity of the event, it has been held at the Rio.
The Rio Hotel and Casino
3700 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89103
When is the World Series of Poker?
While qualifying tournaments take place all across the country (and world) the true World Series of Poker takes place sometime in June and July, culminating in the ten day Main Event. Check the WSOP official website for scheduling details.
- The 2012 World Series of Poker takes place between May 27th, 2012 and July 16th 2012.
How Can I Compete in The World Series of Poker?
Well being really, really good at poker is a start, but there are three main ways of getting into the tournament.
- Win a poker tournament that will sponsor or pay for your $10,000 entry fee.
- Find a financial sponsor who will treat it as an investment for a portion of the winnings.
- Have $10,000 you can afford to lose.
How Can I Get Tickets to The World Series of Poker?
So you want to see the WSOP Main Event and you cannot find a place to buy tickets? Good news, you don't need to. The event is free to watch, so your only competition is other spectators as space is limited. There is even seating around the Main Event table, but they are first come first serve. Staying on property at the Rio is a great way to get there early to stake out a spot. Compare Room Rates on Kayak.com.
World Series of Poker Winners and Winnings
My fellow About.com Guide to Poker Toby Bochan has compiled a complete list of the WSOP Main event Winners and the pots they took home. Check out his complete list and all the great info on poker. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned vet his articles and advice on poker is top notch.
The World Series of Poker has become huge and for the month and a half it is in town, Las Vegas goes poker crazy. While I rarely play poker, save for the occasional Super Bowl party table, many Las Vegans go nuts and start thinking they're poker gurus (they rarely are). I've had friends make pacts to enter the next years tournament. Some have even done okay for themselves.
What it really comes down to is the World Series of Poker is just another annual event that makes one thankful to be a Las Vegas resident. It is exciting, brings celebrities and parties to town and reminds us once again of just how unique Las Vegas can be.