Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About WSOP

The World Series of Poker tournament is rightly the most important legal poker tournament in the world, and attracts huge audiences and new poker fans to the game. If you'd like to know more about how it started, what's at stake, and all the other facts and figures you could imagine, our guide takes you through it here. Find out about:

  • What WSOP is
  • WSOP prize money
  • The current WSOP format
  • The Biggest events
  • WSOP bracelets
  • How you can qualify for WSOP
  • Who the best WSOP players ever are
  • The biggest WSOP money winners
  • WSOP legends
  • What the Big One is
  • The future for WSOP

What does WSOP stand for?

WSOP is the World Series of Poker, the most prestigious poker tournament series in the world. The first WSOP event was held in 1970 by Benny Binion, a nightclub owner in Las Vegas, and interest has grown with every passing year since.

The history of prize money at the World Series of Poker

Binion’s first event in 1970 offered no prize money, just the status of being the poker world champion. In 1971 the winner received $30,000. Three decades later and the 2024 champion, Martin Jacobson, took home a staggering $10 million. The biggest pot was $12 million, won by Jamie Gold in 2006.

Breaking down the format of the WSOP

At its inception, the World Series of Poker was just one tournament. These days it compromises 65 events during the months of June and July, culminating in the big crescendo of the main final. Different variants of poker are used for the tournaments leading up to the main event, but it’s always Texas hold’em for the big one.

What are the biggest events in the World Series of Poker?

The two biggest events in the World Series of Poker are currently “The Big One”, which was held in late June/early July at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the main event final, which in 2024 was held in November. The Big One offers a prize of over $20 million.

What are WSOP bracelets and how do you win them?

World Series of Poker bracelets are the equivalent of belts in boxing. They are awarded to winners of events on the WSOP circuit and stand as testament to a player’s skill and success. It was an idea of Benny Binion’s to award bracelets, and they grow evermore desirable by the year.

Who makes the bracelets?

Revered jewelry designer Jason Arasheben is the man responsible for WSOP bracelets.

How do you qualify for the World Series of Poker?

There is a $10,000 buy-in for the main event, with other events having their buy-in numbers at different levels. You can also qualify by playing online poker at various legal poker sites.

Who are the best players in the history of WSOP?

Phil Hellmuth, known as ‘The Poker Brat”, has won the most WSOP bracelets with a quite remarkable haul of 13. Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan are all close behind with 10. Stu Unger and Johnny Moss have the most main event wins, with three each.

Which WSOP player has earned the most prize money?

The all-time money leader for World Series of Poker is American Antonio Esfandiari, who has amassed $21,329,257. That puts him over $5 million clear of Daniel Colman in second place.

What’s the Big One for One Drop tournament?

The Big One for One Drop is about poker giving back. Raising money for the One Drop Foundation, The Big One takes a percentage of the $1 million buy-in and gives it to charity.

What does the future hold for WSOP?

As legal online poker returns to the US, we should expect the SWOP to continue its steep upward trajectory. Winning over more fans every year, and enticing players from all over the world, WSOP has come upon a formula that poker fans love to watch on TV and dream of being a part of.