World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the world’s largest and most prestigious series of poker tournaments. It includes over 50 events and features all the main types of poker. Each event winner is awarded a gold bracelet, as well as the grand prize money – which, by tradition, is paid in cash carried to the winner in cardboard boxes.

The series culminates with the Main Event, a no-limit Texas Hold ’em game with a buy-in of $10,000 and a multi-million dollar prize for the winner. The winner of this event earns the title of world champion poker player.

See World Series of Poker history for details of how the series was started and of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, where it was played from 1970 right up to 2005.

2008 World Series of Poker Main Event

The WSOP no limit Texas Hold ’em Main Event began at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, on Friday, 30 May. It was scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, 16 July, but was delayed until 9 November 2008, in order for ESPN to cover the event on 11 November.

Scotty Nguyen made history by winning both bracelets at the 2008 WSOP H.O.R.S.E World Championship and the Main Event – over $1,989,120 in prize money. The event also saw the first Brazilian, Belgian and Dutch players to win WSOP bracelets.

World Series of Poker Qualifying

Starting in the 1980s, it became possible for players to make it to the final tables in World Series of Poker events – including the Main Event – by qualifying through online satellite tournaments. For a schedule of these tournaments for 2008, visit the official WSOP site at

The introduction of satellite tournaments massively boosted the popularity of the WSOP, especially after 2003, when Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event after qualifying via an online satellite tournament for a buy-in of only $39 (as opposed to the $10,000 buy-in required from other players).

2007 World Series of Poker Main Event

In 2007, Jerry Yang won the Main Event with a pair of 8s against Tuan Lam’s ace and queen, for a winner’s prize of $8,250,000. Joining Yang and Lam at the final table were Raymond Rahme, Alex Kravchenko, Joh Kalmar, Hevad Khan, Lee Childs, Lee Watkinson and Philip Hilm.

See World Series of Poker winners for details of all the Main Event winners since 1970.