The World Series of Poker was born in 1970, and was nothing more than a few gamblers crammed into an alcove of the famous Horseshoe Casino. The casino did not have a poker room, so the players had to make do with what they had. The event held little interest to the public or in fact anyone apart from those who were playing in it, and looked absolutely nothing like the glittering extravaganza it is today.
The very first winner of the WSOP was Johnny Moss, and in fact the inaugural win of this event was not based on a single tournament. He was voted all round best player by his competitors in several days-worth of high stakes games.
The following year, Benny Binion, the tournaments founder decided to change the format of the competition in order to elicit more public interest. He implemented the freeze-out, with 7 players paying a $5000 buy in and one winner takes all. Johnny Moss defended his title, and won the championship game, pocketing $30000 for himself in the process. Although this was a huge win in those days, it is a drop in the ocean compared to what winners are walking away with today. Nowadays you can win as much when playing online using a casino slots bonus– if you’re lucky that is!
Here we take a look at some of the biggest WSOP winners of all time.
Antonio ‘The Magician’ Esfandiari
This Persian born champion was initially a professional magician, and his clever tricks with poker chips have earned him the nickname ‘The Magician’. He soon realized that magic as a profession was never going to be as lucrative a professional poker, and switched vocations, which has proven to be a wise move for him. He has accumulated over $21 million in WSOP winnings the biggest of which was in 2012 in Big One for One Drop tournament. This competition featured a $1 million buy in and Antonio walked away from the table as the winner with a first prize of $18.3 million.
Daniel Colman is primarily an online player, but has done well in various live tournaments Including the World Series of Poker. His accumulative wins in professional poker come to $22 million thus far, the largest of which by far was also in the WSOP Big One for One Drop Tournament. In 2014, Daniel Colman won the main prize in the $1 million buy in tournament taking home a whopping $15.3 million and making him the second largest single cash winner at the WSOP to date
Daniel Negreanu is ranked number 1 on the world’s top cash earners in professional poker. This Canadian born professional is most widely known as an ambassador for the online poker site PokerStars (which famously awarded the up till then unknown Chris Moneymaker his seat at the WSOP in 2003). Daniel was named best poker player of the decade in 2014 by the independent poker ranking service, Global Poker Index, and has more recently been introduced into the Poker Hall of Fame. He comes in at third on the list of all-time money makers at WSOP, amassing himself $15.3 million to date at the tournament. His biggest single win came in 2014 when he came second place to Daniel Colman in the Big One for One Drop, earning himself a $8.3 million prize.
Other players worth mentioning include Jonathan Duhamel who secured first place at the WSOP 2010 main event, winning a first prize of just short of $9 million, and he is also the proud owner of 3 WSOP bracelets, and the player to have accumulated the most WSOP bracelets is Phil Hellmuth with a staggering 14 bracelets to his name.