The World Series of Poker 2017 Crowns a New Winner
The most important poker event of the year is arguably the World Series of Poker series hosted in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel & Casino.
Since 1971 the first tournament took place, the number of players who entered the event group constantly. The first edition had an impressive lineup featuring Johnny Moss, Amarillo Preston, Brian Roberts, Doyle Brunson, Walter Pearson, Crandall Addington and Carl Cannon.
History of the World Series of Poker
The structure of the tournament has changed several times and the first major shift was from hosting an invitational event to organizing an open poker series.
Interesting enough, the buy-in hasn’t changed since 1972, with players having to pay $10,000 for a seat.
The five digit amount means significantly less today than it did 35 years ago but still represents an important figure. Its impact over the poker community goes beyond land-based casinos and the WSOP has inspired players to try their luck online.
Harrah’s purchase of The Horseshoe Casino in 2004 represented an important milestone for the World Series of Poker event. In addition to acquiring the casino, they also purchased the rights to organize the tournament which was moved the very next year to Rio Hotel & Casino.
From that point onward, the Main Event saw fields of at least 1000 players and the numbers increased steadily. The peak was hit in 2006 when a record 8773 players found it worthwhile to pay the buy-in for a chance to win.
Scott Blumstein is the New World Series of Poker Winner
In 2017, competition was every bit as intense as always when the best poker players got together for the World Series of Poker. A total of 7221 players attended the event, most of them after paying the hefty buy-in. They were competing for a first prize of $8,150,000 and significant paychecks for those who made a deep run in the tournament.
By the time the final table started, Scott Blumstein was already among the favorites and he confirmed his favorite status. On the final day he took on Benjamin Pollak from France and his countryman Dan Ott, outshining both.
For his performance, Scott received the coveted first prize and also the gold and diamond bracelet, the ultimate trophy for any poker player. This success story is just one of the many made possible by the World Series of Poker and it inspired others to sit down at poker tables or play online.
Past WSOP Winners
In 2016, Qui Nguyen won in excess of $8 million after defeating Gordon Vayo in the final act of the competition. More than 1000 players finished in the money and were lavishly rewarded for their performance at the WSOP. One year before that, in 2015, the field of 6420 players produced an impressive prize pool of more than $60 million. Joe McKeehen got the lion’s share of $7,683,346 after defeating Joshua Beckley in a heads up duel.
Martin Jacobson was the first player since Jamie Gold to cross the psychological threshold of $10 million in 2014. Even Mark Newhouse who suffered an untimely elimination at the final table walked away with $730,000. In the previous year, Ryan Riess had to settle for a first prize worth $8,359,531 after denying Jay Farber a chance to win the tournament held at Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Online Poker WSOP Qualifiers
The interest for the World Series of Poker Main Event is tremendous among the fans of the game, but only a few can afford to pay the buy-in. The alternative is to qualify for the tournament at leading poker rooms runs satellites and qualifiers throughout the year. These events have significantly smaller buy-ins and players decide how much they are willing to spend for a chance to book a seat at the WSOP.
Online poker rooms generally host tournaments exclusively for the World Series of Poker Main Event. Having said this, many winners decide to use the money to participate in side events.
The reasoning behind these actions is that they feel more comfortable playing in competitions with smaller buy-ins. The five digit figure is sufficient to secure entrance in several tournaments rewarded with nice paychecks and the sought after bracelets. Finishing in the money at the Main Event will only offset the investment.
There is an indissoluble link between the size of the buy-in and the number of satellites players have to win to secure the coveted seat.
By winning a series of tournaments one can make it to Las Vegas and play for millions of dollars. The downside of going through all these satellites is that the odds are stacked against players who need to consistently place at the top of the list. The alternative is to buy in directly to the big qualifiers or even go to Las Vegas and play in the WSOP daily qualifying tournaments.
Interesting Facts About the World Series of Poker
When it comes to the WSOP, everyone is talking about the main event even though there are plenty of sites tournaments.
Texas hold‘em is the most played game at these contests, but players can also put their skill to the test at Omaha tables. Bracelets are won by those who emerge victorious in these tournaments and they add up towards the total count.
So far, the largest prize ever won in the main event was the $12 million payout awarded to Jamie Gold in 2006. That was the year with the greatest turnout for this tournament, as 8773 players bought in directly or booked a seat through qualifiers.
A prize pool of $82,512,162 was amassed back in 2006 and Jamie won the lion’s share at the end of a memorable performance. The prizes for the main event have climbed steadily from 1993 to 2006 surging from $1 million to the standing record of $82 million.
Overall, the largest World Series of Poker prize was won in 2012 by Antonio Esfandiari who triumphed in The Big One for One Drop $1 million buy-in charity tournament. Despite the significantly smaller field of participants, he walked away with $18.3 million. The record-setting sum reignited interest for the game after a few years of steady decline. However, the poker world is still reeling in the wake of the UIGEA.
Phil Hellmuth is the uncontested leader in terms of WSOP bracelets, with a total of 13. He also finished in the money in a record 95 events while making the final table in 49 tournaments.
Only two players in WSOP history managed to win the main event three times: Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar. The record for the oldest player to participate in a main event at the World Series of Poker is held by Jack Ury. When he bought in for this tournament, he was already 97 years old.
For several years, the World Series of Poker was split into two distinct stages, with the final table being scheduled for November. The format was supposed to increase the hype and give the finalists enough time to prepare for the last act. In 2017, the organizers announced that the November 9 Era was over.