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World Series of Poker

The WSOP can trace it's roots back to 1949, when East Coast gambler Nick 'the Greek' Dandelos stepped into the Horseshoe and told owner Benny Binion that he was looking for a high-stakes poker game. Not being much of a poker player himself, Binion called one of his friends, poker legend Johnny Moss, and asked him if he wanted the action. Moss drove from Dallas to Vegas, sat down at a table with Nick the Greek, and the battle was on.

The game was played in the casino, and attracted no shortage of railbirds and spectators. Anyone could sit down in the game, provided they could buy in for ten grand, but Moss and Nick the Greek remained the main attractions. The two played for days on end (some sessions ran for as long as five days), and the two played every game imaginable. Five card stud, draw, you name it. Some six months later, and somewhere around 2-4 million dollars lighter, Nick the Greek decided that he'd had enough.

It took 21 years before the World Series was officially born. Remembering how much interest that earlier match had generated, Benny Binion decided in 1970 to invite six professional players to The Horseshoe to play a week long session of poker, after which time the participants would vote for the champion (incidentally they voted for Moss). A year later the 'main event' was born, with no limit Texas hold 'em being the game and $10,000 required for a buy in.

The WSOP now stands as the most prestigious poker event in the world, with the main event being the title most coveted. Last year over 2500 player plunked down ten grand eaich for a seat in 'The Big One', and the first place prize was five million dollars; the biggest single prize ever awarded for a single sporting event.

Our favorite poker celebrities; photos, bios and fast facts:
Annie Duke
Daniel Negreanu
Johnny Chan
Howard Lederer
Chip Reese
Doyle Brunson
Phil Ivey
Stu Ungar
Men Nguyen


2003 WSOP champion, Chris Moneymaker, and 2004 champion Greg Raymer both entered the WSOP through online satellite tournaments. Time is running out, so if you're looking to try your luck at qualifying for the 2005 WSOP, the following sites are all currently offering WSOP satellite tournaments:

1. Ultimate Bet
2. Party Poker
3. Royal Vegas Poker
4. Full Tilt Poker
5. Noble Poker