The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and, since 2005, sponsored by Caesars Entertainment Corporation (known as Harrah’s Entertainment until 2010). It dates its origins to 1970, when Benny Binion invited seven of the best-known poker players to the Horseshoe Casino for a single tournament, with a set start and stop time, and a winner determined by a secret ballot of the seven players.
The winner of each event receives a World Series of Poker bracelet and a monetary prize based on the number of entrants and buy-in amounts. Over the years, the tournament has grown in both the number of events and in the number of participants. Each year, the WSOP culminates with the $10,000 no-limit hold’em “Main Event,” which, since 2004, has attracted entrants numbering in the thousands. The victor receives a multi-million dollar cash prize and a bracelet, which has become the most coveted award a poker player can win. The winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event is considered to be the World Champion of Poker.
As of 2017, the WSOP consists of 74 events, with most major poker variants featured. However, in recent years, over half of the events have been variants of Texas hold ’em. Events traditionally take place during one day or over several consecutive days during the series in June and July. However, starting in 2008, the Main Event final table was delayed until November. The 2012 and 2016 Main Event final tables commenced in October because of the United States presidential election.
As of May 2017, the World Series of Poker has done away with the November Nine concept and instead went back to the old format of crowning the Main Event winner in July.