Everything you need to know about the 2018 WSOP
July is a month of celebration for poker lovers, and this year it once again saw the world’s biggest tournament take place – the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event. Now in its 49th year, the competition has been running since 1970, making it the longest – running poker tournament in the world.
This year, players from across the globe gathered in at Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. to take their chances at winning the title of world’s best poker player, ultimately taking home the huge $10,000 jackpot. Meeting in a range of tournaments rooms names known as Brasilia, Pavilion, Miranda, and Amazon, all was in-keeping with the Brazilian theme.
The tournament has long attracted some of the biggest names in poker from around the world, with Galen Hall, Chance Kornuth and Dan Matsuzuki just some of the players who dominated this year. The USA’s John Cynn, who outlasted Tony Miles in a record all-nighter and proceeded to win the coveted $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event, was undoubtedly the star of the show– and his name will go down in history alongside those of previous lucky winners.
In 2017, the tournament attracted a whopping 120,995 players from 111 countries, competing in a total of 74 games. The game has evolved over the years since its inception, having been held in a variety of different venues, with additional games added along the way. One thing that has always remained, however, is its history, and some of the original games played in the WSOP’s early years have since been integrated into some mixed- games and dealer’s choice events.
One of the biggest changes at this year’s tournament saw the Main Event shifted from its position as the final, and replaced instead with the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. The last time this event was played was during the 2014 World Series of Poker tournament, making it an exciting addition to the 2018 line-up – and one that drew in scores of excited onlookers to watch the action unfold.
The WSOP isn’t just about the money, and players who participated in the event were not just vying for the jackpot prize, but also to make their mark a game which has roots running from the Revolutionary War to the 19th century, when steamboats reign in the Mississippi River. The game has indeed come a long way since then, and any person who wins the bracelet has elevated themselves into the roster of the best poker players in history.
The History of World Series of Poker
The Main Event was the brainchild of Benny Binion, a Texas gambler, who stumbled across the idea as he was looking for ways to promote his casino. In 1970, the World Series of Poker was born, with only a handful of players vying for that first pot and playing in games like a seven-card stud, no-limit hold’em, 2-7 lowball, five-card draw, and razz. The event lasted for 10 days, with Johnny Moss eventually declared the winner. Johnny then went on to become one of the most revered players inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
In 1972, the $10,000 buy-in was introduced, which later became what is now known to poker players as the Main Event. During that time, the no-limit hold’em became the premier game.
From its humble beginnings, the WSOP has grown in prestige and popularity, with many preliminary events. The sought-after championship bracelet, which is now the ultimate trophy in poker, was introduced by Binion himself in 1976. Any player who snags this bracelet is automatically elevated to the level of their fellow poker greats – a concept that has now been adopted by several other renowned poker events all over the world.
Looking at how big WSOP is today, Binion could not have imagined that his simple marketing brainchild would become a major, world-famous event. In fact, it is not only the most prestigious event in the world, but also the richest, with more than $2.6 billion in prize money up for grabs as well as several gold bracelets.
A Must-Watch Event
The 2018 WSOP included a total of 78 events, each with their own unique characteristics and attracting different players from around the world. One of these crowd drawers is Event #62, the $888 Crazy Eights No Limit Hold’em 8-Handed, which had more than 8,000 entrants this year.
The Crazy Eight was aptly named after the official sponsor of the event, 888 poker, and also the total winnings of the game, which stand at an enormous $888,888. This year’s winner was the 33-year old Stanford University graduate, Galen Hall – who, aside from the money, also received his first official gold bracelet.
As an official sponsor of the 2018 WSOP, 888poker sent 7 teams representing each of their countries to the event, from the likes of Brazil, Sweden, UK, Russia, Germany, Canada, and Spain. Here’s a look at each of them.
Team Brazil – Vivian Saliba (Captain) & Bruna Unzueta (Wingwoman).
Saliba is an 888poker ambassador and the youngest female to enter the event last year. Unzueta, on the other hand, is a social media influencer with 1.5 million followers on Instagram
Team UK – Chris Moorman (Captain) & Niall Farrell (Wingman)
Moorman is a seasoned poker player with titles from WPT and WSOP. Farell, his wingman, is Scotland’s money leader, with over $5 million in live earnings
Team Spain – Marti Roca de Torres (Captain) & Fernando Pons (Wingman)
Both players are 888poker ambassadors. Torres won the 888poker qualifier to enter the WSOP Europe Main Event where he won $1.5 million. Pons finished in ninth place in the 2016 WSOP Main Event and got $1 million.
Team Sweden – Martin Jacobson (Captain) & Anton Wigg (Wingman)
Jacobson is Scotland’s all-time money leader, and was also last year’s wingman to captain and 888poker Ambassador Sofia Lövgren. Wigg, on the other hand, has won nine EPT side events and more that has more than $2.3 million in lifetime earnings, as well as a cool $8 million in live earnings.
Team Germany – Dominik Nitsche (Captain) & Andre Krieger (Wingman)
Nitsche is fourth on Germany’s rich list, and is a four-time gold bracelet winner with more than $14.6 million in earnings. Krieger, aka Commander Krieger, is a YouTube celebrity with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Team Russia – Arseniy Karmatskiy (Captain) & Daria Feshchenko (Wingwoman)
Kamatskiy won the EPT Sochi for $478K back in March this year, and the the €2K German Poker Championship for $217,238 last year. Feshcenko might be a rookie but in a matter of 10 months, she already won in 8 tournaments.
Team Canada – Parker “Tonka” Talbot (Captain) & Mike Leah (Wingman)
Talbot, and 888poker ambassador, is Canada’s 8th money leader and a World Poker Tour champion. He was also a gold bracelet winner at the 2014 WSOP APAC High Roller with more than $7 million in lifetime earnings. Tonka, on the other hand, has earned $3 million from playing online and has 4 million followers on Twitch.
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