Great Moments in World Series of Poker History Part 2

Published On: 17 June 2013 / Modified: 22 June 2018
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Every year the poker world descends upon Las Vegas for the marquee festival of the year, the World Series of Poker.

Over the past four decades the event has produced 40+ world champions, hundreds of gold bracelet winners and thousands of unforgettable moments.

Guest poster James Guill revisited some of the most memorable moments in Great Moments in WSOP History Part 1 and adds some more in Part 2 today.

A Failed Reunion Provides Opportunity

The World Series of Poker may have never happened if not for the failure of a similar venture.

Reno Represent!
WSOP in Reno? Might have been...

In 1969 Tom Moore of the Holiday Hotel and Casino in Reno, NV hosted an invitational poker event that he called the "Texas Gamblers Reunion."

Unfortunately for Moore, the event failed to generate any significant revenue for his property and he decided not to hold the event again.

Benny Binion of Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas contacted Moore and asked his permission to host a similar event.

Moore gave the ok to Binion to host a similar event and the World Series of Poker was born.

Jackie McDaniel Breaks the Bracelet Gender Barrier

If you believe the legends surrounding the Ladies Event at the WSOP, it was originally created to give something to do for the wives and girlfriends of the male players.

Jennifer Tilly
J. Tilla would be bracelet-less if no Ladies event.

The 1977 World Series of Poker was the first year for the Ladies Event and it took the form of a $100 Seven-Card Stud tournament.

According to the first-ever Ladies Event drew a field of 93 players with Jackie McDaniel becoming the first women's champion.

Her first and only bracelet victory netted her $5,580 and paved the way for future champions such as Barbara Enright, Nani Dollison and Susie Isaacs.

Daugherty Becomes First WSOP Millionaire

The WSOP Main Event has always been the richest prize in poker but it wasn't until 1991 that the event started making "poker millionaires."

The 1991 Main Event was the first to offer that elusive title to the winner.

After two failed attempts to satellite his way into the Main Event, Brad Daugherty put up the full $10,000 buy-in for the Main Event and proceeded to navigate through a field of 215 players to win the event and exactly $1m.

While $1 million pales in comparison to the $8.53 million won by Greg Merson last year it set the bar for future Main Events and made Daugherty the first "WSOP Millionaire."

Hal Lubarsky Goes Deep

Jerry Yang may have won the 2007 WSOP Main Event but the story of the tournament was Hal Lubarsky.

Lubarsky was a high-stakes poker player who lost his sight due to retinis pigmentosa and was playing the event with the aid of a card reader.

He would play his way through a field of 6,358 players and would finish in 197th place, good for $51,398.

He's also since proven that run was no fluke. Lubarsky just missed the final table in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Event in 2011 when he finished in 11th place. He also cashed in last year's Seniors Event.

Harrah's Buys Binion's Horseshoe

On January 23rd, 2004, Harrah's Entertainment purchased Binion's Horseshoe and the rights to the World Series of Poker.

They kept the rights to the WSOP and sold the physical property a few days later to MTR Gaming Group. Harrah's would continue to operate the property until 2005 while MTR received its permits to run the casino.

WSOP: Binion's at heart.

The 2004 WSOP was the last one to be held entirely at Binion's and the 2005 WSOP only held the final three tables of the Main Event at the property.

While Binion's had been the birthplace of the WSOP the fact was that the event had outgrown the facility. It was moved to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and remains there to this day.

While many would not see this as a great moment in the event's history the truth is that without the sale of the WSOP and Binion's Horseshoe to Harrah's the event would have never grown to the worldwide brand that it is today.

The sale allowed the event to grow and draw in the record-breaking crowds that the WSOP now enjoys.

More Great Moments in World Series of Poker History:


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