Very first World Series of Poker (WSOP) event took place which was owned by Binion’s Casino, in downtown Las Vegas in 1971. Other than the small poker fraternity no one knew about poker. Then, events were not well publicized as it is done today. Today thousands players come to play but in 1971 WSOP event had just six players. back then players never liked publicity as it was not a respected game and winning this tournament brought lot of attention from government although to favor Benny many players played it.
To the winner, the prize was huge as $30, 000, a big sum. In 1971 WOSP there were six players including Doyle Brunson «The Godfather of Poker» as well as Sailor Roberts, Johnny Moss, Jack «Treetop» Strauss, Puggy Pearson, and Jimmy Casella. With Johnny Moss as winner, it was no-limit Texas hold’em poker. WOSP has changed a little over the years, a tribute to Benny Binnion. Even recent movies have come out promoting poker such as Casino Royale and No-limit Texas hold’em is the main event. The buy-in to mail event is at $10, 000 and as per tradition, the winner of WOSP stills gets to hold the gold bracelet over his head and declare himself as the World Champion of Poker, just like Johnny Moss.
In 1971, with final prize being $30, 000, Johnny Moss won $5000 Championship event. In Limit Ace to 5 Draw events, he won $10, 000. Bill Boyd won the Limit 5 Card Stud event for $10, 000. The Limit Razz event was won by Jimmy Casella and took home $10, 000. Puggy Pearson won the Limit 7 Card Stud event for $10, 000. Even though things were kept under tight wraps, WOSP is extremely popular and successful. Just to get a shot at the main prize and feel the excitement, which is out of control, people from all corners of the world flock in. It is important to recall how this game started and how the early pioneers of poker have made WOSP a world famous game.