History of World Series of Poker

World Series of Poker officially started in 1970 by Benny Binion, owner of Binion’s
Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although 1970 was the first official
tournament to determine the “World Champion,” the idea for the game actually came
about 21 years earlier in 1949 when Nicloas “The Greek” Dandalos came to Las Vegas
and approached Benny Binnion to set up a no-limit poker marathon so Nick could
challenge the best poker players in the world. Benny Binnion agreed and arranged a
publicly viewed match between Nick Dandalos and the best poker player of the time,
Johnny Moss.

The marathon match lasted five months with short sleep breaks, and they played every
kind of poker known to man. Johnny Moss finally beat Nick “The Greek” and ended up
winning over 2 million dollars.

21 years later Benny Binion decided to restage the game and invite some of the best poker
players in the world to determine the “World Champion” and the World Series of Poker
was born. Johnny Moss ended up wining the first tournament and the following year.
First tournament had 7 players, followed by 13 the second year. Binion hoped that
someday his tournament would grow to 50 players. The 1982 game had 52 players and
the game started growing fast specially after the introduction of satellite competitions. 5
years later the tournament grew to over 2,000 players and the 2002 tournament attracted
over 7,500 players.