Growing up, American dream for many boys was playing major league baseball and hitting game winning home run in final game of World Series. This dream is usually shattered for most when in their teen years reality hits, that they’re not an athlete and have no chance at a career in professional baseball.
There is however another World Series that anyone can participate in. The only requirement is that you’re over 21. I’m talking about World Series Of Poker, which takes place this year from June 2 – July 15. “Wait,” I hear you say. “That’s over a month long. I thought World Series of Poker was just a few days.”
Actually WSOP is a series of 45 different poker events culminating with final 7 day main event starting July 7. The events take place at Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with final table of main event being played at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Downtown Las Vegas where World Series of Poker all started.
The official start of WSOP was in 1970, though beginnings can be traced back to an event which took place in 1949. Benny Binion, owner of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino and a true marketing genius, was approached by well-known gambler “Nick Greek” Nick asked him to set up a match against best poker player in a high-stakes poker marathon. Benny agreed as long as match would open to public. The stage was set for a showdown between “Nick Greek” and legendary poker player Johnny Moss. The marathon lasted five months and two played every form of poker there was. They took breaks only to sleep.
Binion’s marketing genius paid off as each day marathon ran hundreds of spectators gathered in his casino to watch “biggest game in town.” At end of five months “The Greek” had lost an estimated $2 million.
It took Binion 20 years to realize full potential of what happened those five months in 1949.
In 1970 Binion invited some of best poker players in world to a contest to determine “World Champion” poker player. The games began and Johnny Moss (the man who beat “Nick The Greek”) was voted, yes, you read it right, voted best poker player. There was no prize money for this event, just honor of being called best.