World Series of Poker 2017

December 9, 2016
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Your Guide to the 2017 World Series of Poker
The 2017 WSOP - Schedule of Tournaments, Buy-in & Satellite Information

World Series of Poker 2017How does a trip to Las Vegas in the middle of July sound? If you're sane it probably doesn't sound that great at all. After all, with 110 degree Fahrenheit heat hitting your face on a good day, the desert is probably the last place you'd want to be. In fact, Alaska probably sounds a lot better.

Unless, of course, you're a poker player, in which case the middle of the Nevada desert is an absolute oasis.

WSOP Satellites

Would you like to go to the WSOP 2017?

Read our guide to entering the 2017 World Series of Poker.

Shuffle Up and Deal!

Welcome to the 2017 World Series of Poker - the biggest, richest poker event that attracts poker pros, celebrities, and amateur poker players from every corner of the globe is back for 2017. For 10 days this July, the best of the best (and the worst, too) descend on Sin City for the ultimate roller coaster ride of their poker lives. Only one player getís to leave with the title of WSOP 2017 Main Event Champion but the big question is, who will it be this year?

If you're a hardcore poker player, you'll be there from Day 1, playing the smaller events and some of the high-roller events, too. If you're a focused player who happens to have another day job, you might prefer to play exclusively in the Main Event. Whatever style of poker player you are, the World Series of Poker is built for you.

But before you dive into the World Series of Poker 2017 head first, you should probably know what you're up against, how other players have made out, the schedule of events and even how to win your way into the event for just a few bucks. Our 2017 WSOP guide has everything you need to know, so read on.

History of the World Series of Poker

WSOP HistoryIf you know a thing or two about the World Series of Poker Main Event, you know that it attracts upwards of 6,500 players per year to the tournament - last year's event saw 6,683 players compete for the first place prize of $10 million.

But did you know that the first WSOP back in 1970 featured just seven players? In fact, the Main Event field didn't even reach double digits until 1973. And it took until 1982 to reach triple digits.

It all started back in 1970 when Benny Binion invited six of the absolute best poker players he knew to play No Limit Texas Hold'em in front of a live audience at his Horseshoe casino. His friend included Johnny Moss, Amarillo "Slim" Preston, Brian "Sailor" Roberts, Doyle Brunson, Walter "Puggy" Pearson, Crandall Addington, and Carl Cannon.

2017ís WSOP champion will have to play the best final hand to win but at the first World Series of Poker event, the winner was decided by peer votes. That' s a far cry from the grueling week-and-a-half of practically nonstop tournament play poker players have to go through to be crowned champions these days.

While the 1970 tournament was an invitational event, 1971 saw the tournament open up to poker players with a buy-in of $5,000. In 1972, the buy-in doubled to $10,000. It has remained at $10,000 ever since. So if you want to just buy your way straight into the WSOP 2017 Main Event, it wonít be cheap. There are loads still of ways to get into 2017ís WSOP tournament for just a few dollars or for free though!

In 2004, Harrah's purchased The Horseshoe Casino and with it the rights to the World Series of Poker. In 2005, the series was moved to the Rio Hotel & Casino, a Harrah's-owned property. The series has been held there ever since.

How online poker changed the tournament forever

WSOP changed online pokerYou don't have to travel too far back in time to see how online poker dramatically changed the World Series of Poker for the better. Just look back about 10 years to 2003.

It was then that a relatively unknown poker player named Chris Moneymaker qualified for his WSOP Main Event seat through an online qualifier at Poker Stars. And he won, taking the tournament's first place prize pool of $2.5 million.

In 2003, the Main Event saw a field of 839 poker players. After Moneymaker's unexpected win, online poker sites saw an explosion in traffic, with millions of people signing up to hone their game.

In 2004, the field more than tripled, with 2,576 players sitting down to play in the Main Event. And the following year, the field more than doubled again, jumping up to 5,619 players.

In 2006, the WSOP Main Event field set a record with an all-time high of 8,773. Change in US law forced a few sites to dive out of the US market later that year, so subsequent years saw Main Event field drops. But for the most part, the field has remained in the mid-6000s and above.

Online poker has even helped other tournament series grow in conjunction with the WSOP. Large-scale tournament circuits, such as the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour, continue to grow both in numbers and prize pools. However, the World Series continues to be the grandaddy of them all, both in scale and reputation.

How to enter the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event

If you want to play in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2017, there are several ways to win your seat.

  • How can I qualify for the World Series of Poker?

    You can win your way through an online poker qualifier. While the big two sites - PokerStars and Full Tilt - no longer serve US players, they still offer WSOP qualifiers to players around the world, along with our top rated US poker site, BetOnline.

  • Enter WSOP Satellites

    With online qualifiers, or satellites, you can win entry in to the WSOP 2017 Main Event for as little as just a few dollars. Poker sites hold satellites that feed into larger tournaments. By winning a series of tournaments, or even a single satellite tournament, you can make your way to Las Vegas for next to nothing and get to experience all the drama thatís bound to play out at this years tournament.

    Serious online poker players who have patience and time usually get started with trying to qualify early. Note that with online poker sitesí satellites, you'll often receive your WSOP 2017 Main Event entry in cash. It is normally then your responsibility to buy yourself into 2017ís WSOP Main Event.

  • Buy directly in

    Got $10,000 lying around? Bring it to Vegas and buy directly in to the WSOP 2017 Main Event.

  • Qualify in Vegas

    If you want to play in the Main Event but you're short on funds this year, you can enter a live satellite. The WSOP hosts daily tournaments at the Rio with buy-ins that come in way under the $10,000 Main Event cost. Successful players earn tournament chips that can be used in any of the WSOP 2017 gold bracelet tournaments.

10 Interesting facts about the WSOP

  • 1
    The largest Main Event win was claimed by Jamie Gold in 2006. Gold walked away with $12 million.
  • 2
    The largest turnout for the Main Event of the WSOP was also in 2006 - a total of 8,773 players came out to play.
  • 3
    The total prize pool in 2006? $82,512,162 - just for the Main event.
  • 4
    The largest World Series of Poker prize was won by Antonio Esfandiari in 2012. He took down the $1 million buy-in charity tournament, The Big One for One Drop. His prize? $18.3 million.
  • 5
    Phil Hellmuth holds the record for the largest number of WSOP bracelets at 13.
  • 6
    Hellmuth also holds the record for the highest number of cashes at 95, and most final tables at 49.
  • 7
    Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar are tied for the most Main Event wins at 3 apiece.
  • 8
    Between 1993 and 2006, the Main Event player pool continue to climb. And with it, so did the prize pool, jumping from 220 players and a $1 million prize pool in 1993 to the $12 million prize pool in 2006.
  • 9
    In 2007, for the first time in well over a decade, the WSOP Main Event experienced a decrease in the number of entrants, dropping from an all-time high of 8,773 in 2006 to 6,358 in 2007. That's a difference of 2,415 players. The big drop is widely attributed to the change in US law that made it illegal for a financial institution to process an online gambling transaction. Several sites that had fed players to the WSOP Main Event stopped serving US players, including Party Poker and Paradise Poker. And many sites that stayed in the US market paid players $10,000 cash instead of organizing their buy-ins, causing many players to choose cash over a Main Event seat.
  • 10
    You don't have to be young to play in the WSOP. The oldest person to play in the World Series of Poker was Jack Ury, who was 97 when he played in the Main Event.

How the WSOP compares to other live events

The World Series of Poker isn't for everyone. With upwards of 6,500 players competing for the title, it can be an unbelievably grueling experience, especially for first-time poker players who might be great online but not so amazing playing live for the first time in 2017.

If you're used to a casual, relaxed atmosphere, you're better off with a tournament like the Punta Cana Poker Classic or the Caribbean Adventure event rather than the 2017 WSOP. With a beach located just steps from the tournament floor at those tournaments, it's hard to feel bad about busting out.

On the other side of the poker chip, the WSOP parks you in a room with several thousand sweaty poker players, each one with their eye on the prize. If you make it beyond the first few days of the 2017 tournament, chances are you won't see anything outside the Rio. You'll want to sleep between poker flights and recharge for the next day. If you bust out early, you'll want to catch an earlier flight home so you can get out of Sin City and the brutal desert heat fast.

Still, even with the thousands of players to contend with, even with the brutal Nevada heat blaring down on you, the WSOP is an amazing experience that needs to be seen to be believed. Why not make 2017 the year you finally get to the WSOP?!

While the smaller tournaments offer a kind of poker vacation, the 2017 WSOP is all business with a prize pool that runs in the tens of millions, just for the Main Event. At other poker tournament vacations, you play hard to win the title. At the WSOP, you work for it and in the end you might just be rewarded with the ultimate glory; the tiles of WSOP 2017 Champion.

There's more to the 2017 WSOP than the Main Event

While the $10,000 buy-in Main Event always steals the poker media spotlight, the 2017 World Series of Poker features 62 separate gold bracelet events. Buy-ins for the public run as low as $1,000 (there's a $500 buy-in event, but that's for casino employees only).

Many players who win a $10,000 Main Event seat use their cash to buy into the smaller events. After all, itís easier to play in a handful of smaller events and gain fame and fortune for the rest of 2017 than it is to make a dent in 2017ís Main Event.

The 2017 World Series of Poker Schedule

Remember, there's more to the world's biggest poker series than just the Main Event. Our WSOP 2017 schedule below has every event for 2017 and all the important information you need to know about.

2016 WSOP main events
Event #
Event Title
Event Date
Duration
Buy-in
Event # Event Title Event Date Duration Buy-in
2
$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 4 Days $5,000
3
$1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $1,500
4
$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

($5,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool)

Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $3,000
5A
$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

($5,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool)

Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 5 Days $565
5B
$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

($5,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool)

Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 5 Days $565
5C
$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

($5,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool)

Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 4 Days $565
5D
THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 4 Days $565
6
$1,000 Hyper Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 2 Days $1,000
7
$10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $10,000
8
$1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $1,500
9
$1,500 Razz Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 2 Days $1,500
10
$10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $10,000
11
$1,500 Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $1,500
2
$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 4 Days $5,000
3
$1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $1,500
4
$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $3,000
5A
THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 5 Days $565
5B
THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 5 Days $565
5C
THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 4 Days $565
5D
THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 4 Days $565
6
$1,000 Hyper Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 2 Days $1,000
7
$10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $10,000
8
$1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $1,500
9
$1,500 Razz Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 2 Days $1,500
10
$10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $10,000
11
$1,500 Limit Hold'em Wed, May 27th, 4:00 PM 3 Days $1,500

If you are still curious about how you can qualify for the World Series of Poker, please check out our WSOP Qualifying section above.

Past WSOP Winners

Qui Nguyen

2016

The 2016 World Series of Poker saw Qui Nguyen take the number one spot from a potential 6,737 players, a few hundred more than the previous year. Nguyen won the Main Event by heads-up against Gordon Vayo on the final table and walked away with $8,005,310. The top 1,011 players finished in the money this year and saw Vayo take second place with Cliff Josephy coming in third.

Joe McKeehen

2015

The 46th annual WSOP event took place in 2015, and it was held at Vegas's famous Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino (just like all the WSOP tournaments in the past 9 years). The event drew 6,420 players, creating a prize pool of a whooping $60,348,000. The top 1,000 players won some money, with all of the final table players bringing home at least $1 million each. Joe McKeehen, the first place winner, won $7,683,346. The second place winner was Joshua Beckley and he won $4,470,896.

Martin Jacobson

2014

Once again held at Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the 2014 WSOP tournament had 6,683 entrants and a prize pool of $62,820,200. The first person who got out at the final table (also known as the ninth place winner) was Mark Newhouse, and he brought home $730,725. The second place winner was Felix Stephensen, and he brought home $5,147,911. Martin Jacobson placed first and brought home a cool $10 million.

Ryan Riess

2013

The 2013 WSOP tournament had 6,352 entrants and a prize pool of $59,708,800. The first place winner, who was Ryan Riess (also known as "Reiss the Beast"), won $8,359,531. Jay Farber was the second place winner and he netted himself a prize of $5,174,357. The tournament was held at Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Greg Merson

2012

The 43rd annual WSOP event took place at Vegas's Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in 2012. In this tournament, a prize pool of $62,021,200 was created with 6,598 entrants. Everyone who placed in the top 666 won some money. The top nine players brought home at least $750,000. The second place winner, Jesse Sylvia, won $5,295,149, and the first place winner, Greg Merson, won $8,531,853.

Pius Heinz

2011

Hosted by Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the 2011 WSOP tournament attracted 6,865 entrants and a prize pool of $64,531,000 was put together. The first place winner, Pius Heinz, got to bring home a good chunk of the prize. More specifically, he won $8,715,638. Martin Staszko, the second place winner, made a pretty penny, too. In other words, he won $5,433,086.

List of winners in 1970-2010
Year Winner Place Prize
2010 Canadian Flag Jonathan Duhamel Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $8,944,138
2009 United States Flag Joe Cada Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $8,574,649
2008 Denmark flag Peter Eastgate Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $9,152,416
2007 United States Flag Jerry Yang Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $8,250,000
2006 United States Flag Jamie Gold Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $12,000,000
2005 Australian Flag Joe Hachem Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $7,500,000
2004 United States Flag Greg Raymer Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $5,000,000
2003 United States Flag Chris Moneymaker Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $2,500,000
2002 United States Flag Robert Varkonyi Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $2,000,000
2001 Spain Flag Carlos Mortensen Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,500,000
2000 United States Flag Chris Ferguson Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,500,000
1999 Ireland flag Noel Furlong Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1998 Vietnam flag Scotty Nguyen Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1997 United States Flag Stu Ungar Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1996 United States Flag Huck Seed Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1995 United States Flag Dan Harrington Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1994 United States Flag Russ Hamilton Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1993 United States Flag Jim Bechtel Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1992 United States Flag Hamid Dastmalchi Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1991 German Flag Brad Daugherty Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $1,000,000
1990 UK Flag Mansour Matloubi Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $895,000
1989 United States Flag Phil Hellmuth Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $755,000
1988 China flag Johnny Chan Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $700,000
1987 China Flag Johnny Chan Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $625,000
1986 United States Flag Berry Johnston Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $570,000
1985 United States Flag Bill Smith Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $700,000
1984 United States Flag Jack Keller Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $660,000
1983 United States Flag Tom McEvoy Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $540,000
1982 United States Flag Jack Straus Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $520,000
1981 United States Flag Stu Ungar Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $375,000
1980 United States Flag Stu Ungar Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $385,000
1979 United States Flag Hal Fowler Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $270,000
1978 United States Flag Bobby Baldwin Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $210,000
1977 United States Flag Doyle Brunson Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $340,000
1976 United States Flag Doyle Brunson Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $220,000
1975 United States Flag Brian Roberts Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $210,000
1974 United States Flag Johnny Moss Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $160,000
1973 United States Flag Walter Pearson Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $130,000
1972 United States Flag Thomas Preston Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $80,000
1971 United States Flag Johnny Moss Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada $30,000
1970 United States Flag Johnny Moss Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada prize unknown

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