List of World Series of Poker Main Event Champions

The following is the list of World Series of Poker Main Event champions. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is "the oldest, largest, most prestigious, and most media-hyped gaming competition in the world".[1] It is held annually since 1970 in Las Vegas. Since 1972, the Main Event of the WSOP has been the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold 'Em tournament. The winner of the WSOP Main Event receives a World Series of Poker bracelet, millions of dollars (with the exact amount based on the number of entrants), and the right to be considered the year's World Champion of Poker.[2] Since 2008, the nine players who make it to the final table of the Main Event are called the November Nine, a reference to the fact that the final table competes in November, months after the Main Event's preliminary rounds are completed.

Until 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion's Horseshoe. In 2005, the event moved to the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino.[3] The 2005 Main Event was not played completely at the Rio. However, the final three tables (27 players) played the conclusion of the event at the Horseshoe. All of the Main Events that proceeded the 2005 event were played completely at the Rio. Consequently, this made Joe Hachem the final player to win the Main Event at the original home of the World Series of Poker.


Johnny Moss was the first person to win the WSOP. Since then only Moss and Stu Ungar have won the Main Event three times; Ungar is the only one to have won three times in the freeze-out format. Moss, Ungar, Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan are the only people who have won the Main Event two years in a row. Johnny Chan's second victory in 1988 was featured on the 1998 film Rounders.[4] Peter Eastgate was the youngest person to win the Main Event when he won it in 2008, at 22 years of age.[5] He held that record for one year, when 21 year old Joe Cada became the youngest Main Event champion.


* Elected to the Poker Hall of Fame.
Denotes player who is deceased.
Year The year of the tournament linked to the WSOP for the given year.
Winner The person who won the Main Event.
Nickname Nickname of the player.
Hand The two hole cards the winner held on the final hand.
Prize (US$) WSOP Main Event Prize prize money.
Entrants This column indicates the number of players in that year's Main Event.
Winnings Lifetime winnings in WSOP and WSOP Circuit events as of April 15, 2013.
Bracelets WSOP victories are counted in terms of bracelets, as of April 15, 2013.
Ref. References

World Series of Poker Main Event

Image Year Winner Nickname Hand Prize (US$) Entrants[6] Total tournament
earnings (US$)
WSOP bracelets Ref.
1970 Moss, JohnnyJohnny Moss*† The Grand Old Man of Poker[7] N/A N/A 7 824,922 9 [8]
1971 Moss, JohnnyJohnny Moss*† The Grand Old Man of Poker 6  6  30,000 6 824,922 9 [8]
1972 Preston, ThomasThomas Preston*† Amarillo Slim[9] K  J  80,000 8 436,055 4 [10]
1973 Pearson, WalterWalter Pearson*† Puggy[11]   130,000 13 245,740 4 [12]
1974 Moss, JohnnyJohnny Moss*† The Grand Old Man of Poker   160,000 16 824,922 9 [8]
1975 Roberts, BrianBrian Roberts Sailor[13]   [14] 210,000 21 266,650 2 [15]
1976 Brunson, DoyleDoyle Brunson* Texas Dolly[16][h]   220,000 22 2,808,945 10 [17]
1977 Brunson, DoyleDoyle Brunson* Texas Dolly   340,000 34 2,808,945 10 [17]
1978 Baldwin, BobbyBobby Baldwin* The Owl[18]   210,000 42 604,900 4 [19]
1979 Fowler, HalHal Fowler   270,000 54 270,000 1 [20]
1980 Ungar, StuStu Ungar*† Stuey
The Kid[21]
  385,000 73 2,078,838 5 [22]
1981 Ungar, StuStu Ungar*† Stuey
The Kid
  375,000 75 2,078,838 5 [22]
1982 Straus, JackJack Straus[b]*† Treetop[23]   520,000 104 555,000 2 [24]
1983 McEvoy, TomTom McEvoy Grand Rapids Tom   540,000 108 1,291,031 4 [25]
N/A 1984 Keller, JackJack Keller*† Gentleman[26]   660,000 132 2,048,763 3 [26]
N/A 1985 Smith, BillBill Smith   700,000 140 788,000 1 [27]
1986 Johnston, BerryBerry Johnston*   570,000 141 2,265,523 5 [28]
1987 Chan, JohnnyJohnny Chan* Orient Express[29]   625,000 152 4,148,868 10 [30]
1988 Chan, JohnnyJohnny Chan* Orient Express   700,000 167 4,148,868 10 [30]
1989 Hellmuth, PhilPhil Hellmuth[g]* The Poker Brat[31]   755,000 178 12,189,531 13 [32]
N/A 1990 Matloubi, MansourMansour Matloubi   895,000 194 6,019,630 1 [33]
1991 Daugherty, BradBrad Daugherty   1,000,000 215 1,165,170 1 [34]
1992 Dastmalchi, HamidHamid Dastmalchi   1,000,000 201 1,642,463 3 [35]
1993 Bechtel, JimJim Bechtel   1,000,000 220 1,944,623 1 [36][37]
1994 Hamilton, RussRuss Hamilton   1,000,000 268 1,261,940 1 [38]
1995 Harrington, DanDan Harrington* Action Dan[39]   1,000,000 273 3,491,513 2 [40]
1996 Seed, HuckHuck Seed   1,000,000 295 2,426,842 4 [41]
1997 Ungar, StuStu Ungar*† Stuey
The Kid
  1,000,000 312 2,078,838 5 [42]
1998 Nguyen, ScottyScotty Nguyen The Train
The Prince of Poker[43]
  1,000,000 350 4,794,817 5 [44]
1999 Furlong, NoelNoel Furlong   1,000,000 393 1,070,785 1 [45]
2000 Ferguson, ChrisChris Ferguson Jesus [46]   1,500,000 512 7,075,300 5 [46]
2001 Mortensen, CarlosCarlos Mortensen El Matador[47]   1,500,000 613 8,457,033 2 [48]
2002 Varkonyi, RobertRobert Varkonyi   2,000,000 631 2,110,212 1 [49]
2003 Moneymaker, ChrisChris Moneymaker[c]   2,500,000 839 2,532,041 1 [50]
2004 Raymer, GregGreg Raymer Fossil-Man   5,000,000 2,576 5,712,585 1 [51]
2005 Hachem, JoeJoe Hachem   7,500,000 5,619 8,029,995 1 [52]
2006 Gold, JamieJamie Gold   12,000,000 8,773 12,067,292[i] 1 [53]
2007 Yang, JerryJerry Yang The Shadow[54]   8,250,000 6,358 8,250,000 1 [55]
2008 Eastgate, PeterPeter Eastgate Isser[5]   9,152,416 6,844 9,152,416 1 [56]
2009 Cada, JoeJoe Cada   8,574,649 6,494 8,574,649 1 [57]
2010 Duhamel, JonathanJonathan Duhamel   8,944,138 7,319 8,944,310 1 [58]
2011 Heinz, PiusPius Heinz -   8,715,638 6,865 8,798,924 1 [59]
- 2012 Merson, GregGreg Merson -   8,715,638 6,598 9,781,483 2 [60]
- 2013 Riess, RyanRyan Riess Riess the Beast   8,359,531 6,352 8,359,531 1 [61]

World Series of Poker Europe Main Event

The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is the first expansion effort of World Series of Poker-branded poker tournaments outside the United States. Since 1970, the bracelet events have occurred every year in Las Vegas. The inaugural WSOPE, held in 2007, marked the first time that a WSOP bracelet was awarded outside Las Vegas.[62] The 2007 Main Event, a GBP 10,000 buy-in no-limit hold 'em tournament, was won by Norwegian player Annette Obrestad on the day before her 19th birthday. This made her the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet, a record that cannot be broken in the Las Vegas WSOP under current laws because the minimum legal age for casino gaming in Nevada is 21. Obrestad could play in the WSOPE because the minimum age for casino gaming in the United Kingdom is 18. The World Series of Poker Europe has a unique identity from the Las Vegas WSOP, but according to Harrah's will remain true to the traditions and heritage.[62] The 2011 WSOP Europe main event was an 8-handed event.[63]

Image Year Winner Nickname Hand Prize Entrants[6] Winnings WSOP bracelets Ref.
2007 Obrestad, AnnetteAnnette Obrestad [e] Annette_15[64]   £1,000,000 362 $2,086,437 1 [65]
2008 Juanda, JohnJohn Juanda[f]   £868,800 362 $4,825,816 5 [66]
2009 Shulman, BarryBarry Shulman   £801,603 334 2
2010 Bord, JamesJames Bord   £830,401 346 1
2011 Fox, ElioElio Fox   1,400,000 593 1
2012 Hellmuth, PhilPhil Hellmuth[g]* The Poker Brat   1,022,376 420 $12,189,531 13 [67]

World Series of Poker Asia Pacific Main Event

The World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) is the most recent expansion of World Series of Poker-branded tournaments outside the United States. On April 30, 2012, WSOP owner Caesars Entertainment and Australian casino Crown Melbourne announced that the first WSOP APAC would be launched with five bracelet events in April 2013.[68]

Image Year Winner Nickname Hand Prize (A$) Entrants Winnings (US$) WSOP bracelets Ref.
2013 Negreanu, DanielDaniel Negreanu Kid Poker[69]   $1,038,825 405[70] $17,471,425 6 [70][71]


a The first World Series of Poker was not a freeze out tournament, but rather a game with a set start and stop time. Benny Binion took a secret ballot that asked the players who the best player was. According to poker lore, everybody said that they were the best player. Binion then asked who the second-best player was, and Johnny Moss won.[72]

b Jack Strauss' 1982 WSOP tournament victory is considered to be one of the greatest comebacks in poker history. At one point, Strauss was down to one chip, and he came back to win. This victory is considered the origin of the poker saying, "A chip and a chair." A saying that means that as long as you have a chip and a chair you have a chance. Modern lore indicates that this happened at the final table, but the 1983 book The Biggest Game in Town implies this occurred on the first day of the tournament.[73]

c Chris Moneymaker won the entry into the WSOP Main Event via a $39 online satellite.[74]

d Joe Cada is the youngest person to have won the WSOP Main Event.[5]

e Annette Obrestad won the WSOPE at the age of 18 years, 364 days, making her the youngest person to have won a WSOP bracelet. She is also the first woman to have won a Main Event tournament and in 2007 was considered to be one of the best online multi-table tournament players in the world.[64]

f The final table at the 2008 WSOPE Main Event, was the longest final table in the WSOP history. The tournament lasted 22 hours (a WSOP record) and 434 hands (a WSOP record).[75]

g At the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, Hellmuth won his record-breaking 13th bracelet. This also made him the first player ever to win the Main Events at both the WSOP and WSOPE.[67] Hellmuth also holds the records for most WSOP cashes (100) and most WSOP final tables (49).[76]

h Doyle Brunson obtained the nickname of Texas Dolly when Jimmy The Greek mispronounced his name.[16]

i In recent years, the prize pool for the WSOP Main Event has become so large that the winner instantly becomes one of the top money winners in tournament poker. Jamie Gold (2006) is number eight on that list, Joe Hachem (2005) is number ten, and Peter Eastgate (2008) is number eleven.[77]

j The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 curtailed online gambling in the United States.[78]


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