The most iconic moments in World Series of Poker history


Even if the world has come to a standstill, the recent global occurrences have not dampened interest in poker cards even in the virtual world.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has seen incredible events and produced huge personalities for roughly 50 years. So, today, you’re about to learn about some of the most memorable events in poker history. 


The birth of the Doyle Brunson hand (1976)

Lucky hands exist in poker but the Doyle Brunson hand is insanely lucky that it forever carries the identity of the person who played this hand. Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson, 83, has won 10 WSOP bracelets none more gloriously than his two back-to-back victories in the main event. 

In 1976, Brunson made a house to take out a heads-up competitor Jesse Alto with a score of 10-2. Surprisingly, the former scored a house with 10-2 the following year to defeat Gary “Bones” Berland.


Jack Straus: The original chip and a chair (1982)

An expression in poker goes, “As long as you’ve got a chip and a chair.” This expression means that despite how many chips you have in a poker game, you will always have an opportunity. 

However, you may not be aware that this idiom originated in a WSOP event in 1982. How Jack “Treetop” Straus made a comeback from a single chip down to win the main event with $520,000 is the best underdog tale in sports history.


Phil Hellmuth: The youngest main event winner (1989)

In 1989, Phil Hellmuth was barely 24 years old as he was pitted against Johnny Chan in a heads-up match. The former won and rippled through history in the world of poker.

Numerous players broke Hellmuth’s record in the noughties. By then, he had already earned a few more WSOP victories to his resume.


Bill Boyd: The one-man event (1973)

Bill Boyd was regarded as one of the best Limit 5-card stud players in 1973. He defeated ten players in the $1k entrance tournament in 1971.

After that, the competition started to drain away for Boyd. He was heads-up from the opening hand of the $10k limit 5-card stud tournament in 1972 and won.

Boyd was the only player in the $10k Limit 5-card Stud tournament in 1973, making this tournament the smallest one in WSOP history. He invested $10,000 and cashed out the same amount.

Since 2011, the WSOP had not held a Limit 5-card stud tournament. It was a defining moment in the WSOP history.


Annette Obrestad: The youngest bracelet winner (2008)

While Phil Hellmuth‘s age record has been broken several times, Annette Obrestad is expected to keep hers for longer. This Norwegian poker player participated in the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) main event in London in 2008 and conquered it on her 19th birthday.

Unlike the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC), which gives out rings, the WSOPE gives out bracelets, enabling Obrestad to become the youngest bracelet winner in history. Her record should last for a long time due to the 21-year-old age restriction in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States and the limited number of international bracelet games, making it a memorable milestone in WSOP history.


Barbara Enright crashes the party (1995)

Barbara Enright‘s feat in 1995 as the very first female to reach the WSOP main event final provided women with an opportunity to break into what was a man’s world. With three bracelets and a fifth place finish in the WSOP main event in that year, she is probably the most successful female player in WSOP history.

Only Annie Duke has come close to making a final round since Enright’s achievement, placing 10th in the main event of the 2000 WSOP. Annually, at the WSOP main event, the last girl remaining is the subject of much discussion.


Chris Moneymaker makes the biggest bluff at WSOP (2003)

Bluffing is a fundamental component of the poker game. It causes players to give up even if they hold a decent hand but not the best, such as a Royal Flush.

You’ll be on top if you can persuade them of the competitor’s superiority. Chris Moneymaker was an amateur poker player who won a place in the WSOP through internet casinos in the U.S.

In 2003, Moneymaker was pitted against a veteran named Sam Farha but even pros could lose. The former bluffed all-in with only a King in hand throughout the game. 

Farha threw up his pair of 9s since Moneymaker did it so well. Consequently, the latter took home $2.5 million in the event and established his firm.

Moneymaker’s victory in the WSOP was remarkable. He had one of the best hands in poker ever.


Johnny Chan holds his title with the rounders hand (1988)

Johnny Chan was among the top players of the 1980s. He received the nickname The Orient Express for his lightning-fast destruction of competitors. 

Chan proceeded to win back-to-back WSOP championships in 1988 after winning the main event in 1987. He did it so deftly that his last hand versus Erik Seidel was memorialized in a poker film titled “Rounders“.

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