Phil Hellmuth

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Posted by motoman 03/16/2009 @ 13:08

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News headlines
Aw, Hell! Phil's done - SLAM! Sports
By STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA Pocket nines won Phil Hellmuth his first World Series of Poker bracelet against the legendary Johnny Chan almost 20 years ago to the day back in 1989. Yesterday at the Stampede Casino, those same cards got him knocked out...
New WSOP rule could hamper Hellmuth - Casino City Times
Which means we're just 18 days away from Phil Hellmuth's first temper tantrum of the tournament. A new discipline system, however, could render his next outburst his last. World Series of Poker officials want to do a better job tabulating infractions...
Gambling And Education Go Hand In Hand For Teri Hatcher - Casino Gambling Web
Online poker sites have targeted celebrities to help them advertise their sites. Professional poker players, in fact, have become some of the biggest celebrities of today. Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth, just to name a couple, have become household...
Phill Hellmuth on Poker: National Heads-Up Poker Championship ... - Falls Church News Press
By Phil Hellmuth The popular NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship began its 2009 season broadcast on Sunday, April 12. I drew World Poker Tour host Mike Sexton in the first round. Most of you know Sexton as an announcer but I know him as a grizzled...
2009 Aruba Poker Classic Dates Announced - Poker News Daily
In a press release distributed by Ultimate Bet this week, one of its main faces, 11-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, commented that he's already ready to head to Aruba: “Aside from winning my 12th bracelet, the week-long...
Phill Hellmuth on Poker: Keeping the Pot Small - Falls Church News Press
By Phil Hellmuth I recently viewed the tape from the World Series of Poker final table when I won my record eleventh bracelet. There was one interesting hand that commentator Robert Williamson said I played poorly. Here's how it went down....
Take A Shot at Phil Hellmuth in UltimateBet's 'Beat the Brat ... -
The Leading Online Poker Site is giving Texas Hold 'em poker players the chance to play for the ultimate bragging rights of taking down the legendary Phil Hellmuth in UltimateBet's weekly Bounty Tournament. Miami, FL, Monday, May 04,...
Phil Hellmuth On Poker: Pot Odds and Team Poker - Falls Church News Press
Look, for some players, pot odds should guide your decision making. But for those players who aspire to reach the next level in poker, think long and hard about this dilemma - and then fold your hand! Learn more about Phil Hellmuth and Poker Brat poker...
Phil Hellmuth Weighs in on Annie Duke's Celebrity Apprentice Chances - Poker News Daily
Working alongside Duke is Phil Hellmuth, an 11-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and subject of controversy over his near-appearance during an episode this season. Hellmuth sat down with Poker News Daily to weigh in on Duke's chances against...
BoylePoker new promotion code MAXIMUMBONUS gets you $600 FREE (no ... -
Defeat Phil Hellmuth and win a chance to go to the 2009 World Series of Poker. Phil Hellmuth can dodge bullets. The World Series of Poker Main Event champ – he won the title 20 years ago – has a total of 11 bracelets, the most of anyone, ever....

Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth at the 2006 World Series of Poker.

Phillip J. Hellmuth, Jr. (born July 16, 1964) is an American professional poker player. He is best known for holding a record eleven World Series of Poker bracelets, for winning the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker and for his "poker brat" personality. He is also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.

In 1989, the 24-year-old Hellmuth became the youngest player to win the Main Event of the WSOP by defeating the two-time defending champion, Johnny Chan in heads up play. He held that distinction until 2008, when 22-year-old Peter Eastgate became the youngest Main Event champion.

At the 2006 World Series of Poker, he captured his record 10th World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em with rebuys event. At the time, this tied him with fellow poker legends Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. However, unlike Brunson and Chan, all of his bracelets are in Texas hold'em.

At the 2007 World Series of Poker, Hellmuth won his record-breaking 11th bracelet in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Event. Hellmuth also holds the records for most WSOP cashes (68) and most WSOP final tables (41), recently overtaking TJ Cloutier.

At the Main Event of the 2008 World Series of Poker Hellmuth made a deep run finishing in 45th place out of a field of 6,844. He was the last former champion standing at the event when he was knocked out. Hellmuth took home $154,400.

Hellmuth has won $5,859,080 at the WSOP and is ranked 8th on the WSOP All Time Money List.

Hellmuth has not won a World Poker Tour (WPT) tournament. He has cashed 10 times and made 3 final tables. He finished 4th in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em WPT Event at the 3rd Annual 49'er Gold Rush Bonanza in 2002 and 3rd in the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em WPT Event at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods in 2003 and at the 2008 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Hellmuth finished in sixth place earning $229,480 in a final table that included both Phil Ivey and Nam Le. He also played in two WPT Invitational Events, the World Poker Tour by The Book in 2004 and the WPT Bad Boys of Poker II in 2006 and finished 3rd both times.

To date, Hellmuth has won $691,109 in WPT tournaments.

Hellmuth is the season 3 champion of Late Night Poker.

In 2005, Hellmuth won the first National Heads-Up Poker Championship. He defeated Men Nguyen, Paul Phillips, Huck Seed, Lyle Berman and Antonio Esfandiari on the way to the final against Chris Ferguson whom he defeated in two out of three games. While trying to repeat in 2006, he lost in the first round to Chip Reese. In 2007, Hellmuth did not play due to the Premier League Poker, a British tournament in which he took part. He won 4 out of his 6 group matches and eventually finished 3rd in the finals. Hellmuth took part in the 2008 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, losing in the first round to Tom Dwan.

He makes regular appearances on episodes of Poker After Dark, both as a player and as a drop in commentator. Hellmuth won his first Poker After Dark tournament in the first episode of the third season, winning a net $100,000. Hellmuth returned two weeks later and claimed his second Poker After Dark title, winning another net of $100,000. He also appeared in the first and fourth seasons of GSN's cash game show, High Stakes Poker.

As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $10,700,000. He is ranked 3rd on the All Time Money List, behind Jamie Gold, and Daniel Negreanu.

Hellmuth has made several instructional poker videos, including his Ultimate White To Black Belt Course and Phil Hellmuth's Million Dollar Poker Secrets. He has written many articles for Cardplayer magazine and several poker books including Play Poker like the Pros, Bad Beats and Lucky Draws, The Greatest Poker Hands ever Played, and Poker Brat, which contains autobiographical material as well as poker advice. In May 2004 Phil Helmuth partnered with Oasys Mobile for the release of Texas Hold'em by Phil Hellmuth. At the time it was one of the ten most popular multi-player mobile phone games available. In spring 2006, Hellmuth replaced Phil Gordon as commentator on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Along with Annie Duke, Hellmuth is a poker coach on Fox Sports Network’s Best Damn Poker Show, which is sponsored by the poker site

On one occasion, Hellmuth so infuriated veteran poker professional Sam Grizzle that they got into a fistfight. Hellmuth claims that the fight was a draw and that neither one of them was injured, but other accounts report that Grizzle easily won the fight with a single punch.

In the first week of the show Poker After Dark on NBC, after fellow pros Shawn Sheikhan, Steve Zolotow, Gus Hansen and Huck Seed refused to stop talking while it was his turn to act on his hand after Annie Duke raised him, Hellmuth threatened never to play in these tournaments again. Duke was the only player at the table who remained quiet while the drama played out. Producers of the show came up with a ruling regarding the situation, Hellmuth returned and was eliminated a few hands later by Sheikhan.

Hellmuth's sponsor, UltimateBet, arranged for him to arrive at the 2007 WSOP Main Event in an Ultimatebet race car, escorted by 11 Ultimatebet models (one for each of Hellmuth's 11 World Series of Poker bracelets). However, Hellmuth crashed the race car in the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino parking lot when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a concrete light fixture. After the accident, Hellmuth showed up in a limo, met his escorts, and made his grand entrance to the Main Event two hours late.The accident was briefly, by some sources, thought to be staged, but Hellmuth said it wasn't. He later made light of the accident in a television advertisement for Ultimatebet. In 2008, Hellmuth again made a grand entrance into the WSOP Main Event. As part of Ultimatebet's "UB Army" promotion, Hellmuth arrived in a convoy dressed in military garb, with eleven stars on his helmet (for the eleven WSOP bracelets he has won).

On December 20, 2008 Hellmuth was playing $200/$400 heads up limit hold em on UltimateBet, where he is a spokesman, when an apparent software glitch occurred and the $5599 pot was awarded to Hellmuth, even though he held the worst hand. (His opponent held K♦ Q♥ for Three Kings and Hellmuth held Ten Two for two pair.) This hand became the subject of considerable controversy in the online forums due to Hellmuth's later comments about the hand. Immediately after the other player informed him of the error in awarding the pot, Hellmuth simply commented "U wanna play or what?" and "I play U limit, right now." In addition, when later questioned about the hand, Hellmuth commented that he had experienced such errors a hundred times in his online career, "maybe 50 the wrong way to them and 50 the wrong way to me." (This contradicted the official statement of Ultimatebet that no other cases of this error had been found.) Finally, the previous cheating scandal at Ultimatebet led to suspicions about the plausibility of the company's explanation for the computer bug that they claim caused the error.

Hellmuth was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for three years before dropping out to play poker full-time. He currently resides in Palo Alto, California, with his wife Katherine Sanborn and two sons, Phillip and Nicholas.

Hellmuth's wife played in the Ladies' Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker, where she was eliminated by eventual champion Jennifer Tilly. Katherine holds a degree in child psychology.

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High Stakes Poker

HSP logo.jpg

High Stakes Poker is a cash game poker television program broadcast by the cable television network GSN in the United States. The poker variant played on the show is no limit Texas hold 'em. The show is in its 5th season and the first episode was aired on the 1st of March 2009.

The first season of High Stakes Poker, taped at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, was first broadcast in January 2006 and consisted of 13 episodes. The second season, taped at The Palms and consisting of 16 episodes, premiered on June 5, 2006. The third season, consisting of 13 episodes, was taped at the South Point Casino and premiered on January 15, 2007. New players for the third season included Jamie Gold, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Patrik Antonius, Paul Wasicka, David Benyamine, Brian Townsend and others. Returning players from previous seasons included Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Sammy Farha, Phil Laak, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein, Erick Lindgren, Mike Matusow, Brad Booth and others.

On April 2, 2007 GSN announced that High Stakes Poker would return for a fourth season, again taped at South Point. Taping was completed in May 2007, and the season premiered on August 27, 2007. Returning players included Patrik Antonius, David Benyamine, Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Sam Farha, Jamie Gold, Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Jennifer Harman and Daniel Negreanu. Newcomers for the fourth season include Brandon Adams, Mike Baxter, Brian Brandon, Phil Galfond, Guy Laliberte, Bob Safai, Antonio Salorio and Haralabos Voulgaris. The later episodes of this season featured a $500,000 minimum buy-in (compared to the regular $100,000 minimum) and these games saw more than $5 million in play on the table at one time. Season four finished airing on December 17, 2007 and featured 17 episodes. The network cited the show's strong ratings performance in younger demographics. GSN has announced that High Stakes Poker will be back for a fifth season, with production beginning Dec. 19-21, 2008 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The upcoming season will feature a minimum cash buy-in of $200,000 – the largest buy-in for an entire run of a television series. GSN has announced that HSP Season 5 has been filmed and will begin on airing on March 1, 2009.

When it first aired, High Stakes Poker was unique among televised poker series because it did not take place in a tournament setting. Instead, the program showed a high stakes ring game. The minimum buy-in to the game is US$100,000, but players have bought in for as much as $1,000,000, such as Daniel Negreanu in Season 1 and Brad Booth in Season 3. For part of the fourth season, the minimum buy-in was $500,000. The first episode with the minimum $500,000 buy-in was broadcast on November 5, 2007. The upcoming fifth season will increase the minimum cash buy-in to $200,000 – the largest buy-in for an entire run of a television series.

Unlike tournament poker, the chips involved represent real money. If a player loses his initial buy-in, that player may rebuy a minimum of $50,000. In addition, players may use cash instead of casino chips. Cash plays and stays as cash in the pot; it does not have to be converted into casino chips. Unlike tournament poker, blinds and antes are constant, instead of increasing as time goes on. High Stakes Poker has $300/$600 blinds with a $100 ante. The fourth season features three forced blinds of $300, $600 and $1,200, with a "straddle" or optional fourth blind of $2,400.

The host is AJ Benza alongside analyst, poker pro, and former star of Welcome Back, Kotter, Gabe Kaplan. The players include poker professionals along with amateurs such as Jerry Buss and Fred Chamanara. The show was created by executive producer Henry Orenstein. In season one, Daniel Negreanu confirmed in a post on his website's forums that all players were paid $1,250 per hour for taking part and that 13 episodes were edited down from 24 hours of actual play. 2006 WSOP Main Event Champion Jamie Gold commented that players were paid for participating, though they had to put much more money at risk to get play the game. Gold also spoke about his interactions with other players, particularly Mike Matusow.

The theme song for the show is titled "I'm All In", written and performed by John Pratt, Los Angeles.

In Season 2, Gus Hansen won $575,700 with four fives, beating Daniel Negreanu's full house. Hansen raised to $2,100 with 5♦ 5♣, and Negreanu re-raised to $5,000 with 6♠ 6♥, which Hansen called. The pot was $11,700, and the flop came 9♣ 6♦ 5♥. Hansen checked his set of fives with a 4% chance of winning the hand and Negreanu bet $8,000 with his set of sixes and a 94% chance of winning the hand. Hansen raised over the top to $26,000 and Negreanu called, bringing the pot to $63,700. The turn came 5♠, making Hansen quad fives, leaving Negreanu a 2% underdog with his full house. Hansen bet $24,000, and Negreanu called, slow playing his full house. The pot was now $111,700. The river came 8♠. Hansen checked, and Negreanu bet $65,000. Hansen then went all in over the top for his remaining $232,000, bringing the pot to $408,700. Negreanu called, and Hansen took down a pot worth $575,700. This was the largest pot before the 500K minimum buy-in game during the fourth season and remains the largest as a multiple of the big blind ($600).

The biggest successful bluff was in Season 3, when Brad Booth (with 4♠ 2♠) bluffed Phil Ivey (with K♥ K♦). The flop came 3♦ 7♠ 6♦; Ivey's overpair was a 79% favorite to Booth's inside straight draw and backdoor flush draw. After Ivey bet $23,000 on the flop to make the pot $54,100, Booth raised to $300,000. Ivey folded.

At the beginning of the fourth season, the players agreed that anyone who won a pot while holding the weakest possible hold 'em hand (2-7) would be paid $500 by every other player at the table. This led to several five-figure bluff bets that were calculated to pick up the $3,500 bonus (and the respect of the table) and Phil Hellmuth won the 7-2 bonus in the second televised hand of the season, making a $40,000 bet on the river that caused Mike Matusow to lay down pocket kings.

The biggest unsuccessful bluff occurred as a result of this rule. Amateurs Antonio Salorio and Brian Brandon went to a raised flop with 72o and KK respectively. When Brandon flopped the best possible hand with K4K, Salorio continued to bet, eventually losing more than $100,000 before giving up when Brandon raised on the turn.

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World Series of Poker

The 2002 World Series of Poker in progress.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the "the oldest, largest, most prestigious, and most media-hyped gaming competition in the world". It is held annually in Las Vegas. The first WSOP occurred in 1970 was an invitational wherein Benny Binion invited six of the most best known poker players to The Horseshoe Casino. At first, the WSOP grew slowly. It took twelve years before the event drew 52 participants in 1982. In the early 1980s satellites were introduced allowing people to win their way into the various events for less than the full entry fees. By 1987, there were over 2,100 entrants into the tournament. Participation peaked in 2006, with 8,773 people participating in the Main Event alone.

The first World Series of Poker was not a freeze out tournament, but rather an event with a set start and stop time with the winner determined by secret ballot. In 1973, a second event, five-card stud was added. Over the years most of the major poker variants have been played at one time or another. Since 2007, the WSOP has consisted of 55 events. While events traditionally take place over one or more consecutive days during the series in June and July, in 2008 the Main Event final table was delayed until November. The winner of each event wins a World Series of Poker bracelet and a monetary prize based on the number of entrants and buy-in amounts. A World Series of Poker bracelet is considered the most coveted prize or trophy a poker player can win, with one from the Main Event revered above all others. Since 1976, a bracelet has been awarded to the winner of every event at the annual WSOP. WSOP victories prior to 1976 are also known as "bracelets". Most of the major poker variants are featured, though in recent years over half of the events have been variants of Texas hold 'em.

The series culminates with the $10,000 no-limit hold'em "Main Event", which since 2004 has attracted entrants numbering in the thousands. The victor receives a multi-million dollar prize. The winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event is considered to be the World Champion of Poker.

Since its inception, Stu Ungar is the only player to have won the Main Event three times. Johnny Moss also holds three Main Event titles, however the first win was not played in the current tournament format but by a vote making Ungar the only three-time champion in terms of actual victories. Moss (if the first time win by vote is counted), Ungar, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan are the only people who have won the Main Event for two consecutive years. Johnny Chan's second victory in 1988 was featured on the 1998 film Rounders. Phil Hellmuth holds multiple WSOP records including: most bracelets (11), WSOP cashes (68) and most WSOP final tables (41). The current bracelet winner, Peter Eastgate is the youngest person to win the Main Event.

Since 2005, the WSOP has been sponsored by Harrah's Entertainment.

Since 1971, all WSOP events have been tournaments with cash prizes. In 1973 a five-card stud event was added. Since then, new events have been added and removed. In 2006 there were 45 events at the WSOP, covering the majority of poker variants. Currently, Texas hold 'Em, Omaha hold 'em and Seven-card stud and their lowball variants (if any) are played. H.O.R.S.E. has been played in the past and returned in 2006. Also, S.H.O.E. has been played in the past, and returned in 2007. Other events played in the past include Chinese poker, Five card stud, and many others.

Like most tournaments, the sponsoring casino takes an entry fee (a percentage between 6% and 10%, depending on the buy-in) and distributes the rest, hence the prize money increases with more players. In the 2005 main event US$52,818,610 in prize money was distributed among 560 players, with US$7.5 million to first prize.

The number of participants in the WSOP has grown almost every year, and in recent years the growth has exploded. In 2000 there were 4,780 entrants in the various events, but in 2005, the number rose to over 23,000 players. In the main event alone, the number of participants grew from 839 in 2003 to 8,773 in 2006.

Phil Hellmuth has the most bracelets with eleven, while Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan have each won ten bracelets. Crandell Addington is the only player to place in the top ten of the World Series of Poker Main Event eight times, albeit in earlier years with relatively small fields compared to modern times.

Four players have won the main event multiple times: Johnny Moss (1971 and 1974), Doyle Brunson (1976 and 1977), Stu Ungar (1980, 1981 and 1997) and Johnny Chan (1987 and 1988).

Bracelet winners who first achieved fame in other fields include French actor/singer Patrick Bruel (in 1998), Danish soccer player Jan Vang Sørensen (in 2002) and American actress Jennifer Tilly (in 2005).

The idea of a World Series of Poker began in 1969 with an event called the Texas Gambling Reunion, it was as an invitational event sponsored by Tom Moore of San Antonio, Texas, and held at the Holiday Hotel and Casino in Reno. This inaugural event was won by Crandell Addington. The set of tournaments that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) would evolve into was the brainchild of Las Vegas casino owner and poker player Benny Binion.

In 1970, the first WSOP at Binion's Horseshoe took place as a series of cash games that included five-card stud, deuce to seven low-ball draw, razz, seven-card stud, and Texas hold 'em. The format for the Main Event as a freeze-out Texas hold 'em game came the next year. The winner in 1970, Johnny Moss, was elected by his peers as the first World Champion of Poker and received a silver cup as a prize.

In 2004, Harrah's Entertainment purchased Binion's Horseshoe, kept the rights to the Horseshoe and World Series of Poker brands, sold the hotel and casino to MTR Gaming Group, and announced that the 2005 Series events would be held at the Harrah's-owned Rio Hotel and Casino, located just off the Las Vegas Strip. The final two days of the main event in 2005 were held downtown at what is now the MTR operated "Binion's" in celebration of the centennial of the founding of Las Vegas. It also added a made-for-television $2 million "freeroll" invitational "Tournament of Champions" (TOC) event first won by Annie Duke as a "winner-take-all" event.

Starting in 2005, the WSOP began a tournament "circuit" at Harrah's-owned properties in the United States where in addition to the $10,000 buy-in tournament at each site, qualifying players became eligible for a revamped Tournament of Champions. The 2005 TOC, made up of the top twenty qualifying players at each circuit event, along with the final table from the 2005 Main Event and the winners of nine or more bracelets (Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Hellmuth) would participate in the revamped TOC at Caesar's Palace. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow won the first prize of $1 million (US), and all the players at the final table were guaranteed a minimum of $25,000 for the eighth and ninth place finishers. During a break in the final table of the 2005 Main Event on July 16, Harrah's announced that eleven properties — including the recently added Bally's and Caesar's properties — would host 2005-06 WSOP Circuit events that started on August 11 in Tunica, Mississippi. One event, that was scheduled for Biloxi, Mississippi was canceled after the Grand Casino Biloxi, which was scheduled to host the event, suffered major damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The Rio also hosted the 2006 World Series of Poker, which began on June 25 with satellite events and formally began the day after with the annual Casino Employee event, won in 2006 by Chris Gros. 2006 featured the "Tournament of Champions" on June 25 and 26, won by Mike Sexton. Various events led up to the main event, which was held from July 28 until August 10. The first prize of $12 million was awarded to Jamie Gold.

The Main Event of the WSOP has been the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold 'Em (TXHE) tournament since 1972. (In 1971, the buy-in was $5,000.) Winners of the event not only get the largest prize of the tournament and a gold bracelet, but additionally their picture is placed into the Gallery of Champions at Binion's.

The winner of the Main Event has traditionally been given the unofficial title of World Champion. However the game's top professionals have stated that the recently-added $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event is the one which ultimately decides the world's best player. The $50,000 buy-in, being five times larger than the buy-in for the Main Event, has thus far tended to deter amateurs from playing in the H.O.R.S.E. The H.O.R.S.E. tournament was won by Chip Reese in 2006, Freddy Deeb in 2007, and Scotty Nguyen in 2008. Since Reese's death in December 2007, the winner of this event wins the David 'Chip' Reese Memorial Trophy in addition to the bracelet and the prize money.

There have been many memorable moments during the main events, including Jack Straus's 1982 comeback win after discovering he had one $500 chip left when he thought he was out of the tournament.

The end of the 1988 main event was featured in the movie Rounders.

Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, the winners in 2003 and 2004, both qualified for the main event through satellite tournaments at the PokerStars online cardroom.

Jerry Yang, the winner in 2007, had only been playing poker for two years prior to his victory. He won his seat at a $225 satellite tournament at Pechanga Resort & Casino.

With passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 online poker sites have been barred from purchasing entrance directly for their users. This may have been the cause of the smaller field size in 2007.

With the exception of winners of the World Series Of Poker Main Event satellite tournaments (who automatically win a spot in the main event), all remaining players (including former champions, celebrities, and professional poker players) must supply the $10,000 buy-in in order to participate.

Below are the past winners of the main event, together with brief information about each year's main event. For more information, view the article on the WSOP for that specific year.

Since 2004, a Player of the Year Award has been given to the player with the most points accumulated throughout the World Series. Only "open" events in which all players can participate count in the standings. Beginning with the 2006 World Series of Poker, the Main Event and the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. competition had no effect on the outcome of the winner of the Player of the Year award. However, in the 2008 World Series of Poker, the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event counted toward the Player of the Year award.

The WSOP has corporate sponsors and licensed products which pay fees to market themselves as an official sponsors and/or licensees and exclusively use the WSOP insignia and cross-promote with their events. Besides the Harrah's properties and ESPN, major sponsors have included Miller Brewing's "Milwaukee's Best" brand of beers, Pepsi's SoBe Adrenaline Rush energy drink (sponsors of the 2005 TOC), Helene Curtis' Degree brand of anti-perspirant/deodorant, United States Playing Card's Bicycle Pro Cards, Bluff magazine, GlaxoSmithKline/Bayer's Levitra erectile dysfunction medicine, and The Hershey Company. Licensees include Glu Mobile, Activision (video games for different platforms such as Nintendo's GameCube, Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 2 and PC featuring computer generated versions of stars like Ferguson among others), and products made by different companies ranging from chip sets, playing cards, hand held games and clothing like caps and shirts. The official playing cards and chips are manufactured by Excalibur Electronics, Inc. which is based out of Miami, Florida and has been the main chip licensee since 2005. The fees and licenses bring in more than a million dollars to Harrah's.

The earliest filming of the World Series was a special produced by Binion's Horseshoe in 1973 and narrated by Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. CBS began covering the World Series in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, the event was again broadcast as specials. In the late 1980s, the World Series returned to television as ESPN took over broadcasting. Initially, coverage consisted of just a single one hour taped delay broadcast of the main event.

ESPN Classic currently airs many of the old broadcasts, especially from the mid 1990s and beyond. The most striking thing about the early coverage is how little was actually shown, since no "pocket cam" existed. Generally, ESPN used poker-playing actors such as Dick Van Patten, Vince Van Patten, and Gabe Kaplan, with either the tournament director (usually Jim Albrecht) or a poker pro like Phil Hellmuth joining the team. Early coverage was relatively primitive compared to what ESPN does now, with no pre-taped interviews or profiles on the players. The commentators were actually on the casino floor itself. The 2002 WSOP was the first with the "sneak peek" (later called the pocket cam, or hole cam). 2003 was the first year that the broadcast covered action preceding the final table.

Since then, ESPN has greatly expanded its coverage to include many of the preliminary events of the WSOP, especially Texas Hold 'Em. Also, their coverage of the main event now typically includes at least one hour program on each day. For the first two years of its existence, ESPN was broadcasting one hour programs of the "circuit" events that the WSOP has at various Harrah's-owned casinos, but ESPN did not renew these events. ESPN's coverage now includes many of the trappings of sports coverage, such as lighter segments (called "The Nuts") and interviews.

ESPN's coverage has been largely driven by Matt Maranz, Executive Producer for the WSOP telecasts. Maranz leads 441 Productions, which produces the telecast under contract to ESPN's unit ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE). Maranz has significant sports production experience, having previously worked on ESPN's football pre-game show, and has also produced taped segments for NBC's Olympic coverage.

In 2000 and 2001, the World Series of Poker was broadcast by The Discovery Channel. These hour long programs presented more of an overview or recap of the WSOP as opposed to broadcasting an actual live event with play-by-play analysis and color commentary. The Discovery Channel's broadcast also featured final table players interviews interlaced throughout the show. ESPN would resume coverage the following year.

ESPN's coverage in 2002 was typical of their coverage in the 1990s (recorded in video, little or no post-production commentary or player profiles, no card cams). However, the final table broadcast was expanded over two one-hour episodes.

In 2003, ESPN expanded their coverage to new heights with their coverage of the WSOP. They included coverage of the entire tournament, with a "Featured Table". At this table, the viewers could see the player's hole cards and subsequent strategy. The action was also broadcast as if live, though on tape-delay. This level of coverage arguably led to the popularity boom of No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em.

Coverage would increase in 2004 and 2005 to include preliminary events from the WSOP, in addition to the "Main Event".

ESPN has expanded poker to all-new levels, especially with their coverage of the 2006 WSOP, including providing the entire final table of the 2006 Main Event via pay-per-view airing.

In 2008, ESPN experimented with the idea of a delayed final table. This idea presented greater sponsorship opportunities for the players and built up a great amount of excitement that culminated in a recap of the Main Event and the conclusion of the 2008 Main Event final table. This year's Main Event champion was Peter Eastgate.

In 2009, ESPN announced they will keep the final table delay again, moving the final table to November 2009. This aims to build up anticipation for the years biggest poker event. The WSOP has also decided there will be no re-buy events in 2009. The decision was reached because of circuit rumblings that re-buy events provided an unfair advantage to professionals with no limitation on how money professionals can spend for an event. There will be 57 bracelet events this year.

The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is the first expansion of the World Series of Poker. Since 1970, the event has occurred every year in Las Vegas. In September 2007, the first WSOP championship events outside of Las Vegas, complete with bracelets, were held. The inaugural WSOPE consisted of three events held in London from September 6-17, 2007. The main event, a GBP 10,000 buy-in no-limit hold 'em tournament, was won by Norwegian online prodigy Annette Obrestad on the day before her 19th birthday. This made her the youngest person ever 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.

While no definitive plans have been announced, WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack has indicated that in the next one to three years that other venues may start holding WSOP events. Two locations that have been mentioned as possible expansion sites are Egypt and South Africa.

In 2005, a video game based on the tournament, titled World Series of Poker, was released for several consoles and the computer. A sequel called World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions came out in 2006. In 2007, World Series of Poker: Battle for the Bracelets was released.

WSOP video poker machines now appear at some Harrah's casinos; the machines are standard video poker machines, but have a bonus feature which allows a player to play a modified game of Texas Hold 'em against the machine.

Beginning in 2007, Harrah's announced the creation of the World Series of Poker Academy, a poker school aimed at providing poker players with the skills needed to win a WSOP Bracelet. The instructors for the Academy include Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Scott Fischman and Mark Seif. Initial academies were launched in Tunica, Indiana and Las Vegas.

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Johnny Chan (poker player)

Johnny Chan.jpg

Johnny Chan (Traditional Chinese: 陳強尼), born in Guangzhou (Canton), China in 1957, now living in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a professional poker player.

Chan moved with his family in 1962 from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, then in 1968 to Phoenix, Arizona and later in 1973 to Houston, Texas where his family owned restaurants. He was going to continue in the family business, but when he was 16 he went on a junket to Las Vegas, Nevada. When he was 21, Chan dropped out of the University of Houston, where he was majoring in hotel and restaurant management, and moved to Las Vegas to become a professional gambler.

Chan attributes some of his early success to the fact that many players had not previously played against Asian players. He shot to fame in the late 1980s, winning the championship event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in two consecutive years (1987 and 1988). A videotape of the 1988 WSOP final heads up match is featured in the movie Rounders, in which Johnny Chan makes a cameo appearance. He almost won a third consecutive title, but finished in 2nd place in 1989 to Phil Hellmuth. He is the last player to win back-to-back WSOP Main Events, a feat many prognosticators think he could hold forever given the increasingly larger fields. Jerry Buss, an avid poker player and owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, promised Chan an NBA championship ring if he could win three in a row.

Chan is known for keeping a "lucky" orange in front of him on the table, and after the second consecutive WSOP title other players began bringing fruit to the table in hopes of increasing their luck. Chan says he only had an orange with him because of the pleasant scent, as smoking, which was allowed in many tournaments then, bothered him. Chan was once a smoker, but now he neither smokes nor drinks alcohol.

In 2005, Chan became the first player to win ten World Series of Poker titles, defeating Phil Laak in a Texas hold 'em event. He is currently tied with Doyle Brunson for second place with 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, behind Phil Hellmuth (11). He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.

In 2008, Chan cashed for the first time in the main event since 1992, earning $32,166 for his 329th place finish.

Up to 2008, Chan has won $4,116,702 at the World Series of Poker.

Chan competed in the $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament in February 2005. He came back from only having $20,000 chips out of $3,200,000 in play to finish in second place to Gus Hansen. Chan later competed in Poker Superstars II during the summer of 2005. He defeated 22 of the best players to make it to the finals. Then he defeated Todd Brunson in the finals after three matches to win the $400,000 first prize. Chan appeared in Poker Superstars III where he made it as far as the semi finals but was defeated by Todd Brunson after three matches.

On NBC's late night poker show Poker After Dark, a six person $20,000 buy-in winner-takes-all tournament, Johnny Chan has the distinction of having the most victories to date with three wins, doing so with only having appeared five times, coming in second and fifth with the ones he didn't win.

One of Chan's earliest victories in poker was in Bob Stupak's 1981 American Cup poker tournament. Johnny Chan made it to the final table, and defeated all 9 other players in less than an hour. After this feat, Stupak gave Chan the nickname, The Orient Express.

Chan has yet to make a final table on the World Poker Tour (WPT), despite playing in numerous events.

Chan also featured in the 2004 and 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions events and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in the same years.

As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $6,700,000.

In addition to playing poker, Chan owns a fast-food franchise in the Las Vegas Stratosphere Hotel and is a consultant for various casinos and game makers. He has aspirations of opening his own casino. Chan has also written for Card Player magazine. He appeared in the first season of the GSN series High Stakes Poker.

In 2005, Chan collaborated with Mark Karowe to release Play Poker Like Johnny Chan (ISBN 1-933074-48-5), an instructional book on several different types of poker. On November 28, 2006, the follow-up titled: Million Dollar Hold'em: Winning Big in Limit Cash Games (ISBN 1-58042-200-4), which focuses on limit hold'em strategy, was released.

In 2007, Chan launched an online poker room, It closed in August 2008.

Chan writes a regular article in the bi-monthly magazine Trader Monthly.

Jonny Chan was portrayed in 1998 film Rounders as himself. In a flashback, he's shown as having been out-bluffed by the main character Mike McDermott (Matt Damon).

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Source : Wikipedia