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A Historical Perspective of the WSOP

A Historical Perspective of the WSOP
by Chad of

During the 2009 World Series of Poker I was working as a Poker Writer for and This made me an official member of the media, credentialed and all, and entitled me to a number of benefits.

The first was an unlimited supply of Jack Link's Beef Jerky, the official sponsor of that year's WSOP.

The second was access to a number of media tools, such as the media room, press area and unlimited tournament access. In addition, I obtained an Official Media Guide. This guide was chalk full of WSOP information and one section particular was of special interest.


Since the 2009 WSOP was the 40th anniversary of the event, the media guide contained two small sections on pages 18 and 19 titled "A Historical Perspective the World Series of Poker" and "By the Numbers." These sections contained some interesting and entertaining information that I believe the general public would find quite intriguing, so take a look. The following stats and information have been reproduced from the Official Media Guide of the 40th Annual World Series of Poker:

When the first annual WSOP was held in 1970:

- A gallon of gasoline cost 36 cents
- The median value of a single-family home in the United States was $65,300
- The average price of a new domestic car was $3,708
- The median U.S. household income was $8,734
- Federal minimum wage was $1.60
- The cost of a first-class stamp in the U.S. was 6 cents
- "Midnight Cowboy" won the Academy Award for Best Picture
- "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel topped the Billboard Hot 100
- Richard Nixon was President of the United States

WSOP has been in existence longer than:

- The right of 18-year-olds to vote in federal elections (1971)
- The Hacky Sack (1972)
- Lego (1973)
- Roe vs. Wade (1973)
- The Rubik's Cube (1974)
- The VCR (1975)
- The Post-It Note (1977)

By the Numbers- World Series of Poker (1970 thru 2008)

- $867,253,377- Number in dollar amount, or total prize money awarded.
- 286,993- No. of entrants that have competed in the WSOP
- 27,685- No. of entrants that have cashed
- 761- No. of 1st place finishers [same # of individual tournaments held]
- 36,979- No. of total entrants to compete in the WSOP Main Event
- 731- No. of gold bracelets awarded [In 1974, the Main Event winner received a bracelet. 1975 became the first year all event winners received a gold bracelet. In 1982, gold watches were awarded instead]
- 11- No. of bracelets won by Phil Hellmuth, the most of any player in history
- 53- No. of multi-millionaires created by the WSOP
- $9,152,416 - Amount Peter Eastgate won for winning the 2008 Main Event
- $0- Amount Johnny Moss won for winning 1970 Main Event [won a Silver Cup]
- 6,843- No. of people Easgate beat in 2008 to become champion
- 6- No. of people Moss beat in 1970 to become champion [by vote of his peers]
- 94- Age of Jack Ury in 2007, the oldest player to compete in a WSOP event
- 22 years, 10 months, 28 days- Age of Eastgate [The youngest Main Event champion in history]
- 124- No. of nations represented at the 2008 WSOP [80 nations competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics]
- 1- Number of countries represented at the 1970 WSOP
- $1,000- Smallest buy-in for a WSOP bracelet event in 2009 [Event No. 4- No Limit Hold'em]
- $50,000- Highest buy-in for a WSOP bracelet event in 2009 [Event No. 49 H.O.R.S.E.]
- 40- No. of cameras ESPN uses to cover WSOP [NBC used 35 to cover Super Bowl XLIII]
- 1970- Year that the first WSOP was held at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas
- 2009- Year the 40th Annual WSOP will be held at the Rio in Las Vegas


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