A lot can change in 50 years. Just look at Las Vegas. Casinos have come and gone. The Strip has grown exponentially. Professional sports leagues exist, and will be here.
In 2018, 123,865 people played the World Series of Poker. Nearly 8,000 of them took part in the main event which was won by John Cynn. He won $ 8.8 million, a 251 percent increase from the estimated $ 35,000 that Moss won 50 years ago visit LagaPoker.
Caesars Entertainment acquiring WSOP in 2004 has also become a game-changer. There were 14,054 entries in 2004 with wins totaling $ 45,973,770. Last year, $ 266,889,193 prize money was distributed.
Palansky has been with Caesars for the last 12 years and part of this growth, he said, is the global impact of poker and its accessibility.
“Instead of having to go in the smoky card room to play games, you can play in your own house and learn the game,” he said. “Entire generations, or more now, have grown up learning to play online.”
Another ace in the WSOP arm, as well as Caesars Entertainment, has ESPN retaining the broadcast rights. The joint venture should only prove more profitable when Worldwide Leader sets up shop for its new studio on The LINQ in 2020.
“In some ways, we call this our best marketing tool,” Palansky said of ESPN. “It really emphasizes how wonderful the World Series of Poker is. Nobody could go out onto the field and compete with the Golden State Warriors today and see themselves in the NBA Finals. But poker, you look at the amateurs, you look at the gardeners, at the school teachers, at the delivery men who step up and fight the best poker players in the game and beat them. It happens in this game and you can get a seat at this table. You can get to this field of play, so to speak.
One constant is the World Series of Poker. The only change he saw was a bigger venue and bigger pot.
This tournament has come a long way since its founding in 1970 at Binion’s Horseshoe on Fremont Street. What started out as a no-frills show outside of the burgeoning gambling city has grown into the biggest two-month spectacle this side of Las Vegas Boulevard.
The golden anniversary begins May 28 in Rio.
“It’s hard to understand that this started with six people in 1970 in downtown Binion,” said Seth Palansky, vice president of corporate communications tournaments and Caesars Interactive Entertainment. “It’s a passable thing, and nothing that people really expected in 1970. It’s great to stand the test of time.”
Johnny Moss won the inaugural poker tournament featuring no more than seven players. Entry is $ 5,000 and Moss wins the silver trophy.
“All these dynamics, ESPN captures very well. Cards dictate a lot of that, and you stand a good chance. It really is alluring if you are at home. “
As for what the partnership between Caesars and ESPN could achieve next year, Palansky said there was reason to be excited for it.
“We haven’t gotten that far yet, but definitely the relationship we have for them over the last 15 years as it relates to coverage of the World Series of Poker was instrumental in shaping those relationships and trusting each other to take this next step in terms of sports betting. , “He said. “It would be great to have him here.
“You would imagine that it could develop in a way that didn’t exist before because of this new partnership.”
ESPN will kick off its World Series of Poker coverage July 3.
No champion has been repeated since Johnny Chan in 1987-88 and only three (Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson and Moss) before that. That scarcity and the allure of the WSOP is what creates excitement.
Palansky said the WSOP’s unofficial motto was “anyone can enter, and anyone can win.” Therefore, prepare to be successful for the next 50 years.
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