How the World Series of Poker Becomes a Worldwide Phenomenon

Despite the popularity of poker and the popularity of television coverage, the World Series of Poker still has a long way to go. This article explores the evolution of the event and the impact that television coverage had on the tournament. You’ll learn more about the history of the WSOP and Benny Binion’s legacy.

Benny Binion’s legacy

The World Series of Poker is a world-famous poker tournament that was first held in 1970. Benny Binion was the man behind the creation of the tournament and has a rich legacy in the poker world. He came from humble beginnings in Texas and went on to establish a gambling empire. He was able to do this because he understood the needs of the people who would visit his casino. For example, he installed air conditioning in the casino and carpet in the poker rooms to make the players feel more comfortable. Additionally, he was the first casino owner to offer transportation to players. His innovations helped to make the World Series of Poker into the world’s largest poker tournament.

Binion’s pivot to the casino was perhaps the most important thing he did for poker. In the mid-80s, the tournament was going global and regularly received over two thousand players. By 1987, the tournament was getting so popular that it was almost impossible to fill all the seats.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time when Binion started organizing the World Series of Poker, he saw the potential and created events that would change poker games forever. In addition to the first event, Binion also established preliminary satellite competitions with low buy-ins, which allowed players to learn more about the game and become better at it.

Evolution of the World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker has a long history. It is the world’s oldest and most well-known gaming competition. Over the years, it has changed thousands of lives and provided a platform for talented poker players to pursue their dreams. The history of this world-renowned event can be traced back to its humble beginnings.

In the 1970s, the World Series of Poker was first held in Las Vegas. The event involved the best poker players from Texas. It didn’t have a dedicated poker room, but it did have an alcove where the competitors sat and played games. Only six players competed in the first World Series of Poker. The players had to pay a $5,000 or $10,000 entry fee to play. They competed until only one remained.

The World Series of Poker has continued to evolve over time. It began in 1970 and is now the largest tournament in the world. In addition to its large prize pool, it consistently breaks the record for most players in one tournament. Today, it draws poker enthusiasts and players from around the world. However, the Main Event is only one event in the series.

In 1982, the World Series of Poker was expanded to eleven preliminary events. The tournament also added the Ladies World Championship. In 1987, the main poker tournament was held in several casinos, as the Horseshoe Casino was too small for all the players. In 1990, Benny Binion, the founder of the WSOP, died, and his son Jack Binion took over as its main leader. That same year, Mansour Matloubi from Iran won the main WSOP prize. In 1991, the World Series of Poker paid out its first million-dollar prize.

Impact of Television Coverage on WSOP

Television coverage of the World Series of Poker has changed over the past few years. The Discovery Channel, for instance, covered the event for three years, from 1999 to 2001, highlighting the final table with interviews. This was followed by ESPN regaining the rights for 2002, when the popularity of poker began to rise. The WSOP has since featured a full week of coverage, which includes game shows, sports programs, and reality TV competitions.

TV coverage of the WSOP has made the tournament more popular than ever before. Before the World Series of Poker began broadcasting the main event on television, most poker players and fans already knew who won. The coverage, however, made it easier to follow the game and learn about the players’ cards. Ultimately, WSOP broadcasting changed poker for the better. But what about the sport’s reputation before TV coverage?

In the 1970s, local Las Vegas newspapers covered the World Series of Poker. But it wasn’t until 1973 that national television crews began airing the event. The first broadcast by CBS was in 1973, and Jimmy the Greek Snyder narrated the action. But after that, CBS didn’t cover the WSOP for nearly a decade. After that, the WSOP became an exclusive event for ESPN, and the broadcast of the 1988 final hand made poker history. The hand was so famous that it was featured in the movie Rounders.

The World Series of Poker has had a complicated relationship with television, but the transition to a new broadcast partner has been a positive step for the WSOP. It will return to its roots on CBS after the ESPN partnership has ended. In addition to the main event, the World Series of Poker will now be broadcast on Paramount+, Viacom’s streaming service.


What started as a small tournament for six players has grown into a massive event with over one hundred thousand participants. The Main Event is now televised on Paramount+, reaching poker fans all over the world. The WSOP has become a global phenomenon, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

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