World Series of Poker Champions
Few poker players can boast about being in the elite club of World Series of Poker champions. Many of the best players in the world have never and will never win the Main Event in the WSOP or even a bracelet in one of the other of the many tournaments played during the month long event. Of course, there are at least fifty different tournaments going on at any given time during the WSOP, so a lot of players can legitimately claim to be WSOP champions. Still, the sheer scope of numbers represented would mean that a list of poker champions from all the events would simply be too long, so for the purposes of this article we will take a look at some of the former winners of just the No Limit Texas Hold ‘em main event in the WSOP, a championship title which has made more than a few nobodies into millionaires! In fact, the WSOP has been going on for so long it would be impossible to even list all the former main event champs in one 500 word article, so we’ll limit our biographies to the winners of the last five main events.
Chris Moneymaker: There are a couple of reasons why we are talking about this player first. The most important is that Moneymaker’s 2003 win was a watershed moment for poker everywhere; not just for the WSOP alone, but for poker on the Internet, in casinos, and anyone who plays (and that includes other pros). Chris Moneymaker was an amateur player who gained a seat in the big tourney through an online satellite tournament and took that to win a $2.5 million pot. It showed amateur players everywhere that there was a chance to win the biggest poker event in the world. Take note, though; Moneymaker is not just lucky, he’s well beyond average when it comes to intelligence, with a Master’s degree in accounting.
2000-2007 WSOP Champions
Mansou Matloubi: Was the first winner of the championship to be from another country other than the USA. His win in 1990 was a sign of things to come for the London native. Although he doesn’t play many tournaments in the US he does love to play in Europe still.
1990-1999 WSOP Champions
Joe Hachem: Hachem is unique when it comes to WSOP former amateurs turned champs in the modern poker era. He did not win a seat through a tournament online; instead paying the full $10,000 buy in. He turned this into a cool $7.5 million win with a seven high straight. Hachem is a true career poker man, having left his chiropractic job to play poker full time previous to his big win.
Jerry Yang: Another amateur to get into the WSOP through a satellite Internet tournament, Xo “Jerry” Yang took home a sweet $8.25 million pot at the 2007 main event. Yang’s story is enough to touch anyone, having fled communists with his family back in 1979 and spending four years in a refugee camp. He is yet another testament to the importance of education even for poker players, holding a master’s degree.
Johnny Chan and Phil Helmuth: Both were late 80’s winners of the WSOP and began their ongoing claim to fame as poker authorities in the world of champions during this time.
1980-1989 WSOP Champions
Greg Raymer: Raymer won the WSOP in 2004, winning 5 million dollars. Although he was a professional poker player at the time, having quit his job as a lawyer, Raymer gained a seat at the tournament through an Internet satellite tournament.
Jamie Gold: Talent agent and poker pro Jamie Gold currently owns the record for most money won at the World Series of Poker, with a whopping $12 million pot taken in 2006.
Doyle Brunson: One of the most popular poker pros still in action today! Some of his biggest wins were staged in the mid 70’s where he was the grand finale event winner. He helped pave the way for a brighter poker future!
1970-1979 WSOP Champions
There’s a quick look at some of the World Series of Poker Champions over the past and you can get an even better look with some of the best WSOP video around on our very own page – only at Tops-Poker.net where everything’s poker!