The World Series of Poker now has 55 events in Las Vegas although the last event is for Harrah’s employees only. WSOP tournaments also include the World Series of Poker circuit that has WSOP tournaments throughout the year.
WSOP tournaments are so popular because they are televised on ESPN and ESPN 2 all throughout the year. In 2003 the World Series of Poker exploded in popularity with the victory of unknown Chris Moneymaker. He entered a $40 online satellite tournament to qualify for the WSOP and ended up at the final table and then won the $2.5 million dollar first prize. Moneymaker’s win caused what is known now as the “Moneymaker effect” in which hundreds of thousands of online players are now inspired to play poker and win WSOP tournaments.
WSOP tournaments reached an all-time high in popularity in 2006 as over 8,000 players entered into the main event. That number went down in 2007 due in large part to the United States passing a bill that made it more difficult to transfer money. It is expected in 2008 that the WSOP tournaments will grow again as people have found ways around the U.S. bill. Many people in the United States and around the world are lobbying for the laws in the U.S. to be changed which would open up the poker market in the United States to even greater levels.
WSOP tournaments can include the 55 events in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the WSOP Circuit but can also include the many qualifiers. If you look at most online poker sites you will see WSOP tournaments that give you a chance to qualify for the main event. Many of these WSOP tournaments are satellites to satellites that get you into the WSOP main event. These WSOP tournaments are popular throughout the year but get really active in April, Many and June just before the main event begins in early July.