Most Famous Poker Tournaments
Poker is globally recognized as the most widely played card game, drawing millions of avid participants each year. The absolute best poker players are eligible to enter major competitive tournaments, which boast life-changing amounts of prize money. Most of these events are hosted exclusively in prestigious casinos, while others extend invitations to amateur players.
However, it is important to note that participation often requires a substantial registration fee. The payouts for the winning participants in these tournaments are high, building the victors’ wealth and reputation. One such notable example is the professional poker player Bryn Kennedy, who has amassed over $56 million in tournament earnings. If you aspire to follow in his footsteps, here are some of the most famous poker tournaments that offer the highest potential rewards.
The ultimate goal in poker tournaments is to secure a spot at the top of the chip leaderboard to claim substantial prizes. While the mechanics of each poker game may differ, their common purpose remains consistent – to possess the strongest hand and claim the pot.
A successful bid in poker requires either convincing your opponents through bluffing or ultimately holding the superior combination of cards at the end, more famously referred to as the “showdown.” Your hand can range from a high card to a royal flush to everything in between.
How to Play Poker
At the start of a No-Limit Texas Hold’Em game, the dealer deals every player two cards face down, known as “hole cards.” Players can bet, call, raise, or fold during their turn. Players must combine their five community and two-hole cards on the board to win a hand. It is important to note that a round of “pre-flop” betting occurs after the cards are dealt. Each round, also known as “street,” has a different name.
“The flop” is the round where the first three community cards are dealt. Participants can use these cards to make the best possible poker hand. Betting continues after this round, and the first player to act is the one to the dealer button’s left who is still in the game.
Following the betting round on the flop, players engage in another round of betting, triggered by the introduction of the turn, also known as the Fourth Street. At this stage, active players can access two hidden cards and four communal cards, which they can use to create their best five-card hand.
Once again, the betting commences, with the first player to the left of the button initiating first. The course of play always moves in a clockwise direction. Once all remaining participants have made their move, the betting round concludes.
Fifth Street, also known as the river, marks the game’s fifth and final community card. It is followed by the last betting round. When the cards are revealed at the showdown to determine the winner, the last aggressor (the player who made the final bet) must turn over their hand first. The pot goes to the player with the best five-card hand. This concludes the current hand, and the game moves on to the next one.
Different Poker Hands
Here is a list of different poker hands one can have during a poker game:
- A high card– If no player can produce a ranked hand containing different suits, unconnected, and unpaired cards, the determining factor would be the highest card value present in their hand. For example, if you have a hand with an ace of spades, queen of diamonds, four of hearts, six of clubs, and three of diamonds, your hand will be known as an ace-queen high.
- A one pair-A hand containing a single pair, meaning two of the same cards from different suits. For instance, a hand with an ace of spades, an ace of diamonds, and three different cards from different suits.
- A two-pair-A hand containing two one-pairs, where the fifth card is known as the “kicker.” For example, a pair of fives from different suits and a pair of jacks from different suits, with the fifth card being an ace of spades as the “kicker.”
- A 3-of-a-kind-A hand containing three same cards from different suits, such as a five of hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
- A straight-A hand containing five consecutive cards from different suits, such as a four, five, six, and seven of spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts, respectively.
- Flush-A hand containing five different cards from the same suit, such as a two, four, eight, jack, and ace of spades.
- A full house-A hand containing a pair and a three-of-a-kind, such as an ace of spades and diamonds, and three jack of clubs, diamonds, and hearts.
- A 4-of-a-kind-A hand containing four cards with the same number from different suits, such as a four of hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs.
- A straight flush-A hand containing five consecutive cards, such as a four, fix, six, seven, and eight of spades.
- A royal flush– A hand containing a ten-to-ace. For example, an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten from the same suit.
List of Famous Poker Tournaments
World Series of Poker
The 2018 iteration of the World Series of Poker was quite a remarkable spectacle, boasting a staggering attendance of over 120,000 players who packed into the luxurious Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in the vibrant city of Las Vegas. Across a total of 78 events, a noteworthy 18,105 players could claim cash prizes, including an exclusive group of 28 exceptional poker players who emerged triumphant and won at least $1 million.
For those with the best poker-playing skills, the WSOP Main Event is the pinnacle of poker tournaments. With a prerequisite buy-in cost of $10,000, only the most elite players in the world of poker have earned the privilege to compete and vie for the prestigious honor of being crowned the reigning champion. The 2022 world series of poker had a prize pool of $80.8 million and a monumental grand prize worth a staggering $10 million for first place, which Espen Jorstad claimed in 2022.
World Poker Tour
The World Poker Tour, established in 2002 in the United States, is a renowned poker competition that draws the greatest players and is broadcast globally in real-time. These events occur at well-known casinos, each with its own principal competition. The price of admission for primary tour events varies from three thousand to twenty-five thousand dollars.
However, the victor can anticipate receiving more than one million dollars in prize money and becoming a newfound sensation in the world of poker. The 2022 edition of the world poker tour had a prize pool of $5,276,100 and was won by Eliot Hudon ($4,136,000).
World Championship of Online Poker
The World Championship of Online Poker, commonly referred to as WCOOP, is a highly popular online poker competition considered the largest of its kind. This prestigious event was created in 2002 by PokerStars to compete against the World Series of Poker and accommodate players who were first introduced to the game via online platforms.
While the main focus is on No Limit Hold’Em, various other poker variations are also included throughout the series. Though the prize for the main event winner is not as substantial as that of the WPT or WSOP, recent champions have still secured over a million dollars in winnings. The 2022 version of the WCOOP had a prize pool of $85 million, where the most money was won by Luis “luis_faria” Faria ($1,293,825) in the $10,300 main event.
Triton Super High Roller Series
Despite not attaining the same level of prominence as the World Series of Poker, the Triton Super High Roller Series has gained significant attention within the poker community in recent years. This can be attributed to its buy-ins ranging from six to seven figures, limiting the number of potential participants.
Following the footsteps of the Big One for One Drop, Triton has integrated charity as a core component of its organization. With events occurring globally, triton raises funds for charities in each respective location and donates to the One Drop Foundation. The most recent triton super high roller series had a prize pool of $80 million and was won by Phil Ivey ($2.8 million).
The Big One for One Drop
Every year, the prestigious Big One invitational poker tournament takes place at the same venue as the World Series of Poker. This high-stakes event brings together some of the best poker players from around the world to compete in the popular variant of Texas Hold’Em.
With a buy-in of millions of dollars, the stakes are high, and the competition is fierce. Despite the pressure, players still continue to flock to the Big One, hoping to take home the coveted championship title and the enormous cash prize that comes with it. The most recent tournament, held in 2018, had a prize pool of $24,840,000 and was won by Justin Bonomo ($10 million).
Super High Roller Bowl
Created specifically for high-stakes players, the Super High Roller Bowl is an annual event held in Las Vegas that initially required a buy-in of $500,000 but has since been lowered to $300,000 for a game of Texas Hold’Em played with no limits. Typically, the total prize pool for the 2018 event was an incredible $14.4 million, with the first-place winner taking home an impressive cash prize of $5 million.
The October 2022 super high roller bowl tournament had a prize pool of $7.2 million and was won by Daniel Negreanu ($3.3 million).
Quick Questions and Answers about the Most Famous Poker Tournaments
Below are a few essential questions and answers about the most famous poker tournaments in the world:
What is the biggest poker tournament win?
The 2019 Triton Super High Roller series set a new record for the highest single tournament cash with an impressive $20 million payout. The tournament had 54 entrants, each of whom had to pay a considerably high £1.05 million buy-in. Despite finishing second, Bryn Kenney walked away with the biggest cash prize thanks to a deal he struck with Aaron Zang.
Kenney had a significant advantage over Zang when he had over four times more chips than his opponent, which led the two players to share first place. However, with Kenney’s chip lead, he won a larger portion of the split of exactly $20,563,324.
Who is the best poker player of all time?
Phil Ivey, hailed by many as the Tiger Woods of Poker, is indisputably the best overall poker player to have graced the game. During the peak of the poker boom in the 2000s, he was a force to be reckoned with, with no other player coming close to his level of competitiveness.
His massive collection of 10 WSOP bracelets was achieved before he became eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame at 40. His accomplishments extend far beyond his remarkable bracelet haul.
To date, Ivey is the sole player to dominate in online high-stakes cash games, live tournaments, and highest-stake live cash games. His Full Tilt Poker account is the most profitable in history, turning over a staggering $20 million profit.
Although he has only played in occasional tournaments over the past five years, his live tournament earnings total over $21 million.
Poker competitions are a source of amusement, exhilaration, and excitement. They offer substantial cash prizes and a lucrative opportunity to earn. These tournaments have gained immense popularity, welcoming new players into the arena each year. Nevertheless, the world series of poker holds the top position on the list, boasting exceptional expertise in conducting top-quality poker tournaments for over thirty years.
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