WSOP Honors 7 Greatest Moments in WSOP History

WSOP Honors 7 Greatest Moments in WSOP History

Just last weekend, on June 29, the World Series of Poker held its 50th anniversary gala called First Fifty. The purpose was to celebrate bracelet winners of the past and present, honor the top 50 greatest players of all time, and recognize pivotal moments in WSOP history.

All WSOP bracelet winners were invited to the cocktail reception, dinner, and awards ceremony at the Rio in Las Vegas, as were select invited guests and hosts Lon McEachern and Norman Chad. The event was closed to the general public.

At the First Fifty Honors, a number of people were recognized for their contributions to the WSOP’s history and their participation in the longest running live tournament poker series in the world.

50 Greatest Players

One of the purposes of the evening was to honor the 50 greatest poker players of all time. The task of choosing those names was put to 26 selected members of the “poker media and industry stalwarts,” who remain unnamed. They were given a list of 200 names but simply as a guide, as names could be added.

In the end, as we reported before the ceremony, the names of the 50 players were revealed before the First Fifty gala, and they were, in alphabetical order, as follows:

Other Awards

As for other honors, they were not announced until the night of the gala. There had been seven categories of players and events on which the public was asked to vote between May 15 to June 15.

The options for each category were listed as below, and the winners are listed first here:

Most Memorable WSOP TV Hand

Winner:  Chris Moneymaker bluffs Sammy Farha (2003 Main Event)

–Jonathan Duhamel cracks Matt Affleck’s Aces (2010 Main Event)

–Johnny Chan busts Erik Seidel to win (1988 Main Event)

–Connor Drinan loses with aces against aces (2014 Big One for One Drop)

–Chris Moneymaker busts Phil Ivey (2003 Main Event)

–Scotty Nguyen goads Kevin McBride into calling (1998 Main Event)

Best Overall WSOP Performance in a Single Year

Winner:  Daniel Negreanu in 2013 (2 wins, 4 final tables, 10 cashes, $2,214,304 winnings)

–George Danzer in 2014 (3 wins, 5 final tables, 11 cashes, $960,424 winnings)

–Shaun Deeb in 2018 (2 wins, 4 final tables, 20 cashes, $2,545,478 winnings)

–Phil Hellmuth in 1993 (3 wins, 4 final tables, 4 cashes, $544,900 winnings)

–Phil Ivey in 2002 (3 wins, 7 final tables, 7 cashes, $415,200 winnings)

–Jeff Lisandro in 2009 (3 wins, 4 final tables, 6 cashes, $807,521 winnings)

Most Likely to Succeed (Player Now Under 35 to Win Most Bracelets 2020-2070)

Winner:  Justin Bonomo (33 years old)

–Joe Cada (31 years old)

–Shaun Deeb (33 years old)

–Fedor Holz (25 years old)

–Jason Mercier (32 years old)

–Dominik Nitsche (28 years old)

Fan Favorite Player

Winner:  Daniel Negreanu

–Doyle Brunson

–Antonio Esfandiari

–Phil Hellmuth

–Maria Ho

–Phil Ivey

WSOP Favorite Bad Boy

Winner:  Phil Hellmuth

–Jamie Gold

–Wil Kassouf

–Mike Matusow

–Shawn Sheikhan

–David Ulliott

Most Impressive WSOP Main Event Win

Winner:  Chris Moneymaker in 2003

–Johnny Chan in 1988

–Jamie Gold in 2006

–Phil Hellmuth in 1989

–Martin Jacobson in 2014

–Jack Strauss in 1982

–Stu Ungar in 1997

Four Most Important Players in WSOP History

Winners:  Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu

–Billy Baxter

–Johnny Chan

–TJ Cloutier

–Chris Ferguson

–Ted Forrest

–John Hennigan

–Phil Ivey

–Michael Mizrachi

–Johnny Moss

–Scotty Nguyen

–Puggy Pearson

–Amarillo Slim Preston

–Chip Reese

–Erik Seidel

–Vanessa Selbst

–Stu Ungar


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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