WSOP to Host First 50 Honors on June 29

WSOP to Host First 50 Honors on June 29

Anniversary celebrations are always special, but the 50th of anything is something to be commemorated in unique ways. The World Series of Poker is adding yet another way to do that this year.

The 50th Annual World Series of Poker is less than two weeks from getting underway, and a new event has been added to the lineup.

This event does not involve chips and will not award a bracelet. Rather, it is the First Fifty Honors, a dinner and awards ceremony to honor the top players and events that have comprised the first 50 years of the WSOP. There will be seven categories for the awards that are open for public voting, as well as 50 players to be honored as the greatest players in WSOP history as determined by a panel of poker industry and media members.

All in all, the event scheduled for June 29 is set to be the most extravagant way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WSOP throughout the summer.

An Evening of Honors

The First Fifty Honors is set for Saturday, June 29. It appears to be a mixture of a private and public event, as explained in the press release.

The evening will begin with a dinner for any and all WSOP gold bracelet winners through the 50 years and “other VIPs” at a location inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which is where the WSOP itself will be playing out. Bracelet winners can obtain tickets at the Rio’s VIP desk during the two days before the event.

At some point during the evening, everyone will be in the Brasilia Ballroom in the Rio’s convention center. The presser reads, “There will be a brief pause in the poker playing during the evening of Saturday, June 29, in the Brasilia Ballroom.” And the doors will open at 8pm. (The entire event might be in the Brasilia Ballroom, but the wording is not clear.)

It is known, however, is that the dinner and ceremony will be hosted by WSOP broadcasters Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.

WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart noted, “From its founding by the Binion family in 1970, no one could have foreseen what the modern-day World Series of Poker has become. It’s only fitting that we take an evening out from poker playing to celebrate the great game of poker and all the characters who have made a mark on the WSOP over the past five decades.”

Public Voting for Seven Awards

The honors given to the winners of seven categories will be voted on by the general public from anywhere in the world. Those seven categories with the following options in each for voting:

Most Memorable WSOP TV Hand

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

–Chris Moneymaker bluffs Sammy Farha (2003 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

–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)

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

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

–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

–Doyle Brunson

–Antonio Esfandiari

–Phil Hellmuth

–Maria Ho

–Phil Ivey

–Daniel Negreanu

WSOP Favorite Bad Boy

–Jamie Gold

–Phil Hellmuth

–Wil Kassouf

–Mike Matusow

–Shawn Sheikhan

–David Ulliott

Most Impressive WSOP Main Event Win

–Johnny Chan in 1988

–Jamie Gold in 2006

–Phil Hellmuth in 1989

–Martin Jacobson in 2014

–Chris Moneymaker in 2003

–Jack Strauss in 1982

–Stu Ungar in 1997

Four Most Important Players in WSOP History

–Billy Baxter

–Doyle Brunson

–Johnny Chan

–TJ Cloutier

–Chris Ferguson

–Ted Forrest

–Phil Hellmuth

–John Hennigan

–Phil Ivey

–Chris Moneymaker

–Michael Mizrachi

–Johnny Moss

–Daniel Negreanu

–Scotty Nguyen

–Puggy Pearson

–Amarillo Slim Preston

–Chip Reese

–Erik Seidel

–Vanessa Selbst

–Stu Ungar

Anyone wishing to vote before June 15 from the United States or Canada can vote via this link, and everyone else can vote via this link.

It so happens that everyone in the US or Canada who votes will be entered into a random drawing to win seats to WSOP gold bracelet events this summer – like the $1K Mini Main Event (Event 69) or $500 WSOP Online NLHE Summer Saver (Event 88) – or invitations to the First Fifty Honors, as well as WSOP merchandise.

50 Greatest Poker Players

The night will also reveal the 50 greatest poker players in the world, which is a special award for the people voted the most popular or talented players. They can be tournament players from the WSOP or any tournaments around the world, cash game players, or online poker players.

A panel of “poker industry stalwarts and media members” was selected, presumably by the WSOP staff, to vote on the players who will make the final 50. That list will be published when the votes are in and the list is compiled.


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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