The poker scene in the US is thriving, with some having claimed that 2022 brought a new boom to the table. There are a variety of tournament options that are available to players all across the country.
The main events in the poker world are the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. However, other series, such as the Mid-Majors, has carved out a place in the market. There are also multiple tours that cater to the different buy-ins. High-stakes players still participate in the PokerGO Tour. Here are some of the top poker tournaments in the United States.
World Series of Poker (WSOP)
The World Series of Poker began in 1970 in Las Vegas. It was established when a few poker players gathered at Binion’s Horseshoe to determine who was the best player. Over the years, more tournaments have been held in different formats. TV coverage and the personalities of the players have helped boost the popularity of the series. In fact, in 1983, satellite tournaments were introduced.
The success of Chris Moneymaker in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker in 2003 boosted the series’ popularity. He was showcased as your everyday recreational player who easily turned his win of $100 into a large amount of money through online poker. His victory boosted the market’s boom.
The number of events held by the World Series of Poker increased to over 80 in 2019. The series’ organizers also started holding a series in Europe. A new market in the US started to provide tournaments for online poker in the 2015 Summer WSOP, helping the brand weather the storm when the series had to cancel its live events due to the 2020 pandemic.
WSOP Circuit (WSOP-C)
One of the main results of the boom was the establishment of the World Series Of Poker Circuit. In 2005, the series started offering events that were lower priced. This new offering allowed more people to participate in the games. The organizers of the circuit also introduced a gold ring for the event winners. This was instead of the traditional gold bracelets given to the winners of the WSOP.
The events held by the circuit were held at various casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment. The first event of the series was held in January and featured monthly tournaments in different locations such as Las Vegas, San Diego, Atlantic City, and Lake Tahoe. It made sense to extend the season of the circuit to the end of the summer event.
World Poker Tour (WPT)
Steve Lipscomb, a documentary producer, conceptualized the World Poker Tour. He partnered with professional poker players Linda Johnson and Mike Sexton to host various tournaments around the world. Each event was filmed for a Travel Channel television series. The first tour of the World Poker Tour was held in 2002. It went to different locations, such as Costa Rica, France, and the US. It also featured a party poker cruise.
The organization transformed from a private company to a public one within a couple of years. In 2009, PartyGaming purchased the company for over $12 million, and in 2015, it was sold to Ourgame International for $35 million. In 2021, a group of investors purchased the organization for over $105 million.
The World Poker Tour turned 20 years old in 2022. It has been able to reach a wide audience, being broadcast in more than 150 countries and territories, and it has featured some of the best poker players in the world.