Every human being who has ever turned 40 will tell you that on that grand occasion you look back at your previous 40 years and take stock of what you’ve accomplished. Now the World Series of Poker is far from a human being but as the 40th annual WSOP approaches BluffMagazine.com decided to look back at the first 40 years of poker’s most prestigious event. Between now and the start of the 2009 WSOP BluffMagazine.com will be presenting the 40 Greatest Champions exclusively on WorldSeriesofPoker.com.

“The opportunity to look back over 40 years of bracelet winners and try and pick the 40 who best represent the game of poker wasn’t a task we took on lightly,” said Lance Bradley, Managing Editor of BLUFF Magazine and Editor-in-Chief of WorldSeriesofPoker.com. “Some of the choices for the list were obvious, but their ranking created a lot of debate and is sure to spark discussion within the poker community.”

Rather than go through each World Champion from 1970 to present day BluffMagazine.com editors consulted with poker players and journalists to create a list based on criteria including bracelets won, Main Event performances, overall contributions to the WSOP and historical importance. Each weekday, between Monday, March 30th and Monday, May 25th, a new member of the 40 Greatest Champions will be profiled on WorldSeriesofPoker.com beginning with #40, Jamie Gold.

"As the World Series of Poker turns 40, we will use this milestone to celebrate the history, heritage and tradition of the great game of poker," said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.  "We look forward to a very special 2009 WSOP, and will use it as a platform to commemorate the great champions and characters of the game who made the WSOP what it is today."

Some of the names will be easily recognizable by even the most casual poker fan but there is sure to be a few surprises along the way. Stay tuned to WorldSeriesofPoker.com as the countdown to #1 continues.