Las Vegas, NV (July 5, 2011) -- The first Limit Hold’em tournament concluded today with the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold'em event, held at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
The new poker champion is Harrison Wilder, from Beaverton, OR. He earned $205,065 in prize money. Wilder was also presented with the ultimate symbol of achievement in the game of poker -- the WSOP gold bracelet. This marked his first WSOP victory.
The runner up was Thomas Jamieson, from Bakersfield, CA who received a nice consolation prize totaling $126,654.
Wilder won the tournament in impressive fashion. He overcame several momentum wings en route to his biggest career win.
This was the sixth official tournament event on this year’s WSOP schedule. There are 53 tournaments still to be played.
During the 1990s, Limit Hold’em tournaments routinely attracted the largest fields of any tournaments played anywhere in the world. This was also true at the WSOP. Several years, this tournament had twice number of entrants as the Main Event Championship. It was traditionally offered as the kick-off event over the first weekend of the WSOP. The schedule placement was designed to attract casual poker players to the WSOP, since No-Limit Hold’em was played in very few casinos and cardrooms prior to 2003.
Limit Hold’em made its debut at the 1983 WSOP. The first Limit Hold’em world champion was Tom McEvoy. He went on to win the WSOP Main Event that same year.
The start of Limit Hold’em’s popularity can be traced back to California’s legalization of flop games (including Texas Hold’em) in 1988. Prior to the late 1980s, Limit Hold’em was spread in only a few small Las Vegas casinos and underground poker games, located mostly in the American South.
Limit Hold’em was the king of all games during most of the 1990s, except in the Northeastern United States, where Seven-Card Stud was the dominant form of poker that was played. In fact, finding a No-Limit Hold'em game was next to impossible anywhere – except at the most prestigious events such as the WSOP and the Hall of Fame Tournament (now defunct). In 2003, things started to change. No-Limit Hold'em quickly became the most popular form of poker played -- not only in the United States – but worldwide. Today, Limit Hold'em tournaments are relatively uncommon except in the biggest poker markets.
The turnout for this year’s event reverses a five-year decline in attendance for the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em event. The 2006 tournament attracted 1,069 entries. In 2007, the number declined to 910 players. In 2008, the tally was 883. There were 643 entries in 2009. Last year, the final number was 625. This year’s figure of 675 represents an increase in attendance of about 8 percent.
The list of former Limit Hold’em champions at this level is quite an illustrious group. Former Limit Hold’em champions include – Tom McEvoy, Berry Johnston, Humberto Brenes, Johnny Chan, Mickey Appleman, David Chiu, Jay Heimowitz, and Farzad Bonyadi.
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A complete OFFICIAL REPORT will be posted shortly to WSOP.COM