(Photo Caption:  Inaugural "Poker Players Championship" winner Chip Reese playing heads-up in the classic 2006 match against Andy Bloch, which stood for years as the longest duel in poker history)
Ask most of the top poker professionals about the victory they would most like to achieve in terms of peer respect and prestige, and it’s probably winning the annual “Poker Players Championship.”
This exalted poker spectacle first began in 2006, and immediately attracted the most celebrated superstars in poker – past, present, and future.  Fittingly, the inaugural tournament was won by the late great David “Chip” Reese, who defeated the venerable Andy Bloch in an epic all-night heads-up battle.
This year’s Poker Player Championship began today -- which is the seventh annual competition.  At press time, nearly 100 players have posted the mammoth-sized $50,000 entry fee – which to this point remains as the largest buy-in amount for any WSOP gold bracelet event in history.  
Over the next five days, the world’s best all-around poker players will play a mix of eight games – including Limit Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split, Deuce-to-Seven Triple-Draw Lowball, Pot-Limit Omaha, and No-Limit Hold’em.  By universal consideration, it is poker’s supreme test of all-around talent and skill.
The tournament format is a rotation of the eight games, which changes every eight hands.  All players begin with 150,000 in tournament chips.
The winner will collect a seven-figure first prize, plus a WSOP gold bracelet.  Furthermore, the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy is awarded to the new champion, who takes temporary custody of the top golden section of the vaulted award for an entire year.  Moreover, the winner’s name is engraved on the bottom half of the trophy, etched forever as an integral part of poker history.
The list of former Poker Players Championship winners reads as follows:

2006  -- David "Chip" Reese (won $1,716,000) -- 143 entrants
2007 -- Freddy Deeb (won $2,276,832) -- 148 entrants
2008 -- Scotty Nguyen (won $1,989,120) -- 148 entrants
2009 -- David Bach (won $1,276,806) -- 95 entrants
2010 -- Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi (won $1,559,046) -- 116 entrants
2011 -- Brian Rast (won $1,720,328) -- 128 entrants

Follow all the action HERE at WSOP.com.

NOTE:  Players may register for this event up until the restart on Day Two, which is Monday.
-- by Nolan Dalla