LAS VEGAS (June 27, 2019) To keep the celebration going for what has been a tremendous 50th Annual WSOP, poker will pause play this Saturday night at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to take time to honor the most memorable moments and players that have made the last 50 years of the WSOP so memorable. 

Lon McEachern and Norman Chad will host the First Fifty Honors gala and award presentation in the Brasilia Ballroom in the Rio Convention Center, with a special evening open to all WSOP Gold Bracelet winners and VIPs. 

Doors open at 8:00pm, with cocktails and dinner kicking things off, followed by an awards presentation to unveil the winners of the seven different categories voted on by the public.  

Those planning to attend may pick up their tickets today or tomorrow from 2-6pm at the special VIP desk across from the El Burro Borracho take out window.  Gold bracelet winners will just need to show ID or Caesars Rewards card to get their ticket(s). 

“It is important we take time out to honor the WSOP’s first 50 years and pay tribute to those that paved the way for where we are today,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.  “We look forward to getting the poker community together on Saturday and commemorating 50 years of the World Series of Poker.” 

To help celebrate the 50th running of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), event organizers tasked a poker industry and media panel to vote on the 50 Greatest Poker Players in history.  While the WSOP had no say in the outcome, the panel was given a list of 200 names pulled together by the WSOP and were asked to select their Top 50, with the option to write-in any names that they felt were missed from the WSOP’s Top 200 list. 

The poker industry and media panel was tasked with naming the greatest poker players in history, with just a caveat that they at least participated in one WSOP event the past 50 years.  There was no ranking involved, just simply selecting who belonged in the Top 50 list. 

The task was not easy, but the panel, made up of 26 poker media and industry stalwarts, has finalized their votes, with 173 different players receiving votes. 

Listed in alphabetical order, are the 50 Greatest Poker Players in history based on the panel vote:

Antonius, Patrik



Baldwin, Bobby



Baxter, Billy



Bjorin, Chris



Bonomo, Justin



Brunson, Doyle



Cada, Joe



Chan, Johnny



Chidwick, Stephen



Cloutier, TJ



Cunningham, Allen



Deeb, Shaun



Dwan, Tom



Elezra, Eli



Esfandiari, Antonio



Ferguson, Chris



Forrest, Ted



Galfond, Phil



Greenstein, Barry



Hansen, Gus



Harman, Jennifer



Harrington, Dan



Haxton, Isaac



Hellmuth, Phil



Hennigan, John



Holz, Fedor



Ivey, Phil



Johnston, Berry



Juanda, John



Kenney, Bryn



Lisandro, Jeff



Mateos, Adrian



Mercier, Jason



Mizrachi, Michael



Moorman, Chris



Mortensen, Carlos



Moss, Johnny



Negreanu, Daniel



Nguyen, Scotty



Nitsche, Dominik



O’Dwyer, Steve



Pearson, Puggy



Preston, Amarillo “Slim”



Rast, Brian



Reese, David “Chip”



Seed, Huck



Seidel, Erik



Selbst, Vanessa



Tomko, Dewey



Ungar, Stu




Throughout the evening on Saturday, McEachern and Chad will hand out awards in seven other categories.  These categories were voted on by fans in the month leading up to the WSOP.  The categories are as follows: 

  1. Most Memorable TV Hand
  2. Best Overall WSOP Performance
  3. Most Likely to Succeed
  4. Fan Favorite
  5. WSOP’s Favorite Bad Boy
  6. Most Impressive WSOP Main Event Win
  7. Four Most Important Players in WSOP History

The WSOP received thousands of electronic votes from the public from May 15 to June 15 for the First Fifty Honors based on seven categories determined by the WSOP staff. 

Lastly, any players on the 50 Greatest list or who are previous Main Event winners will be called to the Brasilia Stage during the event to pose for a group photo, as it is a rare occurrence to have these folks all in the same room at the same time.  

About the World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker® is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, having awarded more than $2.99 billion in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest-running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970.  In 2018, the event attracted 123,865 entrants from 104 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and awarded more than $266 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of the World Series of Poker Europe in 2007 and the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in 2013 and the WSOP International Circuit Series in 2015. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit