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The winner in 1970, Johnny Moss, was elected by his peers as the first "World Champion of Poker" and received a silver cup as a prize.In 2004, Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) purchased Binion's Horseshoe, retained the rights to the Horseshoe and World Series of Poker brands, sold the hotel and casino to MTR Gaming Group, and announced that the 2005 Series events would be held at the Harrah's-owned Rio Hotel and Casino, located just off the Las Vegas Strip.

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The winner of each event receives a World Series of Poker bracelet and a monetary prize based on the number of entrants and buy-in amounts.

Over the years, the tournament has grown in both the number of events and in the number of participants.

Currently, Texas hold 'em, Omaha hold 'em and Seven-card stud and their lowball variants are played. On April 12, 2012, the WSOP announced that 30 players had committed to the tournament, which brought the first prize to $12.3 million, exceeding the record amount won by Jamie Gold.

In the end, all 48 seats were filled, resulting in a first prize of $18.3 million.

The number of participants in the WSOP grew every year from 2000 until 2006.

Following 2006, new online gambling legislation restricted the number of online qualifiers to the event.Bracelet winners who first achieved fame in other fields include French actor/singer Patrick Bruel (in 1998), Danish soccer player Jan Vang Sørensen (in 2002) and American actress Jennifer Tilly (in 2005).In recent years, there have been non-bracelet events at the WSOP; two of the most notable are the "World Series of Rock Paper Scissors" and "Ante Up for Africa." The idea of a World Series of Poker began in 1969 with an event called the Texas Gambling Reunion.Poker Central and ESPN have plans to provide live event coverage. 11% of the money (more precisely, 1,111 from each buy-in) went to Laliberté's charity, the One Drop Foundation, and the WSOP waived its normal 10% rake of the entry fees.The tournament grew slowly for over a decade, reaching 52 participants in 1982. At the time of the original announcement, 15 of the maximum 48 seats had been taken.The final two days of the main event in 2005 were held downtown at what is now the MTR-operated "Binion's" in celebration of the centennial of the founding of Las Vegas.

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