The World Series of Poker is among the most famous poker tournaments in the world. It’s not the only name in the game; with spinoffs like the World Series of Art Poker putting a twist on this classic competition. Launching in semi-secret, this game has been growing in fame by the year, with some big names vying for a place at the table.
The Origins of the WSOAP
Since its launch in 1970, The World Series of Poker has inspired many. The World Series of Art Poker wears its inspiration on its sleeves, working from the experience of the aptly named Chris Moneymaker. Starting as an accountant, Moneymaker watched the poker explosion of the early 2000s alongside artists Matt Johnson and Jonas Wood. Together, these men gathered to try the game out for themselves, quickly discovering what made poker so popular.
With California’s gaming scene they never found themselves wanting for players, as their connections would drive the group to discover like-minded individuals. Gallerists like Robert Berman, Angus Chamberlain, and Marc Richards would contribute their fascination and insight until the group had grown large enough to start their own games.
Following a successful showing, Wood reinvested his earning into renting a studio in which poker games could be hosted. Unofficially referred to as “the art game”, this competition would continue to add new names, finding its way into the world of music and acting. It turns out there’s a lot of crossover in these realms, so expansion was inevitable. When the world-famous Richard Prince became evolved, the floodgates opened, and everybody who was anybody wanted in.
Big Names, Big Prizes
Among the first celebrity players to jump into the game was Jack Black, well known for his work in both the acting and musical spheres. Despite a potential nominative advantage in the landscape of blackjack, Black was a huge fan, bringing band-mate Kyle Gass in on the tournament. Over time, more famous names like Ellen DeGeneres, Bruno Mars, and Leonardo DiCaprio would join the ranks, as the competition became too big to hide.
Of course, the limited and high-profile nature of the WSOAP meant that not everyone could find an invite. Those not privy to the invite might instead choose to raise their skills in online casinos for real money. These casinos like Ruby Fortune and Poker Stars similarly enjoy international reputations, only with ever-so-slightly lower barriers to entry. Offering bonuses like deposit matches, players on these sites can build experience on mobile or desktop, regardless of their intention to eventually join the WSOAP. Then, avoiding the $500 buy-in from the celebrity game is nice too.
As for the future of the WSOAP, that’s a question the team behind it must be wondering. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, they have to consider the potential financial reward of publicising the game against its success. This tournament appealed to figures like Richard Prince because it was secretive, so we have to believe there’ll be a push among some players to keep it this way. Only time will tell, and in the meantime, we probably won’t be expecting an invite.