|(Left to Right) Chip Reese wins HORSE at the 2007
WSOP; Jerry Yang Wins WSOP $10,000 Main Event;
David Chiu wins 2008 World Poker Tour Main Event.
These three majors are the biggest in poker on
nly one poker player in the World has won both the WSOP Main Event and the WPT Main Event in Poker History - Carlos Mortensen. This has to
be considered one of poker's most amazing feats! If the modern poker world had its version of golf's Grand Slam, the four events would have to be:
1. WSOP Main Event - LV 2. WPT $25,000 Main Event
3. WSOP $50,000 Horse Event 4. WSOP Europe Main Event
Imagine the prestige, if any one poker player in today's world won all four of these events!! This may be such an exclusive club, that there will never
one member. If you go back in time, there was only one poker player who won the WSOP Main Event and the Super Bowl of Poker - and he won
both of these Championships three times each! This created a large part of the mystique of the legendary Stu Ungar.
Even if you go back in time to Bobby Jones' Grand Slam in golf, the Masters and PGA didn't exist yet. His four majors consisted of The US Open,
US Amateur, British Open, and British Amateur. At the time, they were golf's biggest four events. My point is, majors in all sports have a way of
evolving over time. Change is inevitable - and so it is, in the poker world.
There used to be big events in the past in poker called the Grand Prix, WSOP's Hall Of Fame, Amarillo's Super Bowl of Poker, and the Super Stars
of Poker at Caesars in Lake Tahoe, plus others. We would need an expert committee to research and go back in time to put majors of the past in the
poker world in perspective. Is it fair to say the four events listed at the top are the only majors in poker, with a life expectancy of one year (WSOP
Europe), two years (WSOP HORSE), and six years (WPT) so far? The great players of the past, wouldn't have even had a chance to play them, and
the reverse is true for our young super stars of today. They had no chance to play poker's biggest events of yesteryear.
Phil Hellmuth taking the WSOP gold bracelet lead at 11 is one of poker's greatest feats, but with 55 WSOP events now, plus a few more added in
Europe each year…perhaps it is time to focus on the 'majors,' of which the biggest events at the WSOP would be part.
The measurement of true greatness in the poker world should be victories in the major events. As great of a tournament player that Phil is, taking the
lead in the majors during his career is something very possible as well.
So ask yourself………what should be considered the poker majors of today?? Since this is my column, I'd like to give you all seven of mine:
** Poker's Seven 'Majors'**
1. WSOP Main Event - LV
2. WPT Main Event - LV
3. WSOP HORSE Event - LV
4. WSOP Main Event – Europe
5. NBC's National Heads Up Poker Championship – LV
6. WSOP Tournament Of Champions
7. High Stakes Poker
A few points I would like to make about the WSOP TOC:
FIRST... the first three champions were Annie Duke, Mike Matusow, and Mike Sexton. Yes, these were invitational events, with a small but
extremely tough field. My sources tell me, that very strong consideration is being given to a tremendous format, where every past gold bracelet
in WSOP History, will be eligible to play in the next TOC. This title will be a major event of epic proportion, once this format is utilized. The prestige
of being crowned Champion of Champions would be simply awesome!
SECOND... I rank "High Stakes Poker" as the seventh major, because it is the biggest event featuring the biggest cash games in the world. It is
televised and has mesmerized the viewing audience. It is only right to include one major that rewards top play in cash games. The poker legends that
play in Bobby's Room at the Bellagio play in this event, and what goes on all year in Bobby's Room is not documented. "High Stakes Poker" is the
right format to make a major event for cash-game play.
What you are looking at are a few of my thoughts on this topic. I hope this article inspires the great poker players to create a committee to more
closely examine this issue. Perhaps the WSOP Players advisory committee, top executives at the WSOP and WPT, members of poker's Hall of
Fame, media, Tournament Director's Association, Poker Players Alliance, with proxy votes from all known WSOP gold bracelet winners from the
past to be added to the mix, to provide the Committee with the best information and guidelines. Perhaps the majors could be designated around the
planet, with both International and US majors.
The poker world has grown to amazing heights, and it is time to identify the majors. The point value of winning any major should be dramatically
in any Player of the Year awards. Majors will always be the most difficult to win, and deserve to be appropriately rewarded. The measure of a
player's greatness should be how many majors he or she has won! Remember, with the changes that happen in the poker world, this important
committee duty will be an ever on going process. Let's get our best minds together to lead the way!!
The Cab is Parked,