World Series of Poker bracelet: Wikis


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Non-Main Event gold bracelets given to the event winners during the 2005 WSOP

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet is considered the most coveted non-monetary prize a poker player can win. Since 1976, a bracelet has been awarded to the winner of every event at the annual WSOP. Even if the victory occurred before 1976, WSOP championships are now counted as "bracelets". During the first years of the WSOP only a handful of bracelets were awarded each year. In 1990, there were only 14 bracelet events. By 2000, that number increased to 24. As the popularity of poker has increased during the 2000s, the number of events has likewise increased. In 2009, there will be 57 bracelets awarded in Las Vegas and 4 at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE).

Just as the prestige of the event has grown, so too has the quality of the bracelet. The earliest bracelets were valued at a few hundred dollars, while today's bracelet is designed by premier jeweler Corum.


Bracelet description

Main Event Championship Bracelets
2005 WSOP Championship Bracelet
Made of platinum & diamonds
Winner: Joe Hachem
2006 WSOP Championship bracelet
Made of white and yellow gold, diamonds, rubies and sapphires
Winner: Jamie Gold
2007 WSOP Championship Bracelet
Made of 136 grams of white gold, and 120 diamonds.
Winner: Jerry Yang

The 1976 bracelet looked "like gold nuggets kind of hammered flat."[1] The bracelet in 1976 cost approximately $500. In the 1980s, Las Vegas jeweler Mordechai Yerushalmi became the exclusive manufacturer of WSOP bracelets until Harrah's Entertainment bought the rights to the WSOP in 2004.[1] According to 2003 WSOP Champion Chris Moneymaker, the design of the bracelet remained relatively unchanged under Yerushalmi.[2] In 2005, Gold and Diamond International based in Memphis, TN won the bid from Harrah's Entertainment to manufacture the 2005 WSOP bracelets. The company also manufactures the WSOP circuit rings. [3]

In 2006, Frederick Goldman, Inc. made the WSOP bracelets while luxury watch maker Corum introduced some commemorative watches as part of the prize package.[4][5] In 2006, the Champion's bracelet had 259 stones including 7.2 carats (1.4 g) of diamonds, 120 grams of white and yellow gold. It also used rubies to represent the heart and diamond suits, a sapphire to represent the spade and three black diamonds to represent the clubs.[1]

In 2007, Corum became the official bracelet manufacturer for the WSOP. Some of the 2007 WSOP champions received both a watch and a bracelet from Corum. Corum designed four variations for the 2007 World Series of Poker Bracelets. The standard version that is presented to 53 winners features 53 diamonds.[6] The Ladies World Champion receives a bracelet that is adorned with four black diamonds, two rubies and 87 blue sapphires.[7] The $50,000 HORSE Champion Bracelet has 91 black diamonds and two rubies.[8] The World Series of Poker Main Event Bracelet has 120 diamonds on 136 grams of 18 carat (75 percent) white gold.[8] The value of the 2007 bracelets have not been released, but the typical price of a Corum watch ranges from $1,500-$30,000+.[9]

In 2008, the Main Event Bracelet had 291 diamonds, totalling 2.81 carats set 168 grams of 18kt white gold. The other 54 event bracelets consisted of 55 diamonds, totalling 0.25 carats set in 80 grams of 14kt yellow gold.[10]


At first, the bracelets did not have much prestige. Ten-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson said that his first bracelet "didn't mean anything to" him and that he did not even pick up two of them.[11]

Some professional poker players believe that there are two types of poker players; those who have won a bracelet and those who have not. Those who have belong to an exclusive club.[11] "It's impossible to overstate the value of a World Series of Poker gold bracelet to anyone who takes the game seriously," stated World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack during the 2006 bracelet unveiling. "It is the equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup in hockey or the Lombardi Trophy in football."[12]

Many professional poker players desire the recognition that is associated with the bracelet. Former Celebrity Poker Showdown host and poker star Phil Gordon said, "I want that bracelet more than anything."[13] Freddy Deeb said that he did not appreciate his first bracelet because he did not recognize what it meant. He said his 2007 bracelet, however, "means everything to me".[14] Jennifer Tilly says that winning her 2005 Women's Championship bracelet was "better than an Oscar".[11] When the World Poker Tour decided to offer a prize to its event champions, they decided to present them with WPT Bracelets. In so doing, WPT Founder, President and CEO, Steve Lipscomb said, "The championship bracelet has become synonymous with poker as a symbol of achievement and respect, and we are honored to continue the tradition that Benny Binion [the founder of the WSOP] began over 30 years ago."[15]


Bracelets have not always been awarded for winning events. In 1970, the first WSOP Champion received nothing but a silver cup and whatever cash he won during the event.[16] From 1971–1974, according to Becky Behnen (the daughter of WSOP founder Benny Binion), the winner received an undescribed "corny trophy".[1] In 1975, the winners received a sterling plate. The following year, 1976, the WSOP started the tradition of issuing bracelets to the event winners.

In 1980 and 1981, one did not have to win a WSOP event to win a gold bracelet. In 1980 and 1981, H.D. "Oklahoma Johny" Hale and Chip Reese received a gold bracelet for being the "Best All Around Player" at the WSOP, respectively.[17] These bracelets, however, are not considered in the count of WSOP championship bracelets.

In 2007, Thomas Bihl became the first person to ever win a WSOP bracelet outside Las Vegas, Nevada. Bihl won the £2,500 World Championship H.O.R.S.E. at the World Series of Poker Europe in London, England.[18] Days later, Annette Obrestad became the youngest player to ever win a WSOP bracelet at 18 years, 364 days, also becoming the first woman to win a World Series Main Event (WSOPE).[19] Harrah's Casinos, the owner of the WSOP, considers the WSOP Europe bracelet to be the same in prestige as those awarded every year in Las Vegas.

Bracelet legacy

Of the three top WSOP bracelet winners only Johnny Chan still has them all. He keeps them locked in a vault because they are worth, according to him, "millions."[1] Brunson did not pick up two of his. Eleven-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth gave away ten of his. "To me," Hellmuth said, "the bracelets have always been a really huge deal, to me more than the other guys, because I knew that they represented history."[1]

Three-time WSOP Bracelet winner Hamid Dastmalchi and five-time winner Ted Forrest had been playing for four days non-stop at the Mirage when Hamid started to complain about the 1992 Main Event Championship Bracelet he received. Bitter about a dispute with the Binion's Horseshoe, the owners of the WSOP at the time, Hamid told the table that the Binion's "say it's worth $5,000, but I'd take $1,500 for it." To which Forrest responded "Sold" and immediately tossed Hamid $1,500 in chips. Dastmalchi mailed Forrest his bracelet.[20][21] Ted Forrest also reported that three of his five bracelets have been stolen over the years, and that he gave his daughter one.[22]

Multiple bracelet winners

These are the five individuals who have won the most WSOP bracelets:

Top five WSOP bracelet winners
Bracelets Player
11 Phil Hellmuth
10 Johnny Chan
10 Doyle Brunson
9 Johnny Moss
8 Erik Seidel


  1. ^ a b c d e f Associated Press Poker's glory is about the bracelet, not the money Albuquerque Tribune. (July 28, 2006).
  2. ^ ESPN's coverage of the 2007 World Series of Poker Episode 13
  3. ^ CardPlayer Magazine
  4. ^ "Limit Hold'em (Event 34)". World Series of Poker. Harrah's Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  5. ^ "39th World Series of Poker 2008". Poker Tournament Results. PokerPages. Retrieved 2009-06-14.  
  6. ^ CORUM Introduces New World Series of Poker(R) Bracelets 5 June 2007. GlobalInvestor Accessed July 30, 2007
  7. ^ Press Release. Poker Academy Student Bests Largest-Ever Field To Become 2007 World Series of Poker Ladies Champion June 13, 2007. Accessed July 7, 2007
  8. ^ a b Press Release.CORUM Introduces New World Series of Poker Bracelets; Elegant Design Features 18 Carat Gold, Precious Gems June 5, 2007. Accessed July 7, 2007
  9. ^ Corum pricelist per Next Tag Accessed July 30, 2007
  10. ^ Corum 2008 World Series of Poker Bracelets - ViaLuxe
  11. ^ a b c ESPN's Coverage of the 2007 World Series of Poker, Episode 2
  12. ^ Burton, Earl. 2006 World Series of Poker Bracelet Unveiled. June 7, 2006. Accessed July 30, 2007
  13. ^ Phil Gordon's Quest for a WSOP Bracelet Continues. (June 10, 2005).
  14. ^ Press Release. Freddy Deeb Wins $50,000 HORSE Championship at World Series of Poker Title Establishes Deeb as World's Best All-Around Player June 29, 2007. Accessed July 30, 2007
  15. ^ "Six Seasons of Champions to Receive WPT Championship Bracelet". Reuters. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2009-02-11.  
  16. ^ The first WSOP was not a freeze out tournament, but rather a collection of the top players playing against one another and the eventual winner was determined by a vote. Johnny Moss Biography
  17. ^ "Oklahoma Johnny" Hale.“Oklahoma Johnny” Hale. The Life and Times of a Gentleman Gambler. Las Vegas: Poker Plus Publications, 1999. 127-132. Accessed July 12, 2007]
  18. ^ Crowson, Authur (2007-08-07). "Send the bills to Bihl! - Thomas Bihl wins WSOPE Event 1". Poker Listing. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  19. ^ "£10,000 NLHE, Final Table: Annette Obrestad Makes History". Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  20. ^ "Ted Forrest". Player Profiile. Poker News Daily. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  21. ^ Wilson, Craig (2009-06-09). "#767 - 2009 WSOP #25 - Ghost Series #3 - 39 Champions, Part III". Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  22. ^ AdministratorTed Forrest Biography IXGames Accessed July 30, 2007

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