The History Behind The World Series Of Poker Bracelets
Throughout the poker community, there is only one non-monetary prize that both recreational and professional players go after – and that is the highly coveted World Series of Poker bracelet. Since 1976, the renowned WSOP have issued the bracelets as a commemorative piece to its event winners, a reminder of their noteworthy victory. However, over the years, the poker accessory has come to mean so much more than just an add-on. The WSOP bracelet has become a symbol of achievement and respect.
Not all WSOP victors received a bracelet to remind them of their win. Prizes were awarded in different shapes and sizes back then. In fact, the first WSOP champion, Johnny Moss, brought home a silver cup along with the cash prize that he won in the $5,000 NLHE Championship on May 8, 1970. Four years later, prizes took the form of trophies before they morphed into a sterling plate for the 1975 WSOP. It was only in 1976 when the bracelets made a debut and were awarded to the year’s event winners.
Prestige Surrounding the World Series of Poker Bracelets
In the years 1980 and 1981, poker players didn’t even need to win a WSOP event in order to take home the gold bracelet. Both H.D. “Oklahoma Johny” Hale and Chip Reese received a bracelet for being the “Best All-Around Player” in 1980 and 1981 respectively. Not long after the poker players were divided into two kinds, those who won bracelets and those who didn’t. WSOP bracelet winners were considered to be a part of an exclusive club – one that equaled winning a Stanley Cup in hockey or a Lombardi Trophy in football. Since then, poker pros salivated over the poker accessory.
World Series of Poker Bracelet Designs
The earliest WSOP bracelet design was not a looker. It had a simple design that most people referred to as a gold nugget which seemed to be hammered flat on to the bracelet’s surface. The cost of the simple bracelet design amounted to approximately $500. But with each passing year, modifications were made to the bracelet’s design in conjunction with the shift in its official manufacturers.
From a simple-looking bracelet, the WSOP bracelet underwent a lot of major changes during the last ten years. In 2006, its design changed from an un-ornamented bracelet to a lavishly decorated one bearing 259 stones, including about 1.4g of 7.2 carat diamonds as well as 120g of white and yellow gold. It also had several rubies, a sapphire and three black diamonds to symbolize the card suits.
After four years of sporting a well-adorned facade and another change in its official manufacturer, the WSOP bracelet had another overhaul of its designs. With OnTilt Designs Pty Ltd working the reigns of the bracelet’s production, the prized poker accessory went back to its simple and unembellished look. According to the official manufacturing company, the goal was to produce a bracelet that a poker player could wear daily. Although the prestigious WSOP bracelet has reverted to its original form, one cannot discount how prestigious it looks.
Multiple WSOP Bracelet Winners
Throughout the years, the World Series of Poker has given out a total of 1003 bracelets by the end of the 2012 tournament. Out of the 1003, 460 of them were won by players who had a minimum of two bracelets attached to their name, with the remaining won by one-time winners. Here’s a list of the all-time top multiple WSOP bracelet winners:
With the increased interest in poker all over the world, the WSOP will no doubt give away more bracelets in the future. Moreover, as the WSOP APAC in Melbourne comes to an end, the poker community is eager to welcome the new title holders and bracelet owners.