The H.O.R.S.E. and the World Series of Poker

There are very many different kinds of poker events today. One of the oldest and arguably the largest poker event in the world today is the World Series of Poker. Its Main Event, ten thousand dollar buy-in tournament of no-limit Texas Hold'em, is one of its biggest attractions. Among all of the events in the World Series of Poker, it is the one that has the largest cash prize, and the winner of this event is usually given the unofficial title of World Champion of Poker.

However, thanks to the respective 2003 and 2004 victories of Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, who were not professional poker players and had qualified for the game online, the number of entrants to this particular event has shot up considerably, from approximately eight hundred, to eight thousand in 2006, and six thousand in 2008. Most of the individuals who have swelled the ranks of the World Series of Poker's Main Event are amateurs, and some believe that this factor makes naming the Main Event bracelet winner as the best poker player in the world slightly less than legitimate.

In recent years, the World Series of Poker has added an H.O.R.S.E. event with a fifty thousand dollar buy-in. The large buy-in amount for this event has deterred most amateurs from entering the event; leaving it to be played by poker's top professionals. Because of this, many believe that this event is the ultimate deciding factor on which one the best poker player in the world might be.

H.O.R.S.E. is a particular way of playing poker that is frequently played as a high stakes game, especially at poker tables in casinos. The game is actually a combination of a number of popular poker variants. Each one is played per round. It is usually cycled in a particular order:

Texas Hold'em (H) Omaha Eight or better (O) Razz (R) Seven Card Stud (S) Seven Card Stud Eight or better (E)

This is played in such a way that in the first round, all of the players would be playing Texas Hold'em, and then in the next round, they would play Omaha Eight or better, and after that, Razz, and so on and so forth.

In 2006, David "Chip" Reese won the World Series of Poker fifty thousand dollar buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament. His victory was cut short, however, when he died in December of 2007. In the next H.O.R.S.E. tournament in 2008, the first prize winner was not only given a World Series of Poker bracelet and the prize money, but a David "Chip" Reese Memorial Trophy as well.