World Series of Poker Champions: 1980s


It was during the 1980s when the World Series of Poker really grew up. By the time Phil Hellmuth won his first main event, and the first of his nine WSOP titles in 1989, the first prize had gone from $60,000 when Amarillo Slim won in 1973 to $755,000 in 1989. Poker had come of age, and for the first time, the WSOP was a global event. Big time poker players from all over the world marked April on their calendars and knew it would be time to face the best in the world. The winners in the 1980s were …

1980 – Stu Ungar
1981 – Stu Ungar
1982 – Jack Strauss
1983 – Tom McEvoy
1984 – Jack Keller
1985 – Bill Smith
1986 – Berry Johnston
1987 – Johnny Chan
1988 – Johnny Chan
1989 – Phil Hellmuth

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