2003 World Series of Poker

The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was one of the major turning points for poker as a global spectator sport.

The 2003 WSOP saw a number of players claim two gold WSOP winner’s bracelets. All-time bracelet leader and Poker Hall of Famer, Phil Hellmuth, won Limit and No-Limit Hold’em bracelets; Men Nguyen won bracelets in Seven Card Stud and Lowball events; and Johnny Chan and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson also won two bracelets each.

Other notable bracelet winners at the 2003 World Series of Poker included Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Carlos Mortensen and Doyle Brunson.

Held at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, the 2003 World Series of Poker was the last time the WSOP would be considered the domain of professional poker players, as online qualifier Chris Moneymaker stunned the poker world by winning poker’s world championship – the WSOP Main Event.

2003 WSOP Main Event

Chris Moneymaker’s victory in the 2003 WSOP Main Event gave hope to aspiring poker players the world over. An online qualifier for the Main Event, Moneymaker was a shock champion, claiming a first prize of $2.5 million having paid just $39 in qualifying fees online.

Having qualified via an online card room, Moneymaker topped a final table that included seasoned professionals Sam Farha and Dan Harrington, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Other well-known poker players who achieved good finishes in the 2003 Main Event were as follows:



Prize Value


Phil Ivey

$82 700


Minh Nguyen

$80 000


Marcel Lüske

$65 000


Scotty Nguyen

$55 000


Howard Lederer

$45 000


Men Nguyen

$45 000


Phil Hellmuth

$45 000

The 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event was a major catalyst, along with the explosion of online poker, in taking the game of poker onto a truly global stage.