|1971 WSOP Main Event Winner||Johnny Moss|
|Runner Up||Walter “Puggy” Pearson|
|1st Place Prize||$30,000|
|Number of Main Event Entrants||6|
In 1971 the World Series of Poker changed from a series of cash games to a winner take all No Limit Texas Holdem Tournament. The buy-in was $5,000 and six players ponied up the money to compete. Those six players were Johnny moss, Doyle Brunson, Sailor Roberts, Jack Straus, Puggy Pearson, and Jimmy Casella. Out of these six players, five were from Texas, as was the host, Benny Binion.
Many poker players at the time didn’t’ find the WSOP event itself all that attractive. What they did like, though, was the number of players who came to Vegas to try and play against the big name players in side games after the tournament. It was in the side games where the professional poker players would truly prosper.
The winner of the first WSOP Main Event was Johny Moss, and it would be the second of his three titles. The previous year in the first ever WSOP Johnny Moss would be voted as the best all-around player, thereby awarding him the title of world champion. Johnny Moss’s final opponent in the tournament was Puggy Pearson, and Johnny defeated him to win the title and the $30,000 prize.