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The 7 Most Important Wins at the World Series of Poker Main Event

The World Series of Poker is the most important time of the year for anyone in the world of tournament poker. Over the course of over 50 years n the Main Event there have been some hugely significant victories, which ones have been important to the evolution of poker and why?

#7 Qui Nguyen

November 1, 2016 (Las Vegas) - At the end of a grueling eight-hour heads-up match that featured a record 181 hands, Qui Nguyen made poker history as the WSOP European Champion, taking home his first bracelet and $8,005,310 to go with it. The then 38-year-old Nguyen had a huge rail chanting during heads-up play after every single hand he won, and after the win, he proved to the world that even in an era when poker is already dominated by the younger generation, everything is still wide open.

#6 Greg Raymer

Greg "Fossil Man" Raymer is the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. Raymer's victory is considered one of the most dominant, as he chipleaded throughout the final table and didn't let go of those reins until the very end, when he defeated David Williams in the HU to take the title. Raymer is a patent lawyer known for his distinctive holographic glasses, his nickname "Fossil Man" comes from his penchant for collecting fossils and using them as card-protectors.

#5 Joe Cada

Joe Cada holds the title of youngest ever WSOP ME champion, having defeated all 6,493 opponents in 2009. At the age of 21, he surpassed Peter Eastgate as the youngest champion, who was the legendary Phil Hellmuth for 19 long years before Eastgate. The $8,547,044 prize money acted as a great marketing tool, attracting many young players to the game.

#4 Scotty Nguyen

For many years, this Vietnamese-American poker player was considered one of the poker world's biggest personalities. He has won five WSOP bracelets during his career, led by the one from the 1998 Main Event. He won the latter in an iconic hand where he was on the board ( ) A full house. Nguyen sent all his chips in, and while his opponent, Kevin McBride, was thinking, the memorable line, "You call, it's gonna be all over baby!" was born. McBride responded by saying, "I call. I play the board," but in the showdown, Nguyen turned him a better full house as he held. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2013.

#3 Johnny Chan

Chan became the first foreigner to win the WSOP Main Event in 1987, and he was able to defend his win a year later. Video footage of the 1988 heads-up final table also appeared in the iconic film Rounders, in which Chan had a small role.

#2 Stu Ungar

When Stu Ungar won his first World Poker Championship title in 1980, he was nicknamed "The Kid". One of the greatest talents in poker history, he managed to defend his title the following year and the poker world predicted a stellar career for him. Unfortunately, a drug addiction stood in the way, costing Stu all his money and, many times, almost his life. After overcoming his demons, he made a spectacular comeback to the game after 17 years, when he won his third title ever and with it the nickname "The Comeback Kid". But while Ungar could win at cards, he couldn't win his personal war on drugs. Stu himself said it best in an interview immediately after his 1997 WSOP victory, "Nobody can beat me at cards. The only one who ever beat me was me." Those words were fulfilled to the letter, and the body of the late Stu was found the very next year in a motel room.

#1 Chris Moneymaker

Full name Christopher Bryan Moneymaker is an American poker player who in 2003 took care of a famous story that kicked off a worldwide poker boom later dubbed the "Moneymaker Effect". An accountant by profession, Chris became the first player in history to win the WSOP Main Event after qualifying at an online poker room. An investment of just $39 earned Moneymaker $2,532,041 and indelibly etched his name in poker history.

Sources - YouTube, WSOP, pokernews, wikipedia, PokerGO, TheHendonMob