Center for Gaming Research
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WSOP Retrospective
About this Exhibit

Previous UNLV Special Collections online exhibitions included the Xanadu, an unbuilt casino hotel, and the El Rancho Vegas, the Strip's first casino resort. So why an exhibition on a poker tournament in a downtown casino?

Several reasons, actually. In its 33rd year, the World Series of Poker is one of the most recognizable gaming tournaments in the world. Binion's, for over 50 years, has been a leading casino in downtown Las Vegas. Finally, Binion's executives had the foresight to donate historical material to UNLV Special Collections, thus prodiving a solid archival base from which to work.

This exhibition showcases the unique materials housed within UNLV Special Collections and has been mounted with the cooperation and permission of Binion's Horseshoe. It is dedicated to all of the players, past, present, and future.

David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research, created this exhibition. Interestingly, Dave is not a poker player. He created this exhibition as a tribute to those who organize and participate in this important part of gambling history.

It is intended to preserve the history and origins of the World Series of Poker tournament, which is a truly special historical event. Most casinos live in an eternal present, where the latest promotion is the be all and end all of that casino's promotional machine. Poker players in general, and the WSOP in particular, have a respect for history and tradition that is unusual for the gaming industry.

This exhibition is an effort to provide more primary materials for the study of poker history and casino history. As such, it should be useful to academic researchers and those who are merely curious about these areas. When using materials from this exhibition, please follow the standard citation and attribution guidelines for your discipline.


Dave would like to thank everyone at UNLV Special Collections: Director Peter Michel, Manuscripts Librarian Su Kim Chung, Library Assistants Jonnie Kennedy, Kathy War, and Joyce Marshall, and the Special Collections student workers for Spring 2002.

He would also like to thank the staff and management of Binion's Horseshoe, including Tex Whitson and George Fisher, and Binion's Horseshoe web/webcast guys Federico Schiavio and Miodrag Babic.

Finally, as someone who wasn't even born when the tournament began, Dave realizes that he may have made errors of detail or omission. If you have any comments or questions, please email him at

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Last modified Wednesday, 06-Feb-2019 23:50:15 UTC