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Poker Star: Johnny Chan

Poker Star: Johnny Chan
Today's poker star is the Chinese legend Johnny Chan.
by Academia   |   comments 0

Known as Orient Express, Chinese legend Johnny Chan was born in 1957 in Guangzhou, China. In his history, the pro has won a total of ten bracelets in the World Series of Poker series, including achievements from the 1987 and 1988 Main Event editions.

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The story of the Chinese professional relies on the move of his family, in 1962, from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, China. Years later, Chan's family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States. However, five years later the family moved again and moved to Houston, Texas. At that time, the Chan family had a few restaurants in the area and young Johnny began to have contact with the cards through the restaurant audience itself.

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At the age of 21, Chan ended up dropping out of the University of Houston, where he majored in hotel and restaurant management. Following this, the young man decided to move to Las Vegas and pursue a career as a professional poker player. However, his first participation in a casino was before his 20th birthday. According to reports, Chan had his first contact with poker at age 16, when he visited Las Vegas. At the time, Chan supposedly managed to turn $500 into $20,000 in just one night, but the next day he lost it all.


His professional career was definitely consolidated in 1987. At the time, Chan managed to win the Main Event title at the World Series of Poker, being the first foreigner to achieve this feat in the main event of the house. The following year, Chan again won the WSOP Main Event.

It is worth mentioning that the videotape of Chan's 1988 WSOP achievement was placed in the 1998 film Rounders. In the film, Chan was invited to make a cameo and was honored by presenting the tape during the film. As early as 1989, Chan almost managed to secure the WSOP for the third year in a row, but ended up taking runner-up when he was eliminated by Phil Hellmuth.
In 2005, Johnny Chan became the first player to earn ten WSOP bracelets, ahead of Phil Laak in the $2,500 Pot Limit Texas event. However, today Chan is after Phil Hellmuth, who owns fifteen bracelets and is tied with Phil Ivey and the legend Doyle Brunson. So, for all these achievements, in 2002 Johnny Chan was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.


As mentioned earlier, Johnny Chan has ten bracelets from the World Series of Poker series on his resume. Chan's achievements:
Year - Tournament - Prize
1985 - $1,000 Limit Hold'em - $171,000
1987 - $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship - $625,000
1988 - $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship - $700,000
1994 - $1,500 Seven Card Stud - $135,600
1997 - $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw - $164,250
2000 - $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha - $178,800
2002 - $2,500 No Limit Hold'em Gold Bracelet Match Play - $54,000
2003 - $5,000 No Limit Hold'em - $224,400
2003 - $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Omaha
2005 - $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em - $303,025

Personal life

In addition to being a professional poker player, Johnny Chan owns a fast-food franchise in Las Vegas at the Streatosphere Hotel. Chan is also a consultant for casinos and gaming factories. Johnny Chan's earnings in 2014 reportedly surpassed the $8 million mark from online poker, with more than $4 million from WSOP achievements alone.

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