Johnny Chan at the 2008 World Series of Poker
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada|
1957 (age 60–61)|
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|Winner, 1987, 1988|
|World Poker Tour|
|Alternative Chinese name|
Johnny Chan (Chinese: 陳金海;[Note 1] born in Guangzhou, China in 1957) is a Chinese-American professional poker player. He has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, including the 1987 and 1988 World Series of Poker main events consecutively.
Chan moved with his family in 1962 from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, then in 1968 to Phoenix, Arizona, and later in 1973 to Houston, Texas, where his family owned restaurants. When he was 21, Chan dropped out of the University of Houston, where he was majoring in hotel and restaurant management, and moved to Las Vegas to become a professional gambler.
World Series of Poker
Chan won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in (1987 and 1988) becoming the first foreign national to win the main event. A videotape of the 1988 WSOP final heads-up match is featured in the movie Rounders, in which Chan makes a cameo appearance. He almost won a third consecutive title, but finished in 2nd place in 1989 to Phil Hellmuth. He is the last player to win back-to-back WSOP Main Events. Jerry Buss, who was an avid poker player and owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, promised Chan an NBA championship ring if he could win three in a row.
In 2005, Chan became the first player to win ten World Series of Poker bracelets, defeating Phil Laak in a Texas hold 'em event. He is currently tied with Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey for second place with 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, behind Phil Hellmuth (15). He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.
In 2010, Chan cashed in the Main Event taking 156th place for $57,102.
World Series of Poker Bracelets
|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||$34,000|
|2003||$5,000 No Limit Hold'em||$224,400|
|2003||$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha||$158,100|
|2005||$2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em||$303,025|
Chan competed in the $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament in February 2005. He came back from having $20,000 chips out of $3,200,000 in play to finish in second place to Gus Hansen. Chan later competed in Poker Superstars II during the summer of 2005. He defeated 22 players to make it to the finals. He defeated Todd Brunson in the finals after three matches to win the $400,000 first prize. Chan appeared in Poker Superstars III where he made it as far as the semi finals but was defeated by Todd Brunson after three matches.
Poker After Dark
On NBC's late-night show Poker After Dark, a six-person $20,000 buy-in winner-takes-all tournament, Johnny Chan has the most victories to date with four wins in six appearances. He came in second and fifth when he did not win.
His appearances in which he made it to heads-up were:
- WSOP Champions — originally aired Jan. 15-20, 2007 — Won heads-up against Chris Moneymaker
- Golden Men — originally aired June 11–16, 2007 — Lost heads-up against Joe Hachem
- World Champions — originally aired Feb. 11-16, 2008 — Won heads-up against Phil Hellmuth
- International — originally aired Feb. 25-Mar. 1, 2008 — Won heads-up against Patrik Antonius
- Dream Table III — originally aired Mar. 23-27, 2009 — Won heads-up against Jennifer Tilly
Chan won Bob Stupak's 1981 American Cup poker tournament. He defeated all 9 other players at the final table in less than an hour. As a result, Stupak gave Chan the nickname "The Orient Express".
Chan has never made a final table on the World Poker Tour (WPT).
In addition to playing poker, Chan owns a fast-food franchise in the Las Vegas Stratosphere Hotel and is a consultant for casinos and game makers. Chan has written for Card Player magazine. He appeared in the first (2006) and 2011 seasons of the GSN series High Stakes Poker.
In 2005, Chan collaborated with Mark Karowe to release Play Poker Like Johnny Chan (ISBN 1-933074-48-5), an instructional book on several different types of poker. On November 28, 2006, the follow-up titled: Million Dollar Hold'em: Winning Big in Limit Cash Games (ISBN 1-58042-200-4), which focuses on limit hold'em strategy, was released.
Chan wrote a regular article in the bi-monthly magazine Trader Monthly.
In popular culture
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