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'The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius.'
-Julius 'Big Julie' Weintraub

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Name: Johnny Chan
DOB: 1957
Alias: Orient(al) Express
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Nationality: Chinese American
Total Winnings (as of Jan '07):
$5,900,000 (live tournament)
Notable accomplishments:
WSOP Highlights:
 Bracelet(s): 10
 Money finishes: 38
 Highest ITM main event finish Winner: 1987, 1988
 *ITM = in the money, To place high enough in a poker tournament to get prize money.
WPT Highlights:
 Titles: None
 Final tables: 0(+1)
 Money finishes: 3

Johnny Chan Biography

Chan was born in Guangzhou, was raised in Honk Kong and in 1968 moved to Phoenix and then Houston Texas were his family owned a couple of restarants. Chan was planning to continue the family business until he went to Las Vegas at the age of 16. At the age of 21 Chan dropped out of the University of Houston and moved to Las Vegas to become a professional gambler.

Johnny rose to fame in the late 1980's by winning the Championship event at the WSOP for two consecutive years, 1987 and 1988. A tape of the 1988 WSOP final table heads up appears in the movie rounders, which also features a cameo by Johnny Chan. Johnny attributes much of his early winnings to the fact that most poker players had not played against asian opponents. In 1989 Phil Hellmuth defeated Chan denying Chan a third straigh title. Chan is the last player to win back to back titles at the WSOP main event.

In 2005 Chan won his 10th WSOP title by defeating Phil Laak in a Hold'em event. This win ties him with Doyle Brunson for second behind Phil Hellmuth for the highest number of WSOP bracelets won. In 2002 Chan was inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame.

In 2005 Chan appeared in two Poker Superstars Invitational Tournaments. In the February tournament Chan battled back from being down to $20,000 out of $3.2 million in play to finish second to Gus Hansen. In the Summer tournament Chan defeated Todd Brunson in three matches to claim the $400,000 first prize. In Poker Superstars III Chan was this time defaeated by Todd Brunson in the semi finals.

Chan's experience at the World Poker Tour hasn't been as successful as other tournaments. He has yet to make the final table despite playing in a number of events. Chan has been featured in both the WSOP Tournament of Champions and the National Heads-up Poker Championships for both 2004 and 2005.

World Series of Poker Bracelets

Year Tournament Prize (US$)
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

Personal life

Along with playing poker, Chan owns a fast food restarant in the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas, in a consultant for a number of casinos and hopes to open his own casino. Chan has also published a couple of books



Play by Play Poker Like Johnny Chan, by Johnny Chan and Mark Karowe, 2005.
Million Dollar Hold'em: Winning Big in Limit cash Games, by Johnny Chan and Mark Karowe, 2006.
Writer for Card Player magazine
Chan has a regular article in the bi-monthly magazine Trader Monthly. © 2024. All rights reserved.