Johnny Chan Bio

Johnny Chan PictureJohnny Chan Biography

Career Winnings: $6,126,006
2007 Winnings: $186,154
Bluff/ESPN Ranking: 180th
Cardplayer Ranking: 1883rd

Johnny Chan, nicknamed “The Orient Express” is one of the poker elites. He won back to back World Series of Poker Main Events in 1987 and 1988 and has 10 WSOP bracelets, tied with Doyle Brunson and one short of the record held by Phil Hellmuth, who won his 11th to break the three-way tie at the 2007 WSOP.

Johnny Chan has had less success than normal in 2007. He had three strong performaces at the 2007 World Series of Poker and a couple of other big wins, but nothing else has happened for the typically extraordinary Johnny Chan.

Johnny Chan was born in 1957 in Guangzhou, China. His family came to the United States, settling first in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Houston, Texas. Johnny worked for his parents, who owned a restaurant. Johnny discovered a poker game one night while he was working and started playing in the game. Johnny had talent, and he was a constant winner at the table. This continued until he was told that the game was being canceled. However, Johnny returned to the restaurant on the next scheduled poker night, and saw that the regular cars were outside the restaurant. Johnny had been ejected from the poker game because the other players were tired of losing to him.

Johnny Chan ended up moving to Las Vegas to further his poker career. Unfortunately, Johnny entered a cycle where he would win big but then lose everything he won. Looking for a way to break the cycle, Johnny quit smoking, began exercising, and paid more attention to what he ate. With a better body, Johnny’s mind got better as well, and Johnny began winning consistently. It was also at this time that Johnny started bringing an orange to the poker table. Johnny would sniff the orange to get rid of the cigarette smell. The orange would become Johnny Chan’s signature.

After he won the WSOP Main Event in 1987 and 1988, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss, offered Johnny an NBA championship ring if Johnny three-peated in 1989. Jerry Buss almost had to pay up, as Johnny finished in second place, losing to a young gun named Phil Hellmuth in heads-up play.

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