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Home > Poker Pros > Bio > Johnny Chan

Poker Pros - Bio - Johnny Chan

Johnny Chan may be poker's most well known name. He is a legend in the poker world for winning ten World Series of Poker gold bracelets, tied for the most along with Doyle Brunson. But more impressively is that two bracelets were from back to back Championship events in 1987 and 1988. Amazingly he almost won in 1989 too, but finished second to Phil Hellmuth. He is not only known by poker players, but also by movie goers for playing himself as in Rounders. The movie contained footage of Chan's victory against Erik Seidel in the 1988 World Series. Chan, nicknamed "The Orient Express", flopped a straight and got Erik to move all in with a pair of queens.

Chan moved with his family from Hong Kong to Phoenix in 1968. They later moved to Houston where his family owned some restaurants. He was expected to continue in the family business, but poker took him on a life detour. He started playing in the early 80’s and hasn't looked back since. When he started playing poker, he also was an avid bowler. He used to hide some of his poker escapades by saying he was at the bowling alley.

The nine gold bracelets from the World Series of Poker are from the two Championship events in 1987 and 1988, Limit Holdem in 1985, Seven-Card Stud in 1994, Deuce to Seven Draw in 1997, Omaha Pot Limit in 2000, No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Holdem in 2003, and the last bracelet was from a match between previous bracelet winners. The event was a series of heads up matches and the final two players were Chan and Phil Hellmuth Jr. This time Chan was victorious. When I did the research on his wins, I was impressed with the variety of games he has won. This validates what many say, that he is one of the best all around poker players. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.
Profile by Shirley Rosario