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Johnny Chan

Johnny Chan
Johnny Chan at the 2006 World Series of Poker
Nickname(s) Orient Express
Born 1957 (age 58-59)
Guangzhou, China
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) 10
Final table(s) 27
Money finish(es) 45
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
Winner, 1987, 1988
World Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) None
Money finish(es) 6
Information accurate as of 24 January 2014.
Johnny Chan
Traditional Chinese 陳金海
Simplified Chinese 陈金海
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Chén Jīnhǎi
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutping Can4 Gam1hoi2
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 陳強尼
Simplified Chinese 陈强尼
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Chén Qiángní

Johnny Chan (born in Hangzhou, China in 1957) is a Chinese-born 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.

Early life

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.

Poker tournaments

World Series of Poker

Chan won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event in (1987 and 1988). 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 (14). He was inducted into the Poker Hall Fame in 2002.

In 2008, Chan cashed for the first time in the main event since 1992, earning $32,166 for his 32nd-place finish.

In 2010 Chan cashed in the main event taking 156th place for $57,102.

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

Poker Superstars

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. Then 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:

Other tournaments

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).

Chan played in the 2004 and 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions events and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in the same years.

As of 2014, his total live tournament winnings exceed $8,600,000. His 45 WSOP cashes account for $4,355,464 of those winnings.

Personal life

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 TV show. 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.

In 2007, Chan launched an online poker room, It closed in August 2008.

Chan wrote a regular article in the bi-monthly magazine Trader Monthly.

In popular culture

Johnny Chan portrayed himself in the 1998 film Rounders. In a flashback scene, Chan is bluffed by the main character Mike McDermott (Matt Damon).

He also appeared in 2009 Hong Kong movie Poker King as himself.