Berry Johnston is an American poker player who won the 1986 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2004.
Born in Oklahoma on September 25, 1935, little is known about Johnston's early life.
It is known that he got into poker later in his life at the age of 35, and first cashed at the WSOP in 1982. In fact, Johnston cashed at least once in every single WSOP from 1982 until 2010.
His first back in 1982 cash was a third-place finish in the WSOP Main Event, won by Jack "Treetop" Straus.
The following year, he won his first bracelet in $2,500 Heads-Up No Limit Hold'em. In 1985, he final-tabled the WSOP Main Event for the second time, again finishing third, this time for $140,000.
Doyle Brunson once said of Johnston: "What I admire most about Berry is not Berry the great poker player, but Berry the man. He is a deeply religious and devoted family man, who has always been a gentleman at all times."
1986 WSOP Main Event
After two close calls in 1982 and 1985, Johnston eventually won the WSOP Main Event in 1986. Defending champion Bill Smith made back-to-back final tables, as did Johnston and Jesse Alto. Smith would finish fifth and Alto fourth, with Smith defeating Mike Harthcock heads-up to win $570,000 after topping a 141-player field.
This was also the first year that a female player cashed the Main Event, with Wendeen Eolis finishing 25th.
Berry Johnston WSOP Bracelets
|1983||Event #8: $2,500 Heads-Up NLHE||$40,000|
|1986||Event #13: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event||$570,000|
|1990||Event #12: $2,500 Limit Hold'em||$254,000|
|1995||Event #3: $1,500 Limit Omaha||$91,200|
|2001||Event #13: $1,500 Limit Razz||$83,810|
WSOP Main Event Winners 1977-86
|1986||141||Berry Johnston||United States||$570,000|
|1985||140||Bill Smith||United States||$700,000|
|1984||132||Jack Keller||United States||$660,000|
|1983||108||Tom McEvoy||United States||$540,000|
|1982||104||Jack Straus||United States||$520,000|
|1981||75||Stu Ungar||United States||$375,000|
|1980||73||Stu Ungar||United States||$385,000|
|1979||54||Hal Fowler||United States||$270,000|
|1978||42||Bobby Baldwin||United States||$210,000|
|1977||34||Doyle Brunson||United States||$340,000|