Johnny Chan is a Chinese-American poker player. He has won 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, including the WSOP Main Event in 1987 and 1988. He is the last player to win the Championship event in back-to-back years.
In 2002, he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
WSOP Legend: Two-Time Main Event Champ Johnny Chan
Born in China, Chan came to the United States in 1968 with his family to Arizona. After a few years spent there, Chan and his family relocated to Texas where his family owned a restaurant in Houston. Planning to keep with tradition and take over the family business, Chan took classes at the University of Houston. However, aged just 21, he moved to Las Vegas having decided to become a professional poker player.
Chan took a number of temporary jobs to build his bankroll, before winning Bob Stupak's 1981 American Cup, eliminating 13 of his 16 opponents in just over half an hour. This win earned him the nickname 'The Orient Express'
Chan at the WSOP
Chan won his first WSOP bracelet in 1985 in the $1,000 Limit Hold’em event. A couple years later in 1987, Chan would win the $10,000 Main Event and then follow it up with a repeat performance in 1988. What some people sometimes forget or don’t know about is that in 1989, Chan almost pulled off the three-peat after he battled all the way down to the final two players of the WSOP Main Event. Phil Hellmuth got the best of him that day, but that would be far from the end of Chan’s bracelet glory.
Chan added two more bracelets before the turn of the century, and by 2005 he became the first player to reach 10 WSOP bracelets. That same year, he was joined by Doyle Brunson (10). The following year, Hellmuth earned his tenth and has since gone on to win 16 in total.
Johnny Chan's WSOP Bracelets
|1985||$1,000 Limit Hold'em||342||$171,000|
|1987||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT||152||$625,000|
|1988||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT||167||$700,000|
|1994||$1,500 Limit Seven Card Stud||226||$135,600|
|1997||$5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball||32||$164,250|
|2000||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||156||$179,400|
|2002||$2,500 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em||28||$34,000|
|2003||$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em||127||$224,400|
|2003||$5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha||85||$158,100|
|2005||$2,500 Pot-limit Hold'em||425||$303,025|
Other Poker Achievements
Chan has amassed over $8.7 million in career earnings. The largest cash of his career came in February 2005, when he finished second in the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament for $750,000.
Johnny Chan in Rounders
Chan famously appeared in the 1998 film 'Rounders', where he played himself. In the scene, Mike McDermott, played by Matt Damon, successfully bluffs Chan out of a pot.
WSOP Main Event Winners 1979-88
|1988||167||Johnny Chan||United States||$700,000|
|1987||152||Johnny Chan||United States||$625,000|
|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|