Over the years, poker tournaments have witnessed several top poker players, and one such fantastic player is Johnny Chan. The American poker player was born in China (Guangzhou) and later moved to Hong Kong with his family in 1962. He grew up within the US though, in Arizona and Texas.
Chan relocated with his family from Hong Kong in 1968 to Phoenix; after a little while, they moved to Houston in 1973. Johnny Chan is one of the best players that have ever appeared in poker tournaments and has won several championships with his extraordinary skill.
Johnny Chan’s Personal Life
Since Chan’s family owned several restaurants, he enrolled in the University of Houston, pursuing a degree in hotel/restaurant management and hospitality. At the age of 21, Johnny Chan dropped out of school and decided to try to become a professional gambler. Then, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he focused and pursued a full-time poker career.
Before Chan’s relocation, he had visited Las Vegas, and had an excellent casino experience at the age of 16. He seemingly won $20,000 from staking $500, but lost it all the next day. However, Johnny Chan rose to the limelight in 1987 and 1988, after winning a series of world poker tournaments. Chan also acted in the film ‘Rounders’ in 1988, where he played himself.
Aside from being a poker player, Chan is a game consultant, and he owns a fast-food restaurant. He also wrote for the Card Player Magazine at some point and appeared in the 2006 and 2011 GSN seasons of the High Stakes Poker series.
He launched the ChanPokerOnline.com in 2007, though this poker room was short-lived, closing up in 2008. In 2009, Chan appeared in the film Poker King, a Hong Kong movie where he also played himself.
Significant Tournament Wins
In 1981, Johnny Chan won the American Cup Tournament, hosted by Bob Stupak, where he defeated nine players within an hour. During this tournament, he received the nickname “The Orient Express,” which was mainly due to his fantastic performance.
Between 1987 and 1988, Johnny Chan won several world poker tournaments that boosted his popularity. In the World Series of Poker, Chan won the following amounts:
- $171,000 for the “$1,000 Limit Hold’em” held in 1985
- $135,600 for the “$1,500 Seven Card Stud” in 1994
- $164,600 for the “$5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw,” which took place in 1997
- $178,800 for the “$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha” hosted in 2000
- $34,000 for a game held in 2002, staking $2,500 for the “No-Limit Hold’em Gold Bracelet Match Play.”
- $224,400 for the “$5,000 No-Limit Hold’em” that took place in 2003
- $158,100 for the “$5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha” hosted in 2003
- $303,025 for the “$2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em” officiated in 2005
He also won the “No-Limit Hold’em World Championship” twice; in 1987 and 1988 while betting $10,000.
Four out of the six times that Johnny Chan was featured on “Poker After Dark,” he came out as the winner, which is the best rate of any poker player. The two times he had not won this tournament, Chan came out with the second and fifth positions. He won against Chris Moneymaker in the WSOP championship that was first aired in 2007, and defeated Phil Hellmuth in the world champions aired in 2008.
In the International game, Johnny Chan defeated Patrik Antonius in 2008 and defeated Jennifer Tilly in Dream Table III, aired in 2009. However, Chan lost the Golden Men game against Joe Hachem, initially aired in 2007.
Johnny Chan has won 10 WSOP bracelets in his career, and estimates of his current net worth sit around 10 million dollars.