Johnny Chan, born on December 10, 1957, in Guangzhou, China, is known as one of the most successful professional poker players in history. Known also as Johnny “Orient Express” Chan, he has won 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets until 2021. He is the only player to have won back-to-back Main Event titles at the WSOP in 1987 and 1988.
Chan was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002, cementing his status as a poker legend. Apart from his poker accomplishments, he has made appearances in pop culture, notably playing himself in the poker movie “Rounders”. Chan has also authored two books: “Play Poker Like Johnny Chan” and “Million Dollar Hold’em: Winning Big in Limit Cash Games”.
Beyond his poker career, Chan is an entrepreneur. He has owned several fast-food franchises in Las Vegas and opened his own restaurant, “Johnny Chan’s Asian Bistro”, at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He is married to Sue Chan, and they have six children together.
In the world of poker, Chan is recognized for his signature “lucky orange” that he keeps at the poker table while playing. He has been featured in several episodes of the television series “Poker After Dark” and has the unique honor of having a WSOP event named after him, the “Johnny Chan Classic”.
|Full Name||Johnny Chan (also known as Johnny “Orient Express” Chan)|
|Birth Date||December 10, 1957|
|Occupation||Professional Poker Player|
|Known For||One of the most successful poker players in history. Winner of 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. Only player to win back-to-back Main Event titles at the WSOP in 1987 and 1988. Inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.|
|Career Highlights||Featured in the poker movie “Rounders” where he played himself. Published two books: “Play Poker Like Johnny Chan” and “Million Dollar Hold’em: Winning Big in Limit Cash Games”.|
|Early Life||Moved from China to Hong Kong in 1962. Immigrated to the United States with his family in 1968. Dropped out of the University of Houston where he was majoring in hotel and restaurant management to pursue a career in professional poker.|
|Personal Life||Married to Sue Chan. He has six children.|
|Business Ventures||Has owned several fast-food franchises in Las Vegas. Opened his own restaurant, “Johnny Chan’s Asian Bistro”, at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.|
|Recognition||One of the few poker players to have a WSOP event named after him, the “Johnny Chan Classic”. Featured in several episodes of the television series “Poker After Dark”. Recognized for his signature “lucky orange” that he keeps at the poker table while playing.|
Johnny Chan’s Poker Career
At the World Series of Poker tournaments, Chan participated in the 1987 and 1988 edition, thus, making him the first foreign player to win the event. A videotape of the 1988 edition showcased a cameo appearance of Chan. It is necessary to note that Chan was at the brink of winning his third consecutive title, but he finished 2nd in 1989 to Phil Hellmuth. Chan is also known to be the first player to win WSOP in a row.
Chan is also the first poker player to win 10 bracelets in WSOP tournaments and he defeated the likes of Phil Laak in a Texas hold ’em event. However, it is only Phil Helmuth that has more WSOP bracelets than him: Phil Helmuth has 15 WSOP bracelets. Due to his feats in the poker industry, Chan was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.
Chan, in 2008, played so well that for the first time in this career, he cashed out in the Main Event since 1992; he earned $32,166 for his 329th-place finish.
He also cashed out in the Main Event that took him to the 156th place for $57,102.
Chan also featured in the $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament in February 2005, where he earned $20,000 chips out of $3,200,000 in play to finish in second place to Gus Hansen. To further his earnings and reputation in the poker industry, Chan participated at the Poker Superstars II tournament. During this tournament, Chan won 22 players that competed in the tournament and he made it to the final stage of the tournament. In the final, he defeated Todd Brunson to win the $400,000 grand prize. Chan also competed in the Poker Superstars II tournament the following year but he only reached the semi-final stage after being defeated by Brunson.
Moving forward, Chan also took part in the Bob Stupak’s 1981 American Cup poker tournament after defeating more the players that competed in the game in less than an hour. As a result of this feat, he was named “The Orient Express”.
It is also important to know that Chan has never made a final table before on the World Poker Tournament.
This great player has also featured on the 2004 and 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions events.
Chan’s playing style involves taking one street both in order to pot-control and in order to limit the opponet’s positional advantage. His playing style is also an aggressive method. Chan is often called a bully at the table often times and it has served him well.
Johnny Chan Bracelets at the WSOP
|Year||Tournament||Price Money (US$/EU€)|
|1985||1.000$ Limit Hold’em||$171.000|
|1987||10.000$ WSOP Main Event||$625.000|
|1988||10.000$ WSOP Main Event||$700.000|
|1994||1.500$ Seven Card Stud||$135.600|
|1997||5.000$ Deuce to Seven Draw||$164.250|
|2000||1.500$ Pot Limit Omaha||$179.400|
|2002||2.500$ Limit Hold’em||$34.000|
|2003||5.000$ Limit Hold’em||$224.000|
|2004||5.000$ Pot Limit Omaha||$158.100|
|2005||2.500$ Pot Limit Hold’em||$303,025|