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Johnny Chan: The First Gambler to Win 10 Lifetime WSOP Bracelets

Author: Ivanna Shostak
7 February 2020, 16:21
Votes: 2

Poker has evolved dramatically over the past years, and today the competition in poker is much more intense, as the number of players is growing every year. The following article from the Login Casino team will provide interesting information on a truly legendary player who has become an integral part of the poker world.

Johnny Chan: The First Gambler to Win 10 Lifetime WSOP Bracelets

The Chan’s biography: from an ordinary Chinese boy to a professional poker player in Vegas

The future poker player was born in the Chinese Guangzhou, where he lived very modestly with his family. At the age of six, he immigrated with his family to Hong Kong. Four years later, Johnny and his family settled in the US. At first, they stayed in Phoenix, but eventually, the city of Houston became their home, where the family began to run a restaurant business.

At that time, Johnny did not speak English well but tried to establish contact with his peers by studying at school and getting used to American culture. He learned to play bowling, one of the American typical entertainments, very quickly. When he was not busy helping his parents at the family restaurant, he was playing bowling.

After some time, Johnny found out about poker, which became his real passion. He started playing with his friends and after a while, he joined an underground game in a family restaurant. However, when the boy began to win too often, he was no longer invited to play poker.

At the age of sixteen, Chan decided to try his luck at Vegas card tables. One day, he took $ 500 and entered a casino to play poker, which was illegal because of his age. Despite this, he earned $ 20,000 a night. The next day, he returned to the gambling establishment and lost his entire bankroll.

Instead of playing poker professionally, Johnny Chan decided to college in Houston to study hotel and restaurant management in order to inherit a family business. However, at the age of 21, Johnny took an interest in poker again and dropped out of college without having finished his studies. Chan headed to Vegas to start a professional career in the poker world.

The Chan’s biography: from an ordinary Chinese boy to a professional poker player in Vegas

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The highlights of Chan’s poker career

At the beginning of his professional poker career, Johnny experienced ups and downs. Chan even had periods when he was forced to seek temporary work or sell off the property to continue playing. Despite this, he was determined to succeed in the poker world.

In addition to his talent, the young gambler also had another advantage – his Asian origin. He lived in Vegas at a time when there were not many Asian players trying to play poker. According to Johnny, he was often underestimated and even called only to see what kind of hand he had since others suggested that Chan did not play well.

Interesting fact

Once in Las Vegas, at the age of 16, Johnny withdrew all his money from a credit card ($ 200) and put up a gold chain to play at the poker table at Golden Nugget. A week later, he turned $ 320 into $ 30,000.

In 1982, Johnny Chan’s poker career was marked with dramatic changes. He gave up the habit of smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, started doing sports and eating healthy food, and his game began to improve. That year, he took part in America's Cup of Poker tournament in Las Vegas and earned there the nickname "Orient Express" for knocking out of the tournament thirteen out of sixteen players in a little more than 30 minutes.

He became the champion at that tournament, and since then he won ten bracelets of the World Series of Poker, two of which he received for winning consecutive Main Events in 1987 and 1988. He could have won in the third consecutive Main Event in the 1989th year, but then lost to the young gambler Phil Helmut.

In 2002, Johnny Chan got a chance to take revenge in a game with Helmut, which he had not missed it. The  $ 2,500 buy-in World Series of No Limit Hold'em ended with heads-ups between Johnny and Phil; Chan became the winner, having won his seventh WSOP bracelet.

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Below, it is possible to see the gambler’s major achievements at the World Poker Series, which allowed him to win 10 bracelets.

The highlights of Chan’s poker career

Johnny’s victories in the World Series made his habit of carrying an orange for every game famous throughout the world. Chan loved to take an orange with him at the poker table, which replaced an air freshener. This tradition appeared when smoking was allowed in the casino. However, as the rules changed, the orange lost its practical use, and Chan continued to take it with him to tournaments as a talisman.

Despite the fact that Johnny Chan represents the older generation, he is still considered one of the most successful players in the world.

The event, thanks to which Johnny became one of the cult figures in poker, was the release of the movie "Rounders". In one of its episodes, Chan starred as himself, and in the other one, the final of the Main Event of the 1988 World Series was shown, in which he defeated Eric Seidel.

In 2002, Johnny Chan, the poker player, was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Johnny participated in the Las Vegas Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, was a mentor to the 2006 World Series winner Jamie Gold and even made his way to the final table in that tournament.

The highlights of Chan’s poker career

According to his website, the purpose of Chan’s life is to open his own gambling establishment. Johnny has already proven that he has a lot of experience in achieving everything he wants. Thus, quite possibly, in the future, people will come to Vegas in order to participate in the Johnny Chan Poker Invitational tournament, which will be held at the casino, located in the "Big Orange Hotel".

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What is the exact Johnny Chan’s net worth?

The well-known professional poker player has accumulated some impressive net worth for himself. Currently, Chan’s net worth is approximately ten million dollars. Out of the gambler’s net worth, almost nine million dollars was amassed due to his successful participation at live tournaments. 

As mentioned earlier, Timothy Adams, the Canadian poker player, managed to win two tournaments at the Australian Poker Open.

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