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Johnny Chan

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image Johnny Chan

Name: Johnny Chan  
Nickname: The Orient(al) Express  
Date of birth: 1957, China  
Residency: Las Vegas, Nevada  


He won 10 WSOP bracelets.

He earned over 7 millions of dollars by playing poker

He is present in the "Poker Hall of Fame"

Johnny Chan was born in Canton (Guangzhou) county of communist China in 1957. Five years later, his family moved in Hong Kong, where Johnny only lived for four years because of the instable situation. At that time, Hong Kong was shaken by rebellions against the British suzerainty, bomb attempts being a regular thing to happen.

The Chan family decided that is time to move again, this time in Phoenix, Arizona. Here, Johnny learned English along with his parents. None of the family’s members spoke English at that time. In 1973, they moved again, this time in Houston, Texas. His parents opened a Chinese restaurant, and Johnny was raised in the spirit of him taking the family’s business. He was only 16 years old and he was a good student, and an excellent check and bowling player. Sometimes, after the restaurant was closed in the evenings, some of the clients and of the restaurant’s personnel were playing poker. This is how Johnny learned the game’s secrets. After a short period of time, people avoided playing with him because he was a very good player that always won. At 16, he left for a trip in Las Vegas. This is where he fast lost the $2500 he brought along at blackjack game. He decided to take a walk in the city, but he saw Golden Nugget casino.

He entered and observed how some clients were playing poker and he understood he can easily win against them all. He used a credit card with $200 limit, he gave his golden necklace that valued $120 and started to play. He rapidly transformed the $320 into $30 000. He went back home and he helped his parents, while attending the Houston University’s classes. When he wsa 21, he gave up the idea of having a diploma in the hotelier domain and moved in Las Vegas to fully dedicate to his pro player career. At that point in time, Asian poker players were something weird to see. People thought that Asians didn’t know how to play poker but Chan took advantage of this fact and won much money due to their naivety. Asian players were also more difficult to be “read” than the Americans.

 At the end of the eighties, Johnny won his best. He won WSOP for two years in a row (1987 and 1988) and he was almost winning in 1989 as well, but he was defeated by Phil Hellmuth. Chan is known for the fact that he carries an orange with him at the game table to bring him luck. He said that at the beginning he was using the orange for its strong smell because he couldn’t stand tobacco smell and people smoking. In 2005, he won his 10th WSOP bracelet, equalizing Doyle Brunson and being one step behind Phill Hellmuth, who owns 11 bracelets. Johnny Chan frequently appears at television shows, being present at Poker Superstars, where he won the second edition as well as at Poker After Dark, where he won for three times. He is married, he has 6 children and owns a chain of fast food restaurants in Las Vegas. His dream is to found his own casino. Chan published a gew guides about poker, such as "Play poker like Johnny Chan" or" Million Dollar Hold'em: Winning Big in Limit Cash Games".

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