Johnny Chan is easily one of the undisputed legends of poker having won an incredible two World Series of Poker Bracelets throughout his long career. Two of those bracelets were for Main Event wins in 1987 and 1988 and he almost won a third straight Main Event the very next year too, only to be stopped by Phil Hellmuth during heads up to claim his first ever bracelet win.
Chan is originally from Guangzhou but eventually found himself living in America after his family moved there to set up business. Though he was being groomed to carry on with his family’s business, by the time he hit 21 he had already decided to become a professional gambler.
That proved to be the correct decision as he became a superstar after winning those two main events, a success he attributed to many American players not having much of an understanding of how Asians play the game. Chan actually won his first bracelet two years prior to those Main Event victories when he took down a smaller $1k Limit Holdem side event in 1985.
Those wins were added to by another seven bracelets ranging between 1994 and 2005 and a total of 43 cash’s bringing his WSOP career earnings to more than $4million. That is almost half of his total live tournament earnings of $8,500,000.
Just last year in 2012 he made another fairly deep run in the WSOP Main Event, though he eventually fell in 353rd for a payout of $32,871.
Devastating. I played with all my heart. Thank you all for the support. I’ll be back next year. #WSOP
— Johnny Chan (@ItsJohnnyChan) July 14, 2012
Chan is one of the most popular players even though his career has slowed down somewhat since the inception of the internet. He still regularly makes tournament appearances, especially at the WSOP. He has yet to take down a World Poker Tour or European poker Tour title, yet he doesn’t really take part in as many of them as other well known tournament players.
Chan was a part of the poker scene in the early days and will always be remembered as one of the legends of the World Series of Poker, something further proven by his induction into the Poker Hall Of Fame back in 2002.