Johnny Chan, nicknamed The Orient Express, was born in 1957 in Canton, China. Rough times led the family to search for better life in America when Johnny Chan was eleven years old. They settled in Phoenix, Arizona, and five years later the family had made yet another move to Houston, Texas. Johnny Chan gave a hand in the family’s restaurant but discovered his real hand was at the poker table. His talent was so skilled he was outcaste from the regular poker table at the family’s restaurant because of his constant winnings. Johnny Chan made his first attempt at the Vegas poker tables when he was sixteen years old, but moved there only five years late at the age of twenty one. Smoking heavily, drinking and having a hot temper didn’t help much at the poker table, and Johnny Chan found himself at times hawking his possessions in favor of the poker game. He quit these bad habits. Instead of smoking, Johnny Chan placed a ripened orange in front of him to scent the fresh smell of it during the games. Quickly, it became to be known as his lucky charm. In 1982, Johnny Chan participated in the America’s Cup of Poker in Las Vegas and outplayed 13 of the 16 players in 30 minutes. Spectators and players in that game honored him the nickname The Orient Express.
In 1987 Johnny Chan won his first World Series of Poker Gold Bracelet. He played the main event, the $10,000 No Limit Texas Hold’Em, and won $625,000. Johnny Chan worked his skills again the following year to win the World Championship yet once more, and got himself another precious Golden Bracelet. The movie Rounders features a scene of this match with Johnny Chan making a cameo appearance. In 1989 Johnny Chan reached the final table at the WSOP on a third consecutive year but this time, he came in 2nd when he lost to Phil Hellmuth. Up until 2002, Johnny Chan has won another four WSOP gold bracelets winning the main event six times along those years. In 2002 Johnny faced Phil Hellmuth once again at the final table in the WSOP $2500 No Limit Hold’Em game, topping him this time. Johnny won his seventh Gold Bracelet. In 2003 Johnny Chan won two more events at the WSOP, adding two more gold bracelets to his growing collection. Then, in 2005, he had won his 10th WSOP Gold Bracelet. Adding up all of his WSOP prize money, Johnny Chan has won $3,744,331 all together.
Johnny Chan has made it to many other final tables in different matches, totaling his prize money as of 2008 to exceed $6,300,000. Having six children and owning a fast food franchise in Las Vegas, Johnny Chan also has an online poker room called chanpoker.com.
Johnny Chan – Winning Highlights
1st place winnings: 10
World Series of Poker Winnings and Bracelets: 10
2008: 4th place in WSOP Pot Limit Omaha
Rank Position: 350
Total winnings profit: Over $6,300,000