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Johnny Chen, professional poker player: biography, career
Johnny Chen, professional poker player: biography, career

Johnny Chan is a legendary poker player who, according to forecasters, set an immortal poker record. In 1987 and 1988 he won the major world championships in poker - the World Series of Poker, and then in 1989 finished second in Phil Hellmuth. Johnny Chen was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992. For all his games, Johnny received close to 6 million US dollars in total.

Johnny Chen, poker

There are few players who try to cheat me. If anyone decides to bluff and steal chips at the table, it will be me.

Childhood of Johnny Chen

Johnny was born into an ordinary Chinese family in 1957 and lived in Cato, also known as Guangzhou, for the first five years of his life. Guangzhou is a city with a long history, located near the Pearl River and the South China Sea, and it is in this city that Johnny Chen's biography begins.

Johnny and his family moved from Canton to Hong Kong in 1962 when he was only five. The Chen family remained in Hong Kong for four years. At that time, Hong Kong and all of China were at the center of a bloody culturalrevolution.

Johnny's parents took him away from Hong Kong in 1968, they went across the Pacific to the United States. They settled in Phoenix, Arizona, where the family lived for the next five years. Immigration to the United States was difficult for Johnny and his parents as they did not speak English at the time. Johnny attended school in Phoenix and got good grades while learning English.

In 1973 the family moved again, this time to Houston, Texas. Johnny Chan's parents opened a restaurant in Houston called Hoe Sai Gai, which means "Great Whirlwind". At 16 years old, the future poker star attended school classes and helped his parents in their restaurant business. At that time, Johnny began to show interest in various games: chess, bowling. Then the guy discovered a new game for himself - poker. Over the next 24 years, Johnny Chen's life truly became the "Great Whirlwind" as the restaurant was called.

New life in Las Vegas

Johnny Chen lived in Houston until the age of 21, attended the University of Houston Hospitality and Restaurant Management program and planned to continue the family restaurant business. But Johnny's love for poker was too strong. In 1978 he left college, left Houston and moved to Las Vegas to start a new life.

Johnny started going to Las Vegas at the age of 16 to play poker even though he was a minor. At that time (70s), casino owners and managers didn't care how old the client was, as long as he had money.

World Series of Poker

When Johnny Chen moved to Las Vegas and started playing, other players underestimated him because of his nationality. No one at the time thought that an Asian guy could become one of the greatest poker players.

Chen has always played very aggressively and was sometimes called a bully at the poker tables. Johnny didn't win every time he played, sometimes he had to sell some of his stuff to keep the bankroll he needed to play poker.

The orient express

Johnny got his nickname when he was relatively new to the poker tournament. Chen came to Las Vegas to become a professional poker player in 1978 and got his famous nickname in 1982.

For four years, Johnny Chen's successful career grew and matured. Brunson, the famous poker player, said that Chen needed to learn to be aware of when to stop playing and how to control his hot temper.

In 1982, Johnny Chan's poker game got even better. At the same time, he decided to change some aspects of his personal life. Johnny was a heavy smoker, but he gave up his cigarette habit, and began taking care of himself physically, eating better, exercising, and giving up alcohol.

The orient express

In January of that year, Johnny Chen entered the tournament, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the $10,000 Bob Stupak America's Cup No Limit Hold'em tournament. It was there that Chen showed the world his superior poker skills by taking first place. He played well, earnedplace at the final table and successfully eliminated 13 of the last 16 players in just 30 minutes. It was then that Bob Stupak gave him the nickname Orient Express.

Johnny, a 25 year old Asian, was on his way to becoming one of the world's best poker players of all time. His natural ability to read other players, combined with his self-confidence and sharp poker skills, made him a true poker champion.

Top Achievements in Poker


Tournament name and venue


Prize, $


18th WSOP, Las Vegas




19th WSOP, Las Vegas




20th WSOP, Las Vegas




Hall of Fame Poker Classic, Las Vegas




32nd WSOP, Las Vegas




34th WSOP, Las Vegas




Poker Superstars InvitationalTournament, Las Vegas




36th WSOP, Las Vegas




Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament Season 2, Cabazon




39th WSOP, Las Vegas



10 World Series of Poker bracelets

The World Series of Poker gold bracelet is a dream come true for many players. Some have been playing poker all their lives with that goal in mind. Unfortunately, most of the players did not reach it. Johnny Chan is one of the greatest poker players in the world. He won not one, but ten World Series of Poker gold bracelets.

WSOP Bracelet

Johnny Chen is truly a legendary poker player. Chen's total winnings from his World Series of Poker tournaments through 2006 are $3,744,331.

Johnny at the movies

Johnny Chen starred as himself in the 1998 film Rounders. In addition to his role, footage from the 1988 World Series of poker Main Event was included in the film.

Rounders - a film starring Johnny Chen

Rounders also starred Matt Damon and Edward Norton. Johnny Chen believes that the film really made a huge contribution to the storypoker. The additional publicity and recognition that Rounders has brought Johnny has boosted the demand for his books.

When the Rounders filmmakers asked if they could use footage of the final hand of Chen playing poker against Eric Seidel in the 1988 World Series of Poker Main Event, the man agreed. Johnny's youngest daughter convinced her father to ask for a role in the film so she could meet Matt Damon. She told her father that if the directors wanted to use footage from his performance, they would be happy to have Johnny in the film, and she was right.

Johnny's writing activities

Johnny Chen is not only one of the best players in the world of poker, he is also a prolific writer. He has published several books and is also the author of several magazines.

Play Poker Like Johnny Chan: Book One Casino Poker is a beginner's guide. The book's chapters discuss general concepts, the rules of the game, and how to deal with different situations. It also explains the different types of poker games, provides background information about internet poker and tournament poker. Chen also talks about some of his legendary poker games and his poker philosophy.

Johnny Chen has written many articles that have been published in Card Player Magazine, Card Player Europe Magazine and These articles are informative, educational, and sometimes funny. In one article, Johnny Chen explains the importance of seeing poker as a business. If you decide that you want to play poker professionally, you need to treat the gameseriously, how to business. He offers great advice on the topic of money and the importance of investing in the future. Johnny also writes for Trader Daily Magazine, where many of his columns focus on the correlation between playing poker and trading.

In one of his articles, Johnny Chen writes about the impact the Internet is having on the poker community. He talks about how the Internet has changed the game and helped bring it into the mainstream. The past 20 years have seen many changes in the world of poker, some of which are a direct result of the Internet.

Poker legend - Johnny Chen

Johnny Chan proved to the world that he is not only one of the legendary poker players of all time, but also a noteworthy writer.

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