Johnny Chen, professional poker player: biography, career

Johnny Chan is a legendary poker player who, according to predictors, set an immortal poker record. In 1987 and 1988, he won the main poker world championships - World Series of Poker, and then in 1989 he took second place at Phil Hellmuth. Johnny Chen entered the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992. For all his games, Johnny received nearly $ 6 million in total.

Johnny Chen, poker

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

Johnny Chen's childhood

Johnny was born into an ordinary Chinese family in 1957, lived in Cato, also known as Guangzhou, during 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 moved with his family 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 cultural revolution.

Johnny's parents took him 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, since at that time they did not speak English. Johnny attended school in Phoenix and received 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 "The Great Whirlwind." At 16, the future poker star attended school and helped 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 really 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 hotel and restaurant management program at the University of Houston and planned to continue the family restaurant business. But Johnny's love of poker was too strong. In 1978, he left college, left Houston, and moved to Las Vegas to start a new life.

Johnny started traveling to Las Vegas at the age of 16 to play poker, although he was a minor. At that time (70s), casino owners and managers did not care how old the client was if 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 that time thought that an Asian guy could become one of the greatest poker players.

Chen always played very aggressively and was sometimes called a bully at poker tables. Johnny did not win every time he played, sometimes he had to sell part of his belongings in order to save the bankroll he needed to play poker.

The orient express

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

For four years, Johnny Chen’s successful career has grown and matured. Brunson, a famous poker player, said that Chen needs to learn to understand 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 gave up his cigarette habit, and also began to take care of himself physically, eat better, exercise and give up alcohol.

The orient express

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

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

Top Poker Achievements


Tournament Name and Venue

A place

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 Invitational Tournament, 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 cherished dream for many players. Some played poker all their lives, focusing on achieving this goal. Unfortunately, most players did not reach it. Johnny Chen is one of the greatest poker players in the world. He won not just one, but as many as ten World Series of Poker gold bracelets.

WSOP Bracelet

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

Johnny in the movie

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

Rounders - a film featuring Johnny Chen

Matt Damon and Edward Norton also starred in the movie Cheaters. Johnny Chen believes that the film really made a huge contribution to the history of poker. The extra fame and recognition that The Shulers brought Johnny raised the demand for his books.

When the Rounders filmmakers asked if they could use Chen’s final handshake poker footage against Eric Seidel at the 1988 World Series of Poker Main Event, the man agreed. The youngest daughter, Johnny, convinced her father to ask for a role in the film so that she could meet with Matt Damon. She told her father that if the directors want to use the shots from his game, they will be glad to see Johnny appear in the film, and she turned out to be right.

Writing Johnny

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

Play Poker Like Johnny Chan: Book One Casino Poker is a guide for beginners. The chapters of the book discuss general concepts, rules of the game and ways to solve various situations. He also explains the different types of poker games, provides background information about online 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 perceiving poker as a business. If you decide that you want to play poker professionally, you need to take the game seriously, as a business. It offers great tips on the topic of money, as well as the importance of investing in the future. Johnny also writes for the Trader Daily Magazine, where many of his columns focus on the correlation between poker and trading.

In one of his articles, Johnny Chen writes about the consequences the Internet has on the poker community. He talks about how the Internet has changed the game and helped bring it to the mainstream. Over the past 20 years, there have been many changes in the poker world, 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 writer who deserves attention.


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