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attributes some of his early success to the fact that many players had
not previously played against many Asian players before, if any. He
shot to fame in the late 1980s, winning the championship event of the
World Series of Poker (WSOP) in two consecutive years (1987 and 1988).
A videotape of the 1988 WSOP final heads up match is featured in the movie Rounders, in which Johnny Chan makes a cameo appearance along side Ed Norton and Matt Damon, Considered to one of the Top 10 Poker Movies.
Johnny Chan almost almost made it hat-trick, but finished in 2nd place in 1989 to Phil Hellmuth.
is the last player to win back-to-back WSOP Main Events, a feat many
prognosticators think he could hold forever given the increasingly
larger fields. Jerry Buss, an avid poker player and owner of the Los
Angeles Lakers, promised Chan an NBA championship ring if he could win
three in a row. Which he nearly pulled off. Three consecutive WSOP
Championship Final Table Heads up, Marks him to be one of the best
poker players ever.
Chan is known
for keeping a "lucky" orange in front of him on the table, and after
the second consecutive WSOP title other players began bringing fruit to
the table in hopes of increasing their luck. Chan says he only had an
orange with him because of the pleasant scent, as smoking, which was
allowed in many tournaments then, bothered him. Chan himself was once a
smoker, but now he neither smokes nor drinks alcohol. It was after he
gave up those vice and living a healthier lifestyle that his poker play
Chan competed in the $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament in February 2005. He finished second place to Gus Hansen after have only $20,000 in chips at one stage. Chan later competed in
Poker Superstars II during the summer of 2005. He defeated 22 of the
best players to make it to the finals. Then he defeated Todd Brunson in the finals after three matches to win the $400,000 first prize.
Chan has yet to make a final table on the World Poker Tour (WPT), despite playing in numerous events.
also featured in the 2004 and 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of
Champions events and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in the
In addition to playing poker, Chan owns a fast-food
franchise in the Las Vegas Stratosphere Hotel and is a consultant for various
casinos and game makers. He has aspirations of opening his own casino. Chan has
also written for Card Player magazine.