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Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #26 Johnny Chan and the Main Event

December 6th, 2010 No comments
Johnny Chan

Johnny Chan made us all think that he could do it again at this year's WSOP Main Event

There are very few names in the poker industry that are referred to with the same sense of awe as Johnny Chan.  For nearly 30 years, Chan has been throwing cards around poker tables all over the globe, and stacking the chips of other poker players that have left with their wallets empty because they played with the poker icon.  Bob Stupak once coined the nickname “The Orient Express” after Chan won the 1981 American Cup poker tournament, getting through the final table of the tournament in under an hour.  The name just stuck and the train has been cruising along the tracks ever since.  Chan was the last player to win back to back WSOP Main Event titles (in 1987 and 1988), a feat which is very likely never going to be replicated given the size of today’s fields.   It’s also incredible that in 1989, he finished runner up in the Main Event to Phil Hellmuth.  But the 10 time bracelet winner was immortalized in the movie “Rounders” where Mike McDermott watched the tape of Chan slow play a monster versus Erik Seidel en route to winning his second Main Event title.

Last year I had Andew Feldman of ESPN on our show (the TPT Live Show) to talk about the play at the final table after the November 9.  As part of our discussion, we discussed if there was another player that would have the impact on the game of poker that Phil Ivey had in making the November 9.  I somewhat  jokingly said “Can you imagine if Johnny Chan was a November Niner? In fact, I think that Johnny Chan will make the final table again.”  This year, he made me believe that it was not only possible, but likely.  This made his 2010 Main Event story one of the best of the year. Read more…