Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #7 John Juanda
There are few players in the game of poker that have been as consistently awesome as John Juanda, and yet still managed to escape the attention. The Team Full Tilt Poker Pro has racked up incredible results in his poker career, amassing an impressive list of victories and final tables that make him the envy of every poker player. For me, Juanda embodies the “true poker professional.” He’s never really sought out to create a “poker personality” or be at the front of the cameras. Juanda has very quietly amassed 6 figure earnings in every year since 1997 (except 1999 when he only hit $91k despite 2 WSOP Final Tables), and coming into 2010 had eclipsed the $1 million earning mark in 4 years (2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008). Juanda has tons of hardware to his name, including 4 WSOP Bracelets (including 1 in the WSOP-E Main Event), 6 WPT Final Tables, and an Aussie Millions win in their Million Dollar Challenge. Coming into 2010, Juanda was ranked 8th on the All Time Money List in tournament earnings, and that’s not including how much Juanda has won at the tables playing ring games as one of the most well respected cash gamers in all of poker. So when Juanda had another monster year, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, and the fact that it flew mostly under the radar should come as even less as a surprise. But that doesn’t mean that Juanda’s year wasn’t one of the top stories of 2010. In fact, 2010 was one of Juanda’s best ever, which makes him an easy add to this list.
Juanda didn’t post a score on his resume until he decided to play in the World Series of Poker this year, and began the series in Event #2, the $50,000 Players Championship. He played brilliant poker for 5 days making his 28th career WSOP Final Table, and finally getting his money in with Kd-9d but running into the pocket Tens of Vladimir Schemelev. The 4th place finish with worth another $436,865 for the bankroll, but it was just the start to an amazing World Series. Juanda found his way to the final table a further 3 times in Las Vegas, finishing 5th in the $10k Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship, 4th in the $10k No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw Championship, and 3rd in the $3k H.O.R.S.E event, ending his 2010 World Series of Poker with more than $745k in earnings.
After the WSOP, Juanda headed over to the Philippines where Juanda would win the Asian Poker Tour $9,600 High Roller Event in Manila, and then fly over to London where he’d find himself at another final table, finishing runner up to David Vamplew in the £5,000 Buy in EPT Main Event for another £545,000 ($852k). With a padded bankroll thanks to such a great year, Juanda headed to Macau along with a few other Full Tilt Poker pro’s to take on some Chinese businessmen in some of the highest stakes cash game action that poker has seen in quite some time, and he’d come away a winner their too.
When the year was through, Juanda had booked more than $1.6 million in tournament winnings on the year, vaulting into 5th place on the All Time Money List. And not surprisingly, he avoided most of the press clippings again. However, his performances around the globe couldn’t avoid being mentioned as one of the best of the year.