Back To Back World Series of Poker Wins for Johnny Chan

wsop main event

Johnny Chan made poker history by winning the main event of the World Series of Poker Championship Tournament back to back in 1987 and 1988.

The World Series of Poker is known around the world as the most prestigious event in poker. It is held every year in Las Vegas and lasts a little over a month. The series of preliminary poker tournaments, or events, all lead up to the main event, which is the $10,000 No Limit Holdem poker tournament. The winner of each preliminary event, as well as the main event, not only win the prize money, but also the coveted World Series of poker gold bracelet.

When Johnny Chan competed in the 1987 World Series of Poker Tournament, he put up his $10,000 buy in stake along with 152 other poker players hoping to win the main event. Chan made it to the final table, along with a Frank Henderson, Bob Ciaffone, James Spain, Howard Lederer and Dan Harrington. When it came down to the final two players, they were Johnny Chan and Frank Henderson. On the last hand, Johnny Chan was dealt an ace of spades and a nine of clubs. Frank Henderson was dealt a four of diamonds and a four of clubs.

It was up to Johnny Chan to act and he bet $60,000. Frank Henderson went all in with his pair of fours. The flop showed a five of clubs, and eight of hearts, and the king of diamonds. The cards were of no help to either player. The turn was made producing a 10 of clubs, which also was no help to either player. When the river card was turned over it showed a nine of hearts, giving Johnny Chan a pair of nines. Luck was with him as he became the 1987 main event World Champion.

The following year, 1988, Johnny Chan once again put up his $10,000 buy in stake to play in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em main event at the World Series of Poker. That year, Johnny Chan found himself competing with 167 other entrants. The players at the final table were Johnny Chan, Erik Seidel, Ron Graham, Humberto Brenes, T. J. Cloutier, and Jim Bechtel. The players were eliminated, one by one, until just Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel were left. The two players were dealt their cards.

Johnny Chan’s cards were a jack of clubs and a nine of clubs. Erik Seidel was dealt queen of clubs and a 7 of hearts. The flop turned over a queen of spades, a 10 of hearts, and an eight of diamonds. This had given Erik Seidel a pair of queens and Johnny Chan the nut straight.

Chan bet out with $40,000. Erik Seidel raised Chan and $50,000 and Chan called. The turn produced a two of spades which did not change either hand. Even though Johnny Chan already had a straight, he played it slow and checked. This play tricked Seidel into thinking Chan was on a draw and Erik Seidel went all in, and of course Johnny Chan immediately called. The river card was turned over and it was a six of diamonds. Johnny Chan had won the world series of poker main event for the second year in a row.

1987 WSOP Main Event Win

1988 WSOP Main Event Win