WSOP champions: Where are they now, Part 4

Johnny Chan

This is the fourth article in a 10-part series taking a look at the World Series of Poker champions from the very first to the most recent and at what they've done since in the world of poker.

The third installment featured Bobby Baldwin, showing off some of the game's biggest characters and biggest legends. This week we showcase another bumper crop of WSOP champions, with the likes of Tom McEvoy, Berry Johnston and Johnny Chan.

Tom McEvoy (1983)

Tom McEvoy has been one of the most stable, solid players on the tournament circuit since he took up poker full time in 1978.

McEvoy worked as an accountant before he got into poker so obviously he never had any trouble with the math behind the game.

McEvoy burst onto the poker scene in 1982 by winning the $1,000 Hold'em event of Amarillo Slim's Super Bowl of Poker. He took down $57,600 for his efforts, but the best was yet to come.

In 1983 McEvoy won the $1,000 Limit Hold'em event of the WSOP and grabbed his first bracelet. With momentum on his side, McEvoy registered for the Main Event and went on to outlast 107 opponents and win the biggest game in town. McEvoy won $540,000 and a piece of poker immortality.

Since then McEvoy has added two more WSOP bracelets to his resume ($1,000 Razz in 1986 and $1,500 Limit Omaha in 1992) in addition to cashing in numerous WSOP events. In 2005 he won the Bay 101 Shooting Stars of Poker in San Jose when it was still a part of the Professional Poker Tour, which has since collapsed.

McEvoy has always been opposed to smoking and in 1998 he helped organize the first tournament where smoking was not allowed. Since then most major poker tournaments have banned smoking at the tables.

McEvoy also authored or coauthored over a dozen books on poker and remains a pillar of knowledge on the game.

These days McEvoy lives in Las Vegas and is still active on the circuit, as well as working as an ambassador for the game as a member of Team PokerStars. McEvoy also blogs on occasion for PokerListings.com and you can read his articles here.

Berry Johnston (1986)

Berry Johnston is a poker veteran in nearly every way possible. His first WSOP bracelet came in 1983 (the same year McEvoy won the Main Event) and he added a bracelet of the Main Event variety in 1986.

Time has not slowed Johnston down, as his WSOP wins are spread over many years. He won his third WSOP bracelet in 1990 in the $2,500 Limit Hold'em, his fourth in the 1995 $1,500 Limit Omaha event and finally his fifth in the 2001 $1,500 Razz event.

Johnston has gone onto accumulate a total of over 26 final tables in the WSOP and 52 money finishes. The record Johnston is most well-known for, however, is cashing in the Main Event a total of 10 times, which is more than any other player.

Away from the tables Johnston is known as a devoted family man who is a gentleman at all times.

In 2004 Johnston was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, where he joined some of the game's most colorful and successful players.

Johnston is still a regular on the poker tour and is also a pro with Full Tilt Poker. Johnston can be found on the site playing as "Berry Johnston."

Most recently Johnston went deep in the 2007 Main Event and managed to finish 113th for $58,570.

Johnny Chan (1987, 1988)

Johnny "The Orient Express" Chan is one of the most recognizable players in the poker industry, and if his astounding accomplishments in the poker world weren't enough, he also had a cameo in the poker flick Rounders.

When it comes to sheer number of bracelets accumulated there are three players who rise above the rest - Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan. Chan and Brunson both have 10 while Hellmuth pulled ahead with his 11th bracelet in 2007.

Although Chan has been making money in the poker world for years, it was the 1987, 1988 and 1989 WSOP Main Events that turned The Orient Express into a household name.

Incredibly Chan won both the '87 and '88 Main Events and if it wasn't for Hellmuth he would have won the '89 one as well. The fields are so large in the modern Main Event it's unlikely that anyone will ever win consecutive titles again, let alone three in a row.

Since his stunning back-to-back Main Event victories, Chan has been immersed in the poker world. He continued to meet with success at the World Championship and returned to the final table in the 1992 Main Event in which he finished seventh.

After 1988 Chan would go on to win seven more bracelets, the most recent coming at the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em in 2005. It was during that year that Chan became the first player to win 10 bracelets, although Brunson would quickly catch him in 2006 and Hellmuth would eclipse that record in 2007.

Chan is still very active on the poker circuit and is invited to poker TV shows like High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and the NBC National Heads-up Poker Challenge on a regular basis. Chan has the unique distinction of having the most victories at Poker After Dark.

As of 2008 Chan's live tournament winnings exceed $6.5 million. He lives in Las Vegas, has six children and is a consultant for various casinos and game makers. In 2007 Chan launched his own online poker room at Chanpoker.com.

Chan was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002 and continues to be a force in the poker world.

***************

Stay with us next week as we bring you three more WSOP champions and take a closer look at what they've been up to since they won the big dance.

Related Articles:

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »