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Deal Me In -- Johnny Chan

An Exclusive Excerpt from Phil Hellmuth's New Book

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Johnny ChanIn its pages are never-before-revealed details of the lives of some of the biggest names in poker. Phil Hellmuth’s new book profiles 20 of the biggest poker players in the world, giving the reader an intimate look at the game’s biggest celebrities.

Deal Me In, a collection of autobiographical accounts from many of poker’s elite, is now available to order online exclusively at www.pokerbrat.com. The book highlights the struggles, obstacles, and tragedies that 20 of the greatest poker pros have overcome in their journeys to the top.

CardPlayer.com is providing exclusive excerpts from the book each Sunday. This week’s passage focuses on Johnny Chan, 10-time bracelet winner and one of the most respected players in the game. Chan talks about his decision to move to Las Vegas — and how difficult that was for his parents to accept at the time — in this passage:

Johnny Chan"When I turned 21, I quit school and moved to the city that never sleeps, determined to be a professional poker player. I didn’t want to work the rest of my life in the restaurant. I wanted to be my own boss. Besides, I liked the nonstop action and, of course, the lure of money. When I told my parents the news, they were devastated and angry.

“Johnny, Las Vegas is sin city,” they would say. “What are you thinking?” They didn’t want me to be a gambler. They loved me and were worried, although at the time it felt as if they were trying to control me. They knew that very few gamblers survived in Las Vegas. I remember my dad telling me, “Once you leave, don’t ever come back.” Those words really hurt. I knew he was trying to protect me from harm, but it always hurts to realize that you have disappointed your family.

“Deep down, I knew they could be right. Las Vegas has ruined the lives of more than one person. How many people go to Las Vegas each year with hopes of striking it rich, only to crawl back home, with their heads down and tails tucked between their legs? The number has to be in the thousands. Would I be another notch in the belt? It was possible. Still, I was determined to try. I believed this was my shot at the brass ring.

“There was no way I would’ve backed down from my parents at that point. “Dad, you’ll regret saying that,” I told him. “One day I’ll be a world champion and I’ll be rich. I’m going to make it. That’s what I want to do.” I hopped in my car and headed to Las Vegas, hoping my old Camaro would survive the trip. I never looked back.”

 
 
 
 

Comments

DONKEY-OH-TEE
over 12 years ago

Inspiring!!

 
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kevmode
over 12 years ago

This story shows that if you really want something in life bad enough u can achieve it with hard work and dedication.

 
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Tex97239
over 12 years ago

Wow! What an enlightening literary passage. Written like a true 3rd grader!

 
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FZKK
over 12 years ago

kevmode's comment is misplaced. hardwork and dedication had less to do with johnny's success
than this person's seems to understand. johnny chan
has a ton natural talent..that combined with some
luck has got him his success. if a card player experienced or otherwise decides to play full-time
and dedicate his/herself, will that decision gaurantee success?...of course not. poker of any style does not work that way.

 
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pokerfacesinc
over 12 years ago

and if you asked Johhny today...he would sound more like his father. Many of the "pros" that were hot just a few years ago have already dissapeared from the game...or can tell you howfortunate they were. Even Phil Ivey has had a slow previous few years, that he didnt survive on live poker alone...he has diversified to other interest. Doesn't everyone understand why Phil wrote this book...he doesn't profess to be an author...but a lot of people will buy it! Good job Phil...this is one thing you do I think I will enjoy.

 
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shuns snukis
over 12 years ago

tex ur an idiot, take Johhny for what he is

 
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SteveZodiak
over 12 years ago

I loved this chapter of the book. I really liked his honesty. He doesn't hold anything back. He talks about being a loser in the casino games before striking it big. I have watched Johnny Chan for years and I learned a lot about him I didn't know. I agree with the first poster. He is inspiring.

 
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BillZ
over 12 years ago

This was a great story, but not as good as some of the others. I don't know what the putz above was talking about it was written fine but Chan's story is only of medium interest compared to a lot of the really good stories in that book, IMO. I think Chan may be the only player in the book to promote his commercial intrest.

 
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cosmo1021
over 12 years ago

tex you are the 3rd grader he is speaken broken english plus he speaks 3 other languages so crawl back in your hole

 
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billdeleuil
over 12 years ago

I think some of the comments are hilarious, too, Richenough. Chan is indeed inspirational and having read this book, I can tell you it is well written throughout. The writing is very much conversational and in the style of the player. You can tell this is a player talking to you in his own voice. I read it twice now. Good stuff

 
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