Poker Prodigy John Juanda Continues Raking It In At WSOP 2010June 23, 2010 6:23 am
Poker superstar John Juanda continues to go from strength to strength at this year’s WSOP, and has already cashed in four events, picking up $742,495 along the way.
On June 1st, Juanda finished 4th out of 116 players at the $50,000 Players Championship Event for $436,865. A week later he placed 5th out of 170 players at the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 Championships for $97,989. June 11th saw Juanda pick up another $78,088 after finishing 4th out of 101 players at the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championships, and yesterday Juanda narrowly missed out to Phil Ivey on picking up another WSOP bracelet when he concluded the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event in 3rd place for a $129,553 pay-day.
Not bad going from the 39 year old pro who was sent over from his native Indonesia to the USA by his parents in 1990 to earn a degree at Oklahoma State University, and ended up getting his first taste of some dorm-room poker action at the same time.
In 1996, on a return trip to the USA to complete a master’s degree, Juanda also had another agenda in mind and was determined to pay off a $15,000 debt he had rung up since graduating. After reading every poker book he could get his hands on, Juanda walked into a poker room for the first time with $100 for a stake, and as he explains:
“I should’ve framed that $100 bill. I used to buy in to my first poker game. I just kept winning, so I just kept playing. The $100 bill was the only money, to this day, I ever invested for poker out of my pocket that wasn’t a direct result of money won playing poker.”
John Juanda’s father Hadi was well known for having a bit of a gambling habit which was often exasperated by his drinking. Coupled with the fact gambling is illegal in Indonesia and would often bring a person in contact with criminal elements, Hadi would often lose big or be cheated while playing baccarat, Chinese poker or sports betting.
In contrast, however, John Juanda hasn’t stopped winning since he cashed in at his first tournament in 1997 and now with 4 WSOP bracelets including a WSOP Europe Main Event victory, and over $10 million in live tournament cashes to his name, Juanda is undoubtedly one of the finest players the game has produced.
As to the reasons behind his incredible talent, as John Juanda explains:
“You know, some people are uncomfortable when they become successful; but me, I’m uncomfortable when I’m not. I’ve just had this drive ever since I was young. I didn’t just want to succeed at whatever I did in life; it was more that; I just didn’t want to fail at whatever I decided to do.”
Congratulations to John on his continued success and we look forward to hearing more of his poker adventures at WSOP 2010.