John Juanda

Winning Four WSOP Titles with a Controlled and Balanced Style

Based in California, John Juanda is an Indonesian poker professional who has made a name for himself in the poker circuit by winning several prestigious titles. He has earned four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets. He is also the champion of the WSOP Europe Main Event of 2008. Juanda has been recognized as the Best All Round Player thrice. His career tournament earnings are approximately $11 million. Of this, nearly $4 million comes from his winnings in live tournaments. With 55 WSOP and 2 circuit cashes, Juanda is on the list of the players with the most cashes, and is placed 8th on it.

Learning Poker

Juanda shifted to the United States to pursue his college education. As an MBA student, he played poker at land-based casinos in Seattle when he could spare time on weekends. It was here that he gained experience and sharpened his skill at playing the game. He would spend twelve hours a day playing poker, and though tired, would look forward to playing again the next day.

Getting Noticed by the Poker World

Juanda became a professional poker player in the late 90s, after he finished his education. At that time he was one of the youngest and most promising players in the poker world. He funded his games with the money he had made by playing poker on weekends. In 1999, Juanda entered the first major tournament in his life. It was the WSOP Limit Hold’em event with a $1,500 buy-in. In this, he was placed ninth in a player field exceeding 600. Till this tournament, he had been cashing in tournaments with low buy-ins. The next week, Juanda went into the $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP and placed seventh in it. He played against Humberto Brenes, Josh Arieh, Tom Franklin and Howard Lederer at this table, and the poker circuit noticed Juanda’s impressive skills.

Winning His WSOP Bracelets

At the 2000 WSOP, Juanda played in the Limit Hold’em event with a $3,000 buy-in in which he placed 10th. In the same event in 2001, he placed seventh. That year, he also participated in the Limit Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo in the Annual WSOP and came in third. Alongside, Juanda also played in $1,000 events and low-buy-in tourneys. In 2002, he picked up pace and cashed in five events at the WSOP. At Event 34 Limit Triple Draw in the Annual WSOP, he won his first bracelet and took back $49,620. Besides this, he came in 27th in one WSOP event, 8th in two, and 5th in one.

A fortnight later, Juanda went on to win the second place in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic. In this he took home $278,240, which is his largest cash win. In 2001, Juanda had a prosperous spell of making final tables at important tournaments. In 2003, he placed first at two WSOP events, which earned him the second and third bracelets of his career. At the Limit 7 Card Stud and Pot Limit Omaha events, he earned $130,200 and $203,840 respectively. In 2008, he earned his fourth bracelet at the WSOP Main Event, where he was named the champion.

In the subsequent years, he also entered numerous other tournaments in which he made cashes. Some of them are the Aussie Millions Speed Poker Million Dollar Challenge in which he beat a field of renowned poker players to come first, and Professional Poker Tour in 2004. Despite having reached six WPT final tables, a key accomplishment is missing from his portfolio – a WPT win. John Juanda is a member of Full Tilt Poker, where he plays online poker.

Praise from Contemporaries

Years after having become a professional player, Juanda is respected by his peers. Daniel Negreanu, another professional poker player, credits Juanda with being the most successful player in tournaments over the past five years. According to Negreanu, Juanda is an extremely consistent player, who can make a final table without a doubt.

Playing Style

A Buddhist by religion, Juanda is a calm and composed player at the felt. He believes that balance is extremely important for a player. As a result of adopting this view, he successfully avoids tilting. Juanda developed a keen eye for observing his opponents when he started learning the game. As he spoke little English back when he moved to the United States, he had to rely on the impressions he got from his opponents, to judge and make moves.

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