The 40th Annual World Series of Poker is only weeks away. Between now and the start of the Main Event BluffMagazine.com will be presenting the 40 Greatest Champions in WSOP history exclusively on WorldSeriesofPoker.com.
John Juanda has won four WSOP bracelets, one of which is the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event Championship. His soft spoken and eloquent personality has deceived opponents for years that confuse his politeness and mild mannerism as weakness. Juanda played the tournament circuit forming lasting friendships with Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Allen Cunningham. This powerhouse crew of friends has shaped the WSOP and contemporary poker in their image.
Juanda’ impressive record of tournament cashes speaks for itself. He has appeared at 20 WSOP final tables. From 2002 through 2004 he made four final tables each year. His bracelets include a 2002 win in the $1,500 Triple Draw Lowball event, a 2003 win in the $2,500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Split, and another in 2003 for the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. It should be noted that he didn’t enter any WSOP event until 1999.
Juanda came to the United States from Medan, Indonesia in 1990 to enroll at Oklahoma State University. He continued his education at Seattle University earning his MBA. Juanda attributes his player reading abilities at the table from his lack of English when he first arrived in the country.
Juanda’s early ambitions had little to do with poker. He worked various jobs while in school, even becoming an award-winning Bible salesman. He also worked as a stock broker. This may be why every decision he makes at the table seems to be a well thought out calculated risk.
Since exploding on the poker scene in the early part of this decade, nearly half of Juanda’s lifetime poker earnings have come from outside the WSOP.