John Juanda – Poker Player Profile
While poker is gaining moral standing in many religious communities, it is still far from a universally accepted practice; and while there are some notable Christians in the poker world, John Juanda has an especially interesting relationship to religion: prior to becoming a 3-time WSOP bracelet winner, 6-time Final Table WPT contestant and prized member of the elite Full Tilt Poker team, John Juanda was an award winning door to door Bible salesman.
Born on July 8, 1971, Juanda lived in his native Indonesia until he enrolled in Oklahoma State University in 1990 and moved to the US. Unlike many of his fellow poker pros, Juanda actually finished his college education and went on to receive an MBA from Seattle University as well. Though he played poker as a serious hobby, it was not until 1996 that John would buy into his first major tournament.
His first success in a major tournament came in the form of a 9th place finish in the 1999 WSOP $1,500 Buy-In Limit Hold’em event. In 2001 he won the World Poker Open Championship and he hasn’t looked back since. He has 3 WSOP bracelets, a $500,000 USD check for a victory in the Monte Carlo Millions Consolation Tournament, a win in the inaugural PPT Foxwoods event in 2004, a $732,000 USD check for the 2006 Aussie Millions Speed Poker Million Dollar Challenge and the 2002 Tournament Champion of the Year Cardplayer Magazine Award as well as the 2001 and 2002 Runner-Up Cardplayer “Player of the Year” awards. He has made it to 6 different WPT Final Tables (with a 2nd place finish in the first WPT Bellagio tournament), and also won the 2008 WSOP – Europe for a cool $1.5 million. All told, Juanda has earned more than $9.5 million playing live poker.
Juanda is also one of the best professional poker players not living full-time in Las Vegas, Nevada. Though the former door to door Bible salesman owns property in Nevada, he is mainly based out of Marina del Rey in Southern California and is known to play in High Stakes home games often involving Hollywood’s elite such as Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and “The Simpsons” creator Sam Simon.
Juanda’s game analysis (by Barry Greenstein):
- Aggressiveness: 7
- Looseness: 7
- Short-handed: 7
- Limit: 7
- No-limit: 7
- Tournaments: 9
- Side games: 6
- Steam control: 5
- Against weak players: 8
- Against strong players: 7