John Juanda Profile

General Bill “zimba” Seibert
Despite his quiet demeanor, John Juanda is one of the most respected poker players in the world. He won the 2008 WSOPE Main Event for $1.5 million. He has five WSOP bracelets to go along with his 55 WSOP cashes. His first major victory was at the 2001 World Poker Open.

Juanda has numerous other tournament victories and six WPT final table appearances to bring his lifetime tournament winnings to over $10.8 million. He is a member of Team Full Tilt. He also have one of the strongest 2010 WSOP performances with four big cashes totaling over $700k. He won his fifth WSOP Bracelet in the 2011 $10k 2-7 NL Lowball Championship. Juanda was born July 8, 1971 in Medan, Indonesia and currently lives in Marina del Rey, California.
Things you might not know:
  • Juanda was a mid and long distance high school track star.
  • Juanda's father was a big gambler, betting on sports, playing baccarat or Chinese poker and usually losing quite a bit.
  • Juanda came to the U.S. in 1990 when he enrolled at Oklahoma State University.
  • Juanda once had a stint as a door to door salesman selling Bibles.
  • Juanda once ran up debts of $15,000 on a credit card and convinced his mother to give him $40k for his MBA program which he then used to pay off his card.
  • Juanda earned an MBA from Seattle University.
  • Juanda didn't started playing poker until watching some other players in a poker room in 1996, going home and buying and reading every possible book and then returning to give it a go.
  • Juanda credits his inability to speak much English when he came to the U.S. with helping his eventual poker game tremendously because he concentrated so heavily on reading people's body language and facial expressions.
  • Juanda's best friends in the poker world are Daniel Negreanu, Allen Cunningham and Phil Ivey.
  • Juanda is one of the only high stakes players to never go broke, as he's a very prudent bankroll advocate.
  • Juanda has said that if he would like to be a doctor if he wasn't a poker player.
  • Juanda once said he would like to make it illegal to play poker for more than 48 hours a week.

John "Papa John" Juanda is one of the most understated but respected cash game and tournament players in the world. His Budhist background has given him a grounded and calm center within the turbulent poker world. He has used his poker success to support a breast cancer clinic and put a girlfriend and his sister through college.
"I try my hardest to win, but I respect everyone I play with, and when I lose, I don't get upset. One of the teachings of Buddhism is to have a sense of balance. I take satisfaction in doing my best and don't have overly high expectations."

A couple videos of Juanda on Poker After Dark and a hand against Daniel Negreanu:

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