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The clock is ticking through the final week of the WSOP for Life promotion. On Sunday a total of 5 of these unique packages will be given away. Here, PartyPoker ambassador Mike Sexton recalls one of his favourite WSOP memories.

In 1987, I was on the rail watching the main event of the WSOP. There were five tables left and I happened to be standing right behind Johnny Chan. Chan raised the pot and the big blind (Richard Klamian) called. The flop was 2-3-4 with the 2-3 of hearts.

Klamian checked and Johnny Chan moved all-in. Klamian had Chan covered, and he quickly called.

They turn up their cards and Chan had an A-J offsuit. Klamian had the A-5 of hearts! He flopped a straight with the nut flush draw! Chan couldn’t win the hand, he could only tie. Disappointed, he stood up, put on his jacket, and was ready to head to the door.

The most amazing streak in poker history

The eight of clubs came on the turn and the five of spades hit on the river! Chan made a wheel and they split the pot! He took that enormous break and went on to win that tournament and become world champion.

He then went on the most amazing streak in poker history. He finished 1st, 1st, and 2nd in the main event at the WSOP in 1987, ’88, and ’89. (That is incredible, but even more amazing is that in that same time period, he won two Poker Hall of Fame main events and the $10k buy-in America’s Cup at Stupak’s World!)

I’ve often wondered what would have happened to Johnny Chan had he been knocked out of the ’87 main event with five tables left. It’s amazing how the turn of a card can change a life.


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