The current generation of professional poker players generally have little regard for those who ruled the game prior to the big boom, except when it comes to at least one guy: Johnny Chan. That’s because Chan was the champ who appeared as the idol successfully bluffed by Matt Damon’s character in “Rounders,” the seminal 1998 poker flick frequently credited with inspiring thousands of young people to take up the game. Chan, the last player to win back-to-back World Series of Poker Main Event championships 22 years ago, was back in the news this week when appeared briefly in the top 10 in this year’s tournament before hitting a few bad beats and busting out in 156th place. The outspoken pro spoke to Steve this hour about why he’s unhappy with the current management of the World Series, why he was unimpressed by Phil Laak’s recent 115-hour poker-playing spree and why he’s never played a hand of cards at Aria.
In Banter: Steve’s new boob job, it’s fucking hot, Veer opens, South Point expands and thoughts on the Vegasness of Top Chef and Holly’s World.
Links to stuff discussed:
Johnny Chan’s website
The Johnny Chan-Matt Damon video clip from Rounders
Steve’s piece for AOL News on the 2010 World Series of Poker’s final table
The special edition the Strip with the mother of the Mizrachi brothers
The R-J’s coverage of the opening of Veer
The website for Holly’s World
The Top Chef profile of Stephen Hopcraft of Sea Blue at MGM Grand
The image of the chefs on that Mandalay Place wall and the chalk Justin Bieber worship
The Las Vegas Sun on the expansion at Suncoast
WSJ blog on Steve Wynn buying the Plaza Hotel
Steve’s AOL News coverage of Phil Laak’s 115-hour poker feat