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Former Johnny Chan Texas Poker Room Rebranded
A Houston poker club owned by Johnny Chan has rebranded as 101 Poker Club. Chan owned Johnny Chan’s 88 Social in Houston, Texas, but stepped away from the operation earlier this month.
Poker laws in Texas differ from most other states. Cardroom owners found a loophole in the law permitting them to operate as members-only clubs. These clubs charge a weekly or monthly membership fee or charge for the seat at the table. Collecting rake is not allowed, but this system allowed Texas poker rooms to offer cash games and tournaments.
Chan purchased 52 Social earlier this year and rebranded to 88 Social. The club is located at 9371 Richmond Avenue, and its popularity continued growing. Chan and his team planned a winter series of tournaments for December, but it never took place.
Social 88 members headed to the club on December 6, but gaining entry was not possible. A sign on the door informed them of the temporary closure of the club.
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow revealed, in a podcast, he spoke to Chan about the closure. Chan’s former business partner apparently robbed all the money from the bank and the club’s safety deposit boxes while Chan was at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Chan Leaves As New Owners Rebrand
Christmas Eve saw 88 Social change hands. Chan left and Sanjeev Vora stepped in. Vora immediately rebranded the room to 101 Poker Club. Vora is the CEO of Chemium International Corp, a petrochemical company. The University of Colorado graduate loves playing poker, which led him to invest in the Texas poker room. In addition, Vora plans to make good on all previous customers’ funds.
December 27 is the date of the new room’s soft reopening. Vora and his new team are in the process of completely renovating the property. The process will take a few months, however.
Poker is booming in Texas. The influx of poker member’s clubs has resulted in the Lone Star State enjoying a live poker renaissance. Chan was the latest prominent poker pro to want a piece of the pie. Matusow considered investing in a Texas poker room, while Doug Polk stated he is considering opening a room in Austin. Polk moved to Austin from Las Vegas earlier in 2021.
Radio Silence From 10-Time WSOP Champion
Chan has maintained radio silence throughout the whole saga. The Chinese-American superstar last used his Twitter account in August 2020.
He was extremely active on the American poker circuit throughout the 1980s and 1990s. However, his playing time waned recently; his last cash was in the 2019 WSOP Main Event.
Chan won the first of his ten WSOP bracelets in 1985 when he took down a $1,000 Limit Hold’em tournament. A two-year wait for bracelet number two followed, but it was worth hanging around for. Why? Because he won the $10,000 Main Event for $625,000. Amazingly, Chan won the 1998 WSOP Main Event, and is still the only player to win back-to-back Main Events. He almost went back-to-back-to-back, but lost heads-up to Phil Hellmuth in the 1989 Main Event.
The man known as “The Orient Express” continued winning bracelets right up to 2005. His victory in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament was his tenth WSOP title. He was the only player in history, at the time, to hold ten bracelets. Doyle Brunson tied with him at the same series. Hellmuth overtook them both and now has 16 bracelets.
Biggest Texan Poker Winners
Texas has a long and illustrious history regarding elite poker tournament players. A cool $65,556,584 is how much the top ten Texans have won over the years.
T.J. Cloutier tops the all-time money listing with $10,444,516. Such luminaries as Benjamin Tollerene, David Williams, Brunson, David Benefield, and Aaron Van Blarcum all call Texas home. Expect many more Texan stars if the poker room craze continues.