Professional Poker Tour Players
All the players who took the tables for the inaugural season of the PPT were consummate professionals and could readily be called the living legends of the game. All who qualified were WSOP and WPT champions or players with recognised genius. We take a look at the careers of the first two champions of the maiden PPT Tour – John Juanda and Erick Lindgren.
A Chinese national now domicile in the States, Juanda is one of the true whiz kids of the ever growing poker community and although he started playing professionally in 1997 he only really reached his full potential in 2002 when he was recognised as one of the very best. He was chosen as the Tournament Champion of the Year for his sterling performances at the 33rd edition of the WSOP, the Legends of Poker in LA and the Hall of Fame Poker Classic where he clinched 3 titles.
Although he claimed the first event of the PPT, he had a relatively quite time until 2006 when he won the Aussie Millions Speed Poker Event and over $730 000. He made it to no fewer than 6 WPT final tables but just couldn’t endure to the last. He has already pocketed over $6.8 million in career earnings.
Lindgren cracked the second event of the PPT, the LA Poker Classic, but he too started making a name for himself in 2002. He clinched his first WPT title and then went on to claim $1million for the third WPT Million cruise – not a bad way to open your international poker account!
In 2005 he missed out at the WSOP circuit event in Atlantic City where he failed to grab the top spot, but his luck changed in 2006 when he downed some of the best in the business including the great Erik Seidel, Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, ‘The Mouth’ Matusow and arguably the finest poker player the world has ever seen, Phil Ivey. He outclassed them all to claim $600 000 in the Poker Pro Showdown.
Lindgren has opted to share his experience and knowledge of international poker and has written a book entitled ‘World Poker Tour – Making the Final Table’. A member of FullTilt Poker, he opened his 2008 account by becoming the first host to go on to win the FTOPS event #9. He banked a cool $291 000 for his sparkling efforts.