Berry Johnston

Berry Johnston

Berry Johnston


Berry Johnston poker player profile. Get latest information, winnings and gallery.


Berry Johnston
United States
GPI Rank
WPT Wins
Total Live Earnings


Berry Johnston is an American poker player who won the 1986 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

Over the course of his career he has won five WSOP bracelets, including in Razz and Omaha, with his first bracelet coming in the very first WSOP Heads-Up Event held at the WSOP.

He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2004.

Johnston's last live WSOP cash came during the 2016 World Series of Poker, but he most recently cashed in two events during the 2020 WSOP Online.


Born in Oklahoma on September 25, 1935, little is known about Johnston's early life.

It is known that he got into poker later in his life at the age of 35, and first cashed at the WSOP in 1982. In fact, Johnston cashed at least once in every single WSOP from 1982 until 2010.

His first back in 1982 cash was a third-place finish in the WSOP Main Event, won by Jack "Treetop" Straus.

The following year, he won his first bracelet in $2,500 Heads-Up No Limit Hold'em. In 1985, he final-tabled the WSOP Main Event for the second time, again finishing third, this time for $140,000.

Doyle Brunson once said of Johnston: "What I admire most about Berry is not Berry the great poker player, but Berry the man. He is a deeply religious and devoted family man, who has always been a gentleman at all times."

1986 WSOP Main Event

After two close calls in 1982 and 1985, Johnston eventually won the WSOP Main Event in 1986. Defending champion Bill Smith made back-to-back final tables, as did Johnston and Jesse Alto. Smith would finish fifth and Alto fourth, with Smith defeating Mike Harthcock heads-up to win $570,000 after topping a 141-player field.

This was also the first year that a female player cashed the Main Event, with Wendeen Eolis finishing 25th.

Berry Johnston WSOP Bracelets

YearEventPayout (USD)
1983Event #8: $2,500 Heads-Up NLHE$40,000
1986Event #13: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event$570,000
1990Event #12: $2,500 Limit Hold'em$254,000
1995Event #3: $1,500 Limit Omaha$91,200
2001Event #13: $1,500 Limit Razz$83,810

WSOP Main Event Winners 1977-86

1986141Berry JohnstonUnited States$570,000
1985140Bill SmithUnited States$700,000
1984132Jack KellerUnited States$660,000
1983108Tom McEvoyUnited States$540,000
1982104Jack StrausUnited States$520,000
198175Stu UngarUnited States$375,000
198073Stu UngarUnited States$385,000
197954Hal FowlerUnited States$270,000
197842Bobby BaldwinUnited States$210,000
197734Doyle BrunsonUnited States$340,000

PokerNews Covered Events

2020 Online Bracelet EventsEvent #16: $500 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo163rd$825
2020 Online Bracelet EventsEvent #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em34th$2,936
2014 World Series of PokerEvent #43: $1,500 Limit Hold'em19th$6,048
2014 World Series of PokerEvent #17: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship381st$1,991
2014 World Series of PokerEvent #7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz39th$2,575
2013 World Series of PokerEvent #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha81st$3,435
2012 World Series of PokerEvent 22: $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball17th$6,250
2010-11 World Series of Poker Circuit - ChoctawMain Event50th$3,770
2010 World Series of PokerEvent #45: $1,500 No-Limit Holdem121st$4,348
2010 World Series of PokerEvent #34: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Holdem Championship39th$9,218
2010 World Series of PokerEvent #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better73rd$2,750
2009 World Series of PokerEvent 43 - $1,000 Seniors World Championship185th$2,044
2008 World Series of PokerEvent 43 - $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo39th$3,636
2008 World Series of PokerEvent 37 - $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low World Championship10th$38,657
2008 World Series of PokerEvent 10 - $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better30th$4,908
2007 World Series of PokerEvent 55 - $10,000 World Championship No Limit Holdem113th$58,570
2007 World Series of PokerEvent 52 - $1,000 No Limit Holdem w/ rebuys62nd$8,067