Born in 1971 in Indonesia, John started playing poker tournaments in 1996 and won the World Poker Open Championship in 2001. The following year, he won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and then won two more WSOP events in 2003.
In 2002, John was named Tournament Champion of the Year, and was the 2001 and 2002 Runner-Up in the Card Player Player of the Year standings. He also has three Best All-Around Player awards.
John made 15 final tables in 2004, and placed fifth in both the 2005 Five-Star World Poker Classic and the 2005 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Most recently, he earned nearly US$500,000 in Monte Carlo, Monaco, after winning the Monte Carlo Millions Consolation tournament, finishing sixth in the Monte Carlo Millions Main Event, and finishing second at The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo.
In 2006, John beat some of the best poker players in the world including Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Jason Gray, and Jeff Lisandro to win the Aussie Millions Speed Poker Million Dollar Challenge. He pocketed AUD$1,000,000 (US$732,000). John continued to cash regularly on the tournament circuit in the following years, posting two top-10 finishes at the 2008 WSOP, taking seventh in the $5K No-Limit Hold ‘em Shootout tournament and sixth in the $5K Pot-Limit Omaha event.
John had one of the best weeks of his career at the start of October 2008. He won the 2008 WSOP European Series Main Event Championship in London, claiming his fourth bracelet and more than US$1.5 million in prize money. This included a historic final table, as it set WSOP records for length at 19 hours and ten minutes, along with the number of hands played at 484. Within the week, he added over US$570,000 to his earnings by placing second in the EPT London £1 Million Showdown.