Chris Grigorian: Professional Poker Player Profile
If Johnny Chan is the poker world's "Orient Express," Chris Grigorian is the "Armenian Express." Little is known about this Eastern European player, save for the fact that he is a masterful player with a long history of notable tournament appearances.
It seems Chris Grigorian prefers playing cash games to actual tournaments. His biggest finishes are in money games, such as the $500 Limit Hold'em Championship event of the 2004 Orleans Open in Las Vegas, where he bagged first place and took home $44,505. There was also the $500 Seven-Card Stud Event of the 2004 LA Poker Classic, where he won the $32,760 grand prize.
Grigorian's performance in the 2004 LA Poker Classic deserves some recognition. Notably, his bigger finishes had been mostly in hold'em events. But he was about to change his trend with this win. Grigorian was head-to-head with Jaime Perez on the final hand; Perez had 160,000 in chips while Grigorian only had 8,000. It was not nearly enough to make a big bet.
Then Grigorian doubled up twice, caught a miracle river jack for an inside straight, made kings-full, and got rolled up twice in a row. Perez had a 20-1 chip lead, but a series of raises and re-raises brought him to an all-in, and Grigorian grabbed the victor's crown.
Chris Grigorian's propensity for raising aggressively worked to his advantage. At one point toward the end Perez folded showing a 7-7-J-5, while Grigorian had a K-4-10-Q. Grigorian himself laughingly called it "the biggest bluff in the world."
Hustler Casino’s Grand Slam of Poker occurred at the same time as the 2004 Orleans Open. Jeff Shulman of Card Player Magazine noted that Grigorian won three limit hold'em games in that event. In Shulman's opinion, limit hold'em is the most difficult game in which to accomplish this feat.
Trevor Cole of Toronto Life Online recalls an encounter between the "Armenian Express" and Daniel Negreanu. The meeting took place on a December Wednesday, near the tournament sign-in desk of Las Vegas’s Bellagio hotel-casino. Grigorian came up to Negreanu with a bottle of Armenian cognac. Negreanu, a health buff who happened to hate cognac, but he accepted the gift graciously.
When Grigorian was interviewed, he only had good words for Negreanu. "In this field, it is hard to find people like Daniel. Please put that down: he helps a lot of people."
Chris Grigorian has a cousin, Mayan "MG" Grigorian, who is also a poker player. Their skills are often compared; though it is observed that the latter's play style is much more aggressive. Grigorian is currently living in Panorama City, CA.
Top Poker Players