The 40th Annual World Series of Poker is only weeks away. Between now and the start of the Main Event BluffMagazine.com will be presenting the 40 Greatest Champions in WSOP history exclusively on WorldSeriesofPoker.com.
Dan Harrington can be called many things; poker player, lawyer, author, backgammon champion, chess champion, but his notoriety comes from being a Main Event specialist. Harrington won the 1995 Main Event winner but seems to get more applause for his back-to-back Final Tables in 2003 and 2004. “Action Dan” actually won more money in 2004 finishing fourth than he won in 1995 for winning the big one outright.
Harrington is a two-time bracelet winner, his first bracelet coming in a week prior to his Main Event win in a $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold ‘Em. His first taste of success in the Main Event came in 1987 when he finished sixth against legends Johnny Chan and Howard Lederer. After winning in 1995 Harrington returned in 1996 with a 17th place finish. Then in 2003 Harrington navigated a field larger than the total number of players combined in his previous Main Event cashes. Finally, he navigated a field more than three times the size of 2003 in 2004 when he finished fourth.
He is also one of a few players to win a WSOP Main Event and a WPT Main Event. He won the 2007 Legends of Poker when he beat David “The Dragon” Phan heads up for the title.
Harrington has written some of the most well received strategy books ever written without the name Brunson or Sklansky attached to it. His three volume set “Harrington on Hold ‘Em” is a must have for any aspiring serious tournament player. He followed up with a two volume set dedicated to cash game play, “Harrington on Cash Games.”
Harrington has played strategic games his entire life. He was the 1971 Massachusetts Chess Champion, the 1981 World Cup of Backgammon Champion, and he was a part of two different MIT teams; one for roulette and the other a blackjack team. He even played poker with Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen when they attended Harvard.
Harrington was a regular at the famed Mayfair Club in New York where he played along side Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, and Steve Zolotow.