With 2 WSOP bracelets, 1 WPT title, and over $6M in career tournament earnings at the close of 2010, it is hard to believe that Dan Harrington has only been playing poker part-time; maintaining his duties as the CEO and co-founder of Anchor Loans until his retirement in 2010.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1945, Dan Harrington attended Suffolk Law School, and played chess, backgammon and poker in his free time. Going on to work as a bankruptcy lawyer, Harrington continued to compete at strategy games, winning the Massachusetts State Chess Championship in 1971.
Joining the games at the Mayfair Club in the 1980s, Dan Harrington began playing Texas Hold'em
with fellow members Howard Lederer
, Erik Seidel and Steve Zolotow. As their skills improved at the club
, the group decided to start playing the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Cashing in a Limit Hold'em event at the 1986 WSOP, Dan Harrington made his first WSOP final table the following year at none other than the main event. Finishing 6th, just behind Howard Lederer's 5th place, Johnny Chan
claimed the coveted bracelet, and Dan Harrington walked away with a satisfying $43, 750 prize.
It would be nearly a decade before Dan Harrington made another major tournament, winning two gold bracelets at the 1995 WSOP - one of which came from the prestigious $10,000 buy-in world championship. Dan added $1.25M to his career tournament earnings that year.
Over the next five years, Dan Harrington cashed consistently is major events, finishing at two final tables in the 1998 LA Poker Classic. In 2000, he took 7th place in a Carnival of Poker Pot Limit Hold'em event, then went on to win first place in the Global Pot Limit No Limit Open Main Event for $27K.
In 2003, Dan Harrington reached the WSOP Main Event final table again, finishing 3rd to Sammy Farha
(2nd) and Chris Moneymaker (1st) in a match that launched the online poker
boom. Collecting $650K in prize money, Dan Harrington's part time poker career was turning a considerable profit.
Following a 21st place cash in the Five-Star World Poker Classic WPT Championship for just under $50K in 2004, Dan Harrington scored another huge final table prize at the WSOP Main Event. The WSOP had grown immensely since Moneymaker's inspirational win the previous year, with 2,576 entries compared to 2003's 839 players. So, too, had the prize pool increased, rewarding Dan Harrington with $1.5M for 4th place.
Coming in 2nd to Minh Ly at the 2005 WPT No Limit Hold'em Doyle Brunson North American Championship for $620K, Dan Harrington finally landed his first WPT title in 2007 at the Legends of Poker WPT Championship, along with $1.6M.
Dan Harrington was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2010, alongside Mayfair Club alum Erik Seidel. Harrington has co-authored several books about poker, including the three-volume Harrington on Hold'em series.