Considered by many to be the greatest female cash game player in the world, Jennifer Harman has also accumulated an impressive tournament record that includes two World Series of Poker bracelets, two World Poker Tour final tables, and more than $2.5 in career tournament earnings.
Growing up in Reno, Nevada, Jennifer Harman was introduced to poker at an early age. By the time she was eight years old, Jennifer was adept enough that her father began allowing her to sit in on his home poker games
. A fake ID at the age of 16 allowed Harman to try her luck playing at the casino card tables.
The competition in the poker rooms
was considerably tougher than the home games she was used to, which only encouraged her to study the games and her opponents harder. Majoring in biology at the University of Nevada while working as a cocktail waitress, Jennifer Harman spent her free time and tip money at the poker tables.
Rather than enter her field of study upon graduation, Jennifer Harman decided instead to moved to Los Angeles, where she was soon playing poker full time at the Bicycle Casino. Her father, dissatisfied with Jennifer's choice of professions, didn't speak to her for years.
Two years after her move to Los Angeles, Jennifer Harman took a break from playing poker in an effort to start her own business. However, in less than a year the business venture had failed, and Harman returned to poker with borrowed money in order to get herself out of debt. Back in Vegas, Jennifer Harman worked her way up through the levels, occasionally moving back down to lower stakes when losses required it.
A bad year left Jennifer almost completely broke by 1993, forcing her to borrow $50K from a friend in order to rebuild her bankroll at the level of games she was accustomed to playing. Jennifer also began dabbling in the tournament circuit, landing her first tournament cash with a sixth place finish in the 1996 $2,500+$60 WSOP Pot Limit Hold'em event.
In 2000, Jennifer Harman won her first WSOP bracelet in a game she had never even played before - No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball. In a field of 30 players that included such names as Lyle Berman, Johnny Chan
, Phil Hellmuth
, Allen Cunningham
, Howard Lederer
, Annie Duke, Huck Seed, and Erik Seidel; Jennifer Harman entered the $5,000 buy-in event with only a few minutes of instruction on how to play the game from Lederer.
Seven to Deuce expert, Lyle Berman, with almost $100K more chips than anyone else when play came down to the final table, found himself heads up against unlikely opponent Jennifer Harman. After more than an hour of passing chips back and forth, Harman took down a pivotal pot in which Berman pushed all-in while the two were evenly matched in chips. Harman's win of that hand left Berman with a single chip, which he lost in the following hand, earning Jennifer Harman the golden bracelet and $146,250 in prize money.
Two years later, Jennifer Harman claimed her second WSOP bracelet at a Limit Hold'em event; a game that Doyle Brunson considered Harman to be such an expert at that two years later he asked her to write the Limit Hold'em chapter of his poker strategy
book, Super System 2. The win added $212,440 to her career tournament earnings.
Harman has spent a great deal of her time competing regularly against players such as Phil Ivey
, Daniel Negreanu
, and Doyle Brunson in Bobby's Room, where some of the biggest cash game action in the world has been played. She was also a member of The Corporation, the poker team
that competed, one at a time, against high rolling Texas businessman Andy Beal - from whom Harman won $9M.
Jennifer Harman is married to former hair stylist turned professional poker player
, Marco Traniello. The founder of CODA (Creating Organ Donation Awareness), Jennifer Harman herself is a two-time kidney transplant recipient. One of the original members of Team Full Tilt, Jennifer Harman can occasionally be found playing online poker
at Full Tilt Poker.