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Most poker players will surely have come across at least one of Dan Harrington's best sellers about tournaments and cash games. These books have helped masses of poker players to develop their own strategies and methods to earn their living from their passion. Meet the man that went from the chess and backgammon world, through a career in law and investing, before entering the top poker elite. And who then laid out his knowledge in book form, to the joy of poker aficionados the world over.
Dan Harrington grew up in Boston, on the east coast of America. Dan was always very interested in all kinds of games as a child. Backgammon, chess and poker were frequently played and the knowledge he built up in his early years would later become the foundations for Dan's successes in his adult life. Dan made significant strides in chess, culminating in victory at the 1971 New Jersey and Massachusetts State Championship. He then drifted to Backgammon before choosing poker as his main game.
But before doing so, he had time to graduate from Suffolk University, in his hometown of Boston. That was also where he began to develop his poker skills, playing against other students, including Harvard students and the then unknown Bill Gates. Dan also happens to be a fanatic Red Sox fan, which many of you will no doubt have noticed before.
Once Dan graduated from university, he went on to Suffolk Law School, preparing the groundwork for his ten year career as a competition lawyer. But, ten years in the job was enough for Harrington, who had never felt completely at ease in his choice of profession. Dan longed to get away from his desk and find other, more inspiring challenges. The solution was to move south, to Philadelphia. There, his poker career would shortly begin to gain serious momentum, but it was not poker that Dan Harrington devoted most of his time to. Instead, Dan began to trade stocks and shares.
Working in the stock market provided exactly the lift Dan was looking for after having had his fill of Law. In his new job, he found all the things he was missing as a lawyer. Routine was given up for excitement and action in a market that seemed tailor made for a disillusioned man in search of new challenges.
In Philadelphia, or to be more precise, in New York, where he often went, Dan began to play more and more poker. Dan became a fixture in the well known Mayfair poker club, where in the mid-1980s he played with poker legends such as Howard Lederer and Erik Seidel. It was in New York that Harrington paved the way for his poker successes that would follow.
Dan becomes one of the few players in the world to have won both the WSOP bracelet and a WPT title. The WPT title came recently, when Dan took home the Legends of Poker Championship Event, held in Los Angeles, in August of 2007. Dan won his first of two WSOP bracelets in 1995, at the $2,500 No Limit Hold'em event. The second came later on that year, when Dan achieved his biggest win to date, gaining first place at the Main Event.
1995 was a very successful year for Dan Harrington as he also earned $109,250 for his win at the London Festival of Poker, as well as $212,000 for first place in the Las Vegas Four Queens Poker Classic. Furthermore, Dan has been placed at the final table in the WSOP Main Event on three different occasions. In 1987, he came in sixth place and in 2003, he got third place, which was followed by fourth place in 2004.
Despite his considerable success at the poker table, it is entirely possible that most people associate the name Dan Harrington with the paperbacks he has written. Dan is responsible for the tournament book series: "Harrington on Hold'em" - Volume I: Strategic Play, Volume II: The Endgame and Volume III: The Workbook. His books have received overwhelmingly good reviews from poker players the world over and are seen as being more or less indispensable for serious tournament players. Readers are able to obtain a unique insight into a whole new poker concept, as well as the differences between the beginning and end of a tournament, from the many examples provided.
In April of 2008, Harrington's two new books, this time regarding cash games, were released: "Harrington on Cash Games" - Volume I: How to Play No-Limit Hold'em Cash Games and Volume II: How to Play No-Limit Hold'em Cash Games. These books have received very encouraging first reviews and are expected to be as significant for cash games as his earlier ones were for tournament play.