Dan Harrington is an American poker player and author who won the 1995 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
Over the course of his career, "Action Dan" won two WSOP bracelets, made four WSOP Main Event final tables, won a WPT title and over six million dollars in tournament winnings.
In 2010 he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
Harrington was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 6, 1945. Both of his parents were born in Ireland.
A former chess State champion, Harrington also excelled at backgammon. He first learned to play poker while attending Suffolk University. He often travelled to Harvard, where he played poker against Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
Harrington was part of a group of players who were regulars at the Mayfair Club in New York. They included Jay Heimowitz, Al Krux, Erik Seidel, and Steve Zolotow. However, Harrington remained at university and eventually graduated with a degree in government and history.
Over the next ten years, Harrington worked as a bankruptcy lawyer before switching to poker. He first cashed in the WSOP in 1986 and made it to the final table of the Main Event in 1987, finishing sixth.
He added another cash in 1988, but would have to wait until 1995 to win his first bracelet, winning a $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em event for $249,000.
1995 WSOP Main Event
The 1995 World Series of Poker (WSOP) had a total of 23 preliminary events, with the Main Event attracting a field of 273 players.
Off the back of his first bracelet, Harrington made it to the final table alongside 1992 Main Event champion Hamid Dastmalchi and Barbara Enright, whobecame the first and, to date, the only woman to make the WSOP Main Event final table.
Enright would finish fifth and Dastmalchi fourth, as Harrington eventually defeated Howard Goldfarb heads-up to win $1,000,000.
Dan Harrington Poker Achievements
Harrington says that the game of poker "went dead" in the 90s, and it was only the advent of internet and television that saw its revival in 2003.
"It exploded on TV," Harrington told PokerListings in 2015. "I watched them playing No Limit Hold’em and I thought, 'hey, I remember how to play this game, and these guys know it, too,' so I came back from retirement and managed to have a couple more successful years."
In 2003, Harrington made it to the WSOP Main Event final table for the third time, finishing third the year Chris Moneymaker topped a field of 839. The following year, Harrington returned to the final table, finishing fourth. However, by this time the field had ballooned to 2,576 players, with many calling it the greatest accomplishment in WSOP history.
Three years later, Harringotn won the WPT Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino for $1,634,865. As of 2021, only five other players have won the WSOP Main Event and a WPT title: Doyle Brunson, Carlos Mortensen, Scotty Nguyen, Joe Hachem, Ryan Riess.
Dan Harrington Poker Books
In addition to his poker success, Harrington is best known for 'Harrington on Hold'em', a series of poker books published between 2004-06:
- Harrington on Hold'em: Volume I: Strategic Play
- Harrington on Hold'em: Volume II: The Endgame
- Harrington on Hold'em: Volume III: The Workbook
Dan Harrington WSOP Bracelets
|1995||Event #21: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em||$249,000|
|1995||Event #25: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000,000|
Dan Harrington Top Five Poker Cashes
|August 2007||WPT Legends of Poker||$9,600||1st||$1,635,365|
|May 2004||WSOP Main Event||$10,000||4th||$1,500,000|
|May 1995||WSOP Main Event||$10,000||1st||$1,000,000|
|May 2003||WSOP Main Event||$10,000||3rd||$650,000|
|October 2005||Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship||$10,200||2nd||$620,730|
WSOP Main Event Winners 1986-95
|1995||273||Dan Harrington||United States||$1,000,000|
|1994||268||Russ Hamilton||United States||$1,000,000|
|1993||220||Jim Bechtel||United States||$1,000,000|
|1991||215||Brad Daugherty||United States||$1,000,000|
|1989||178||Phil Hellmuth||United States||$755,000|
|1988||167||Johnny Chan||United States||$700,000|
|1987||152||Johnny Chan||United States||$625,000|
|1986||141||Berry Johnston||United States||$570,000|