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Dan Harrington Biography

Dan Harrington Biography
by Chad Holloway of Predictem.com

Dan Harrington was born on December 6, 1945 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before playing poker, Harrington was both a champion chess and backgammon player; in fact, he won the 1971 Massachusetts State Chess Championship and another championship in New Jersey. His backgammon career flourished until an organizer refused to pay $27,000 in championship prize money, which inspired Harrington to quit playing professionally. Harrington began playing poker while attending Suffolk University, and even played against Microsoft billionaire, then ordinary Harvard student, Bill Gates. While in college, Harrington joined a group that calculated roulette odds, which they applied at the Sands Casino in Atlantic City. They were so successful that the casino offered the group a deal if they stopped. After making out on roulette, Harrington became part of a group that did the same thing for blackjack.

During the 1980s, Harrington, a former bankruptcy attorney and real estate investor, played at the Mayfair Club with players such as Howard Lederer and Erik Seidel. In 1987, Harrington entered his first World Series of Poker Main Event and finished an impressive sixth. Two years later, Harrington left the east coast for sunny California. Harrington continued to play poker and eventually won the W.S.O.P. Main Event in 1995. Being an ever dignified and respectful player, Harrington tried to cut a deal with the remaining players at the final table. According to Barry Greenstein:

"When Dan made it to the final table of the 1995 World Series of Poker, he proposed a nine-way settlement to the other players. He explained how they would each get enough money that they could invest it and be rich. Chuck Thompson, one of the players [...], rejected the idea and told the other players that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a million dollars. One by one, as each player got knocked out, Dan tried to sell the idea, even offering investment counseling. There were no takers and eventually Dan came away with the full million."

That same year, Harrington won his second bracelet in the $2,500 no-limit hold'em event. Even with two bracelets and a Main Event world championship title, many professionals believe Harrington's greatest accomplishment came during the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker when he survived record fields to make back-to-back final tables (finishing third in 2003 and fourth in 2004). Harrington, who often wears an iconic green Boston Red Sox cap, is known as a quiet player. In fact, Harrington even gave himself the nickname "Action Dan" to throw his opponents off his tight-aggressive game.

"Action Dan" Harrington, cousin to both professional golfer Padraig Harrington and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, has co-authored three reputable poker books with Bill Robertie: Harrington on Hold'em: Volume I: Strategic Play, Harrington on Hold'em: Volume II: The Endgame, and Harrington on Hold'em: Volume III: The Workbook. In 2007, Harrington won the World Poker Tour's Legends of Poker Main Event bringing his lifetime tournament winnings in excess of $6.3 million.

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