1995 World Series of Poker Champion and Author Dan Harrington
The World Series of Poker Main Event throws up many surprises. Frequently, the winner will be a ‘new kid on the block.’ 1995 was not one of those years. The Main Event Winner – Dan Harrington – was a deserving champion who had made his way through the poker ranks.
1995 WSOP Main Event winner Dan Harrington would go on to become one of the most famous names in the poker. Much of that fame through his excellent ‘Harrington on Hold’em’ books.
Early WSOP Successes for Dan Harrington
Harrington would first cash in the World Series of Poker in 1986 at the age of 40. Then the following year he had his first success in the Main Event. He finished sixth after reaching the final table.
He would then wait five years for another cash the series. Unlike most pros at the time, Harrington had extensive business interests. This meant he didn’t enter as many events as others.
How the 1995 World Series of Poker Unfolded
His big breakthrough came in 1995. The success started in another event. Harrington entered the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event and won his first ever bracelet. The top prize was $249,000. This served as the perfect warm-up for the Main Event.
273 players entered the WSOP Main Event in 1995, with each player paying the $10,000 entry fee. The winner of would walk away with a cool $1 million.
Harrington would make a noteworthy final table. For the first time in its history, this featured a female player – Barbara Enright. Enright would make the final six alongside Chuck Thompson, Hamid Dastmalchi, Brent Carter, Howard Goldfarb and of course, Dan Harrington.
The Main Event Final Table 1995
Howard Goldfarb had a massive chip lead. As players fell one by one, Harrington would eat into Goldfarb’s lead. By the time the two were heads up, Harrington had taken the lead. He had 1.7 million chips up against Goldfarb with 1 million.
Two key hands saw Harrington soar ahead, as Goldfarb folded pre-flop after lots of action. The final hand saw Goldfarb raise to 100,000 pre-flop and Harrington called. Both players got it all in on the flop of 8-6-2. Goldfarb held Ace-7 and Harrington 8-9s. Queens appeared on both the turn and the river and Harrington’s second pair meant he won his one and only WSOP Main Event bracelet.
Other Major Tournaments for Dan Harrington
Harrington’s next major win came later in 1995, winning the Four Queen’s Poker Classic and a first prize of $212,000.
It would be nine years until his next success, reaching the final table of the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event and finishing 4th. The field was much bigger in 2004 compared to 1995. Hitting 2,576 players due to online qualifiers now enhancing the field. Harrington won more in this event than when he won - taking home a check for $1.5 million for the 4th place finish.
Harrington’s biggest ever win came in 2007 when he won the WPT No-Limit Hold’em World Championship Event and a win of $1,599,865.
Playing Style of Dan Harrington
Harrington is considered to be a tight-aggressive poker player. This has given him his ironic nickname ‘Action Dan.’ Dan Harrington won’t get involved in too many pots, but when he does, he plays hard.
If you want a more exact assessment of Harrington’s play, you could invest in one of the many poker books written by the player. The Harrington on Hold’em series were the go-to poker books at the start of the century, perfectly timed for the online poker explosion.
Other books by Harrington include ‘Harrington on Online Cash Games,’ ‘Harrington on Modern Tournament Poker’ and ‘Harrington on Cash Games.’ While poker education / training has changed a lot over the years, these books still give players a solid grounding in what to think about at the tables.
Dual Careers: Harrington is More than Just a Poker Player
Dan Harrington has always had dual careers. He played poker professionally alongside his business ventures in real estate and the stock market. He became a board member of the successful Anchor Loans, a company he set up alongside two poker associates, and he remains a shareholder to this day. He still plays poker today, but like in his heyday, he will only enter a handful of tournaments a year.
Could you be the Next WSOP Main Event Champion?
In 2005, when Harrington finished 4th and pocketed $1.5 million, the event was won by Chris Moneymaker, an online qualifier. This saw the start of the poker boom and the realisation that everyone has the chance to win the main event after qualifying online. The same still applies. You can enter an online qualifier for just a few dollars and if you play well and the card are on your side, you could be adding your name to the same list as Harrington, Moneymaker and some of the most famous poker names on the planet.
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