Highlights of Jennifer Harman Poker Career
If you are in a hurry to learn all about Jennifer Harman, then, this highlight will take care of that. This part takes a cursory look at her poker career first before going into details.
Born in November 29, 1964, Jennifer Harman is an American professional poker player who has won two different World Series of Poker bracelets so far. She was born in Reno, Nevada and she is one of the only three women to have won two World Series of Poker bracelets.
She won her first ever World Series of Poker bracelet in the year 2000 when she played at the No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball event. The final table of the event had some top professional poker players on it, including Steve Zolotow and Lyle Berman. It is important to mention that Jennifer had never played this game before the event. All she had was a five minutes tutoring session with Howard Lederer before she played at that table. She defeated every other player, including professional poker players, at the table and went ahead to win her first bracelet at the event.
Her second World Series of Poker bracelet was won in the year 2002 when she participated in the $5,000 Limit Texas Hold’em event. She had other professional poker players, including Humberto Brenes, and Allen Cunningham, and Mimi Tran, at the table with her. She won the event and took home her second bracelet. Jennifer Harman was the first woman to ever win two bracelets at World Series of Poker open events. Two other female poker players later joined her to become holders of two WSOP bracelets. In 2012, Vanessa Selbst won hers and in 2015, Loni Harwood joined them.
She played her first poker tournament game in January of 1994 at the Queens Poker Classic IV in Las Vegas. She played at the $500 + 30 Limit Hold’em event and placed 8th with a winning of $3,052. In the year 2004, she took off from poker for a whole year to have her second kidney transplant. Suffice to mention that Harman has problems with her kidneys, which was exactly the same health problem that killed her sister and mother. Jennifer was barely 17 years old when her mother and sister died of the illness. She also has been dealing with the problem since her childhood.
She returned to the world of poker a year later and since her return to poker tournament, circuit, she has finished fourth at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, second in the World Series of Poker Circuit Championship Event, and fifth at the inaugural Professional Poker Tour event.
In addition to being a poker player, she is also an author. She wrote the chapter on Limit hold’em for Super System II. She is the only woman that regularly plays in the Big Game of Bobby’s Room. This is high stakes cash game at Bellagio. Jennifer Harman was also an active member of The Corporation, a group of high stakes professional poker players who engaged Andy Beal for Limits up to $100,000 and $200,000.
Jennifer has made appearances at the High Stakes Poker of GSN and Poker After Dark of NBC. She won the 8th week tournament on Poker After Dark show. In the year 2007, she finished in the second place at the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE). She lost to Thomas Bihl in the H.O.R.S.E. Harman was once an active member of Team Full Tilt at the Full Tilt Poker platform. Over $1 million USD of her total poker earnings are from cashes she won at the World Series of Poker. As of August 2019, her total live earnings from tournaments exceed $2.7 million USD. Jennifer has experienced success at various tournaments. However, most of her winnings and recognitions came from her participations at high stakes cash games.
Harman has also made appearances in a couple of TV series. For instance she featured in the American reality TV series, Sin City Rules, on TLC. She also made an appearance in the Warner Bros film of 2007, Lucky You. In the year 2015, Jennifer Harman was inducted into the prestigious Poker Hall of Fame. Having given a brief background into the world of Jennifer Harman, let’s dig deeper and meet this iconic poker players who has made a huge impact in the world majorly dominated by men.
Who is Jennifer Harman?
Jennifer Harman took a long road from playing at kitchen table poker in Reno journeying to the Big Game at Las Vegas and to the face off of poker boom and finally to the famous Poker Hall of Fame. She didn’t start with the world of poker at her feet but gradually, she built a name and niche for herself and today, Jennifer Harman is one professional poker player that can hold her own in the world of poker. Of course, it wasn’t easy at all, but she made it all the same.
Before her rise to fame in poker, she got her hands dirty trying to survive like any normal ambitious young lady next door. It took her several years but she didn’t give up. She moved from service cocktail in waitress uniforms to doing a lot of other odd things. When she decided to wade into the world of poker, she spent years grinding at tables to develop her poker strategy to the highest level before she started to play at high stakes cash games. At some point, she almost went bankrupt with thousands of poker chips crashing down on her and getting raked away, but she got back on her feet. She was also plagued with health crisis that she had to deal with but in all of these, Jennifer Harman remained focused and never gave up on her passion at the felt table. Indeed, it was a long, rough road, but she walked it with her head held her and she is what she is today, thanks to her tenacity and persistence.
Jennifer Harman and Her Kidney Transplant and Fake ID
Jennifer began her life in Reno, Nevada, which is the largest little city in the world for any young girl who would later earn the title of the biggest professional poker player in the little town. She got involved in her first poker hand at the age of eight. She was at a table with her father and all she was there to do was to watch the action at the regular home games involving her father. From this table, she began to learn about poker and got more interested in the game. She learnt so much that her father began to put her in the game whenever he wasn’t up to the game. In many cases, she would win back enough money for his father to break event.
From an early age, she started to grow her career as a professional poker pro, albeit, a child poker pro. Unfortunately, her health didn’t give her the time and energy to really pursue the game at this early stage. She started battling with chronic health condition and she had to have a kidney transplant. After her treatment, she returned to school and continued playing cards.
At the age of sixteen, Jennifer got a fake ID, which augmented her age and she began to play cards in the poker rooms. Her introduction into the world of casino games really brought her reality into her full view. She began to understand that she still had a lot to learn about the game. She started playing with more professional and tougher opponents. Most times at tables, she ended up losing at games.
After her graduation from high school, she enrolled at the local University of Nevada and took up a course in biology. She started her study at the university and in order to make ends meet, she took up a part time jobs working as cocktail waitress. Her part time job gave her the opportunity to watch various players at the poker room. Whenever she got off duty, she would take her seat at the table to play a couple of hands. Her winning at these tables helped to augment her tip money and this significantly increased her appetite for more games and more winnings.
Jennifer Harman and the Launch of her Poker Career
Although many poker pros started playing poker as a hobby but the case is quite different for Harman. For her, the game was more than just a hobby. She loved the game and had the passion to become a professional player. At a very young age, she was already a promising poker player. She wasn’t just playing at tables. She complimented her many thousands of hours at tables, playing card with studying extensively on poker strategy. She also invested time in watching her opponents and competition play at tables. With this, she was able to improve her skills and strategy, and also learn the hands of her opponents.
After her graduation from the university and armed with her degree, Jennifer Harman decided to forgo the regular nine-to-five job and moved out of Reno and relocated to Los Angeles. She started to work as a bartender at a hotel. She spent her first three days mixing drinks for customers and after the third day, one of her friends informed her about the Bicycle Casino and the amazing poker games she could play at the casino.
She decided to check out the casino and she really liked what she saw at the place. She made up her mind to quit her work after working only for five days. She moved to become a full time poker player at the Bicycle Casino. It is important to mention that at first, when Harman started playing poker, it was more of a fun way to make money. She wasn’t thinking she would dedicate her life to playing poker as a career. When she made up her mind to become a full time professional poker player, she decided to inform her father. Of course, this didn’t look good to her father but Harman went ahead anyway. This disagreement between the father and daughter caused a serious strain on their relation to the point that her father was not in speaking terms with Jennifer Harman for years.
Two years of playing poker in Los Angeles, Harman made up her mind to leave poker for a whole year and she took the risk and started her own business. She moved to Maryland, Washington D.C. and started a career as an entrepreneur. As you might have expected, this wasn’t a wise decision at all. Within one year, Harman had gone broke with debt hanging around her shoulders. She tried to pull herself off the debt and returned to her first love. She began to play poker again.
To get back into the poker gig, she took a soft loan from one of her friends to bankroll her game. She returned to Las Vegas to start her gambling career.
Jennifer Harman’s Return to Las Vegas
According to Jennifer Harman, great poker players get their experience right in Vegas because it is the destination where the real deal in the world of poker happens. It is where the toughest of games and competition flourish. For many years after returning to poker, she remained in the middle limit games. She sometimes aimed at higher stakes of $50 to $100 games. With time, confidence, and a bigger bankroll, she upped her stakes to $75 and $150 and with time, she moved to $200 and $400 games. Harman’s games were highly volatile. She oscillated between levels of gaming, erratically losing, and right down to dropping stakes.
In the year 1993, Harman almost hit the bottom with her bankroll. She almost went totally broke again after going through a losing year of playing at $50/$100 poker games at Mirage. She took a huge step and took a loan of $50,000 from one of her friends and got back into the action. Thanks to the loan, she got back to her feet and the loan really helped her get fully back and concentrated on her games, since she didn’t have to worry over bankroll anymore.
Harman was absolutely sold out to cash games at the early stage of her poker career. However with time, she began to make her rounds at tournaments. Her first poker tournament was in 1994. She began to experience impressive winning in five figures from the year 1995. She participated in the Hall of Fame Poker Classic in Las Vegas in 1995. She placed 6th in the $1,000 + 60 Limit Hold’em event and won $12,320.
Her first World Series of Poker was at the 27th anniversary in 1996. She played in the $2,500 Hold’em Pot Limit event and placed 6th again. She made a winning of $15,750 at the end of the event. In the 1999 event, she placed 13th in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event of the World Series of Poker. She also won the Commerce Casino No Limit Hold’em championship event and the Limit Hold’em event during the Orlean Open. In all, Jennifer Harman has enjoyed some impressive winnings at different tournaments she participated in.
Jennifer Harman at World Series of Poker
Harman participated in her first WSOP event in 1996 where she played in the $2,500 Hold’em Pot Limit event. She placed 6th and won $15,750 at the event. Her second winning came a few days later when she placed 16th in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event and won $5,340 USD. Her big win came in 2000 at the 31st World Series of Poker event. Harman played in the $5,000 + 100 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw and finished in the first place. She won her first bracelet at this event with a grand cash prize of $146,250 USD. It is important to mention that Harman had never played the game of No Limit 2-7 Draw before. As a matter of fact, she only had a 5 minutes tutoring prior to the game and she went ahead to defeat other professional poker players at the table, and emerged the winner of the event.
Her second bracelet came two years later when she placed first at the $5,000 Limit Hold’em event of the 33rd World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas in the year 2002. She finished first and made a bigger winning of $212,440 USD. She was close to taking the lead again at the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe. She played in the £2,500 + 150 H.O.R.S.E event. She placed second and made a winning of $81,935. She also placed third in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 Championships event at the 2010 World Series of Poker. She won $173,159 at this event. All the earnings have contributed significantly to Jennifer Harman net worth. Her biggest winning was at the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event in the year 2005. She placed second in the $10,000 + 200 WSOP Circuit Championship Event –No Limit Hold’em event in Rio Las Vegas Poker Festival. She made a winning of $383,840 at the event.
Jennifer Harman at World Poker Tour
In the course of her career, Jennifer Harman has also made considerable winnings at the World Poker Tour. Her first WPT participation earned her $45,338 where she placed 18th at the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship event at the Los Angeles Poker Classic. Few weeks later, she bought into the $5,000 + 100 No Limit Hold’em of the World Poker Tour Championship Event at the 2003 World Poker Challenge in Reno. She finished in the 7th place and made a winning of $14,726.
In September of 2003, she placed 7th in the $5,000 + 150 No Limit Hold’em Championship Final Table at the 2003 Borgata Poker Open – World Poker Tour in Atlantic City. She won $29,375 at this event. The following year, she also made it to the WPT events. In April of 2004, she played in the $25,000 World Poker Tour No Limit Hold’em Championship Final Day event at the Bellagio Five – Star World Poker Classic/WPT Championship in Las Vegas. She placed 47th and won $33,266 USD. In the same year, she played in the $5,000 + 150 No Limit Hold’em Championship Final Day – World Poker Tour of 2004 Legends Poker in Los Angeles. She placed 29th and won $11,570. Her biggest WPT earnings came in December of 2004 when she placed 4th at the $15,000 + 300 World Poker Tour Championship – No Limit Hold’em at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic event in Las Vegas. Her fourth place earned her $299,492 USD.
In the year 2005, she played at her last WPT event so far at the $25,000 + 500 Main Event (World Poker Tour) – No Limit Hold’em Championship. She finished in the 65th position and won $30,000. In total, Jennifer Harman net worth from her total winning from her WSOP and WPT participations exceed $1 million USD.
Jennifer Harman Other Poker Events
Apart from World Series of Poker and Poker World Tour, Harman has also participated at some other events. In July of 1998, she bought into the $230 Limit Hold’em event of the 1998 Orleans Open in Las Vegas. She won the event and left with the grand prize of $33,600. She also placed first at the $100 + 20 No Limit Hold’em event of the 1998 Heavenly Hold’em in Los Angeles. Her first place finishing earned her $18,480 at the end of the event. In March of 2007, she participated in the $20,000 Week 8 Poker After Dark edition in Las Vegas. She finished 1st and made a winning of $120,000. One year later, she played in the $9,600 + 400 No Limit Hold’em – Championship Event at the Bay 101 Shooting Stars in San Jose. She finished in the 3rd place and won $330,000. These winnings all contributed to Jennifer Harman net worth.
In spite of all the winnings at tournaments, Jennifer didn’t bid her goodbyes to Bobby’s Room. She continued playing at the poker room in the Bellagio, Las Vegas. Suffice to mention that this is the poker room where the biggest cash game professional players come to play for one of the highest stakes. Harman consistently played at tables with some of the top shots in the industry, including Chip Reese, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Ivey. She has competed at high stakes, including $3,000/$6,000 limits. In the course of her career at Big Game, she has been involved in games that brought both huge winnings and huge losses her way. According to her, she has cleared about $1 million USD while playing four nights in a week at the Bellagio.
Jennifer Harman as a Member of the Corporation
Some of the biggest winnings of Jennifer Harman came at cash games. She has made some staggering winnings at one of these tables. Her biggest win came when she went heads-up with the billionaire, Andy Beal, when she was playing as a member of The Corporation. She won a whopping $9 million USD from Beal at a single sitting. It is essential to mention that Harman was one of the first members of the group of top professional poker players who pooled resources together to compete at heads-up Hold’em against this Texas banker.
Harman has had a couple of experiences with Brunson while playing at Bobby Room and at The Corporation. These experiences have led Texas Dolly to appoint Harman to write the chapter two of the Super/System on Limit Hold’em. This wasn’t strange because everyone that has encountered Harman knows that Limit Hold’em is one of the favorite of the poker pro and she has won consistently at this game. According to Brunson, Harman is not just the best all-round female poker player alive but she also ranks among the top elite poker pros across the world.
Herman wrote the second chapter of the book in the year 2004. This was the same year she had her second kidney transplant. After her recuperation, she went back to tables and continued to play. Her experience with kidney condition had moved her into promoting and sponsoring organ donation. She founded Creating Organ Donation Awareness (CODA) and the goal of the foundation is to raise awareness for organ donations and to also raise money to promote the cause.
Jennifer Harman and Poker Hall of Fame
Jennifer Harman has always played at cash games than tournament events. Since she stepped into the world of poker, Jennifer Harman net worth from her total live earnings is about $2,765,348. However, she has made more from cash games. She was a professional player for Full Tilt Poker until the platform went underwater in the wake of the Black Friday. In 2015, she was inducted into the prestigious Poker Hall of Fame with her friend, John Juanda.