What does “Action” Dan Harrington want the poker world to know about him? “As little as possible,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. And he’s not kidding! Perhaps that’s why not much has been written about this talented, consistent, highly accomplished, ruddy-faced Irishman, who can often be seen peering out from under his familiar bright green Boston Red Sox cap.
One of Dan’s greatest skills is gathering information at the poker table while simultaneously disclosing very little about himself or his game. He loves it when people are chatting at the table, because that gives him information. He loves it when other people wear headsets, because they are not privy to the valuable subtleties that occur at the table. He is an information hound. Like a finely tuned computer, he stores each piece of data methodically and then relies upon that information in his decision-making process.
He actually exhausted himself so much in the championship event of the World Series of Poker last year when he finished third that he had a game plan this year that included consciously not paying complete attention all six days, for fear that his stamina wouldn’t last. His plan paid off — to the tune of one and a half million dollars. Good plan.
Dan Harrington hugs Jack Binion — and a million bucks — after winning the 1995 World Series of Poker.
If you are not acquainted with “Action” Dan Harrington or his accomplishments, he is a top money winner at the WSOP, having raked in about $3.5 million. He was at the final table in the championship event in both 2003 and 2004, when the fields contained 839 and 2,576 players, respectively. In 2003, he won $650,000 for finishing third, and in 2004, he won $1.5 million for fourth place. These amounts of money are staggering compared to the other luminaries who not only made it to the final table two years in a row, but went even further and won back-to-back championships.
Let’s take a look the at back-to-back champions and the amounts of prize money they won in their back-to-back wins:
Johnny Moss — 1970 (voted the champion by his peers) and 1971 ($30,000)
“Texas Dolly” Doyle Brunson — 1976 ($220,000) & 1977 ($340,000)
Stu Ungar — 1980 ($385,000) & 1981 ($375,000)
Johnny Chan — 1987 ($625,000) & 1988 ($700,000)
Compare those extraordinary results with Dan’s astonishing back-to-back final-table performances and draw your own conclusion about his consistency.
Did I mention his performance in 1995? He played in the WSOP $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament and won it, pocketing $249,000. Then, he went home, rested up, and came back and won the 1995 WSOP $10,000 buy-in championship event for a big fat million bucks!
The final hand of the 1995 World Series of Poker
Who is Dan Harrington? He is the player’s player who consistently brings home the bacon. If poker were a team sport, Dan would be the kind of teammate you’d rely upon …