Even though he’s most recognized for authoring a series of poker books that advocate tight and conservative play, Dan Harrington is known as ‘Action Dan’, a name that says more about the man than the poker player.
Quiet and perhaps a tad media-shy, Harrington is not singularly interested in poker, and has always said he’s only in it for the money. In addition to being a card shark, Dan is a backgammon champion, US chess master, bankruptcy lawyer, stock market player, and entrepreneur. His loan brokerage company, Anchor Loans, has long been a successful venture, and his ‘Harrington on Hold’em’ and ‘Harrington on Cash Games’ books were once considered essential reading for poker players.
Despite all of his efforts away from the tables, Dan Harrington’s name will forever linger in the annals of World Series of Poker history, if only for his astonishing four Main Event final tables. Harrington’s Main Event run began in 1987 when he placed sixth, cashing for $43.7K. In 1995, he won the Main Event (his second bracelet that year), taking home $1 million for his efforts. Perhaps an even greater feat than winning in 1995, Dan finished third in 2004 ($650K) and fourth in 2004 ($1.5 million), a Main Event accomplishment that’s extremely unlikely to recur given the increasing field sizes.
Away from the WSOP, Dan has two World Poker Tour final tables: a runner-up finish ($620K) in the Doyle Brunson North American Championship and an outright win in the Legends of Poker Classic ($1.6 million). All told, ‘Action Dan’ has $6.6 million in live tournament winnings (over half of which came from the World Series of Poker) and he remains one of only five players to have won the Main Event and a WPT title; the others to date are Doyle Brunson, Carlos Mortensen, Scotty Nguyen, and Joe Hachem.
Distant cousin to both PGA professional Padraig Harrington and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, Dan currently resides in Santa Monica, California.