John Hennigan – Poker Player Bio

poker player

In his thirteen-year poker career, John Hennigan has been just as successful as many of the top players in the game. He is recognized by his peers as an astute and difficult player, capable of anything on the felt. Even though he has this reputation, however, he is perhaps one of the most underrated players in the poker world because of his low-key demeanor.

The Philadelphia, PA, native who now calls California home has been part of the poker world since the late 1990s, when he earned his first cash at the World Poker Finals at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Since that time, Hennigan has moved on to become one of the most feared players in the game, with none other than Daniel Negreanu admitting he was a formidable foe. In an interview with, Negreanu is quoted as saying, “I most like to play with John Hennigan because when he is focused, he is the best I’ve ever played with. He thinks on another level that few could understand.”

Prior to stepping into the tournament arena, Hennigan made a name for himself grinding the cash games of Atlantic City’s casino scene. He quenched his thirst for competition (Hennigan early in life was a professional pool player) by earning a nice living from those cash games. Although he was successful, John still craved more adventurous battles on the felt, which led him to tournament action.

Known as “World” because of his propensity to gamble on pretty much anything in the world, Hennigan has had significant success in several disciplines of poker, from No Limit Hold’em to Seven Card Stud to H.O.R.S.E. His first World Series of Poker cash came in 1999, when he finished 19th in the $10,000 Championship Event, and he has been able to take home two prized WSOP bracelets. He won his first in 2002 (in the $2000 H.O.R.S.E. event) and picked up his second in 2004 in the $5000 Limit Hold’em tournament. His last cash at the WSOP came this year in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, which was the eleventh career cash at the WSOP.

On the World Poker Tour stage, Hennigan has been able to maintain his history of success. He made his first WPT final table in 2002 at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio – where he finished fourth – and finally broke through to win his first WPT event in 2007 at the Borgata Winter Open in Atlantic City. His $1.79 million in earnings on the WPT place him among the Top Fifty in WPT history in money won. All totaled, Hennigan has earned over $3.2 million in his tournament poker career.

On the felt, Hennigan uses his quick analytical skills to size up his table and their play. Not above making a play against his opponents, he also normally will be quite strong when in a hand. His unassuming style is perhaps the main reason why he has not drawn much attention from poker fans or the media.