A professional poker player with more than two decades of experience, Jennifer Harman is considered by most poker pundits to be the best female poker player in the world.
Taking up the game at a time when the number of women playing poker professionally was extremely low; Harman quickly won herself a place in the big leagues. Despite several tournament wins, she focused mainly on cash games; earning millions of dollars in winnings and establishing herself as one of the most successful professional poker players of recent times.
A childhood spent growing up in the gambling crazy town of Reno with a poker playing father meant that Harman was introduced to the game at an early age; she played her first hand when she was just eight years old.
Her early success at the poker table encouraged Harman to pursue the sport earnestly and she was soon playing illegally in live poker rooms in the local Reno casinos using a fake ID. She had to go through some tough times along the way; losing her mother and sister to kidney failure and having to undergo a kidney transplant herself when she was just seventeen years old.
However, Harman exhibited the same grit, determination and never-say-die attitude she brings to her poker playing to her real life battle; she was able to graduate high school successfully and earn a place at the University of Nevada studying biology.
In her first year of college, Harman supported herself by waitressing at casinos where she paid particular attention to the poker tables. By the time she was in her second year, she was regularly participating in various poker events; earning a steady income from the games. Once she graduated, Harman moved to Los Angeles to pursue a full time career playing poker. By the time she was 21, she was a professional poker player.
She briefly left the poker world for an unsuccessful bid to try and start a business (nearly going bankrupt in the process) before rejoining the scene with the help of a supportive friend who loaned her 50,000 dollars. However, she steadily worked her way back into financial solvency with the help of some successful cash games.
In 2000, she won her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the $5,000 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw event; a game she had never played before the actual event! Harman moved steadily up the ranks after that, making four more in the money finishes including a final table appearance before achieving a second WSOP bracelet in the 2002 World Series of Poker ($5,000 Limit Hold’em event). All together, she has achieved at least 19 money finishes and two final table appearances in her WSOP career.
Today, Harman regularly plays some of the biggest cash games in the world though she has reduced her tournament appearances following marriage and motherhood. Additionally, she has written a chapter on Limit Hold’em for Super System 2, an authoritative poker handbook. Harman frequently appears on television including on NPR, the Ellen DeGeneres, The Discovery Channel ESPN, and Primetime Live; as well as being a regular presence on several online poker sites.