Jennifer Harman

Jennifer Harman is one of the most well-known and respected players in poker. All of poker – not just women.

Because of her results, TV appearances and sponsorships, we thought it’d be a good idea to include her in the list of professionals we’re writing bios for.

A Brief Look at Jennifer’s Life

Jennifer was born on November 29th, 1964 in Reno, Nevada. She was introduced to poker at a young age from her mom, who liked to play games.

Poker always felt right to her. Although she attended college, she never found a career or path that felt like a good fit. Nothing made her feel like walking into a casino did. So one day she decided that professional poker was the way to go, and that’s what she’s been doing since. No one knew about it, though, until she was more/less a celebrity from being shown playing poker on TV. It just wasn’t an accepted ‘job’ back in those days.

In 2000 she married Marco Traniello. He’s a known hairdresser who later turned (semi) pro poker player. They have 2 twin boys together. According to her Twitter account they’ve recently separated.

Jennifer took a year off from poker in 2004 to have a second kidney transplant, stemming from medical issues that she’s dealt with since childhood. She shares a similar illness with her sister and mother. Her mother died from it when Jennifer was 17. On the bright side, it’s inspired Jennifer to start a donor related charity, something she spends time on today.

Tournament Results, Scores, Awards, Etc.

Here are Jennifer’s biggest scores and bracelet wins.

  • 31st WSOP NL 2-7 Draw (1st) - $146,250
  • 33rd WSOP LHE (1st) - $212,440
  • 2004 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic (4th) - $299,492
  • 2005 WSOP Circuit Rio (2nd) - $383,840
  • 2008 Bay 101 Shooting Star (3rd) - $330,000
  • 2010 WSOP $10k 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo (3rd) - $173,159

As of July 2012, her live tournament winnings are nearly $2.5 million. Almost $1 million of that comes from WSOP cashes.

Despite her tournament success, she’s more known for her cash game prowess. Combined with her tournament winnings, as well as TV appearances and endorsement deals, her net worth is reported to be in the $15 million range.

At one point she was considered to be the greatest female poker player in history. Arguably that title goes to Vanessa Selbst, who has tournament earnings in excess of $7 million, while only in her 20s. Does Vanessa deserve the title more, just because she’s won more in tournaments? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

Jennifer’s success is no fluke, though. She works hard to improve. In an interview she said:

 “I critique myself every time I play. It’s like homework,” she says. “I think about what players I need to watch more and what I need to do better.”

“I don’t have any rituals. Playing poker for me is like going to work for you.” She adds, “I’ve been doing this too long to believe that I’ve just been lucky my whole life.”

She uses her skills in The Big Game, which is held at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio. These games have limits as high as $4,000/$8,000. She’s one of the few women to consistently play in this game.

Jennifer also used her skill set as a member of the Corporation, a group of poker pros that played billionaire Andy Beal in a number of heads-up games from 2001 to 2004. These players pooled their money together to handle the limits that were sometimes as high as $100,000/$200,000 per hand. They ended up taking enough money from him to push him to quit and admit he was over his head. I guess money has a way of blinding you from the truth.

Jennifer was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2010, and is considered a lock for the Professional Hall of Fame in the future.

What is Jennifer Harman Doing Today?

Jennifer still plays poker, although her tournament appearances, which have always been relatively on the low side, have dropped even more due to family and an interest in cash games.

She also participates in a number of charities. She founded the Creating Organ Donation Awareness organization, a non-profit that helps raise money for people needing organ donors. This was started shortly after her surgery in 2004.

She organizes and hosts poker tournaments, too. For example, in 2009 she organized a 2-day event where she got Lon McEachern and Howard Lederer to play. She raised $111,000 for the National Kidney Foundation.

Jennifer has also hosted tournaments for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She has succeeded in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through live and online tournaments, offering prizes such as seats to the WSOP Main Event or dinner with her and/or Pete Rose.

Outside of charitable causes, Jennifer keeps busy with a number of business ventures, which includes, a social poker training site, Double Bond Wine, ETrak and PJens, a pajama line aimed at women poker players.

She was supposed to be in a reality show called Sin City Rules, but the show was dropped in late 2012 / early 2013 due to low ratings and rule related issues.

4 Facts About Jennifer Harman

Here are some interesting facts about Jennifer Harman.

1. She authored the limit holdem section for Doyle Brunson’s book, Super System II.

2. Jennifer became the first woman in WSOP history to earn bracelets in 2 open events. She won 1 event in 2000 and another in 2002. ‘Open’ events mean tournaments open for registration (and play) from both men and women.

3. Harman worked as a waitress for 3 days following her college graduation, only to quit to play poker.

4. Jennifer has a degree in biology, which she earned in 1991.