Jennifer Harman is one of the most respected female poker players to ever play the game. She has disappeared off the poker scene recently, so has she gone broke?
Has Jennifer Harman gone broke?
As one of only two women to have won two World Series of Poker bracelets in open events, Jennifer Harman is without a doubt one of the most recognizable names in the world of poker. As of 2006, she was by far the most successful and well known female poker player in the history of the game. While her achievements have since been eclipsed by those of the prodigious Vanessa Selbst (in terms of tournament earnings), she remains a player worth reckoning with in the game.
A Child Prodigy
Born in Reno, Nevada, Harman grew up in a setting which primed her for her later success in poker. Her father was an avid player and as a child. Little Jennifer would sidle up his table and catch the action during his regular home games. Jennifer learned the tricks of the game so fast that his father would often put her in the game when he was down. She often won him enough money to break even!
Her rise as a child poker prodigy was however curtailed by chronic health problems. She would eventually have to undergo a kidney transplant. The operation allowed her to continue schooling normally and to indulge in her poker passion on the sides. By the time she was sixteen she had managed to obtain a fake ID which she used to enter poker rooms, but casino play was quite different from what she was used to up until then and she often found herself on the losing side.
Jennifer Harman’s Top 5 Tournament Cashes
– 3rd place for $330,000 at the 2008 World Poker Tour Season 6, Bay 101 Shooting Star
– 4th place for $299,492 at the 2004 World Poker Tour Season 3, Five Diamond World Poker Classic
– 3rd place for $173,159 at the World Series of Poker 2010, Event 15 – $10k Seven-Card Stud Championship
– 11th place for $81,710 at the 2009 World Poker Tour Season 7, World Poker Tour Championship
– 2nd place for £40,688 at the 2007 World Series of Poker, Event 1: H.O.R.S.E
Up until 2012, Jennifer Harman was a regular fixture at major poker events such as the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker where she would turn up quite impressive performance. This is more than can be said of recent years. Her very notable absences have led to some speculating that the iconic female player has hit the bottoms, unable to raise the buy-ins anymore.
So is Jennifer Harman actually broke?
While there is no question that the Jennifer Harman’s fortunes have been on the wane in recent months, it is too premature to pronounce her broke. According to PokerDB’s rankings, she has only raked in $9,944 in the last six months. This has dropped her from position 286 on the all time Poker Money List to 305. She won the $9,944 when she finished in 10th place at the 2014 World Series of Poker, Event 41, the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event.
Since the 2014 WSOP was held as recently as June, any pronouncements that it is all over for Jennifer Harman are really unsubstantiated. Moreover, since she was the top ranked female poker player (a position she shared with Melissa Burr) in the aforementioned event which attracted 419 entrants, those counting her out are only doing so at their own peril.
Over the last couple of years, Harman has made an appearance at only two major events: the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low at the 2013 World Series of Poker and the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice in the 2014 World Series of Poker. Press reports indicate that since 2012, she has been involved with plenty of charity do’s especially those to do with helping kidney failure victims and for animal rights.
A closer look at press reports show that Jennifer Harman has been doing plenty of poker in recent days. The only difference is that instead of playing for high stakes personal winnings, she has been doing it for good causes such as funding the National Kidney Foundation. This is an understandable preoccupation seeing that Harman has had two kidney transplants (after the operation in her childhood, she underwent another transplant in 2004).
Jennifer has also been raising money to support such organizations as the Nevada Society for the Care and Protection of Animals (SPCA). Perhaps there is some truth in the pronouncements of the changing fortunes of Jennifer Harman’s career, it seems all her winnings are going to the dogs!
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