Poker Legends: Jennifer Harman
“When I experience a bad beat, I think of it as an overhead. If you own a business, you have to pay your bills, and I consider a bad beat one of my bills.”
She’s won two World Series of Poker bracelets, she was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2015, and she’s one of the top contenders for the Women's All Time Money List. Jennifer Harman is an inspirational figure for poker players everywhere, especially for the women who love this generally male-dominated game.
Harman grew up playing games, starting Poker when her mom taught her how to play when she was just 8 years old. “I love the riffle of the cards, the sound of the chips, the touch of the felt,” she said. Between this lifelong passion and her natural ability, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Victory At The First Try
When Harman won her first WSOP bracelet in 2000, it was playing a game that she had never played before: Deuce to Seven Lowball. Before the event she received a five-minute tutoring session from Howard Lederer and some combination of natural skill, intuition, and good luck helped her win around $150K against a field that included other poker pros.
Her other WSOP victory in 2002 was less of an off-the-cuff win. In that event, she won over $200K playing Limit Hold’Em, a game that she’s so familiar with that she even wrote the chapter on it in Super System 2 alongside poker legend Doyle Brunson.
A Voice for Women in Poker
If you look around a poker table, you’re mostly going to see men. A lot of guys think that poker is all about being macho and tough, but Jennifer Harman and other top women pros prove that they have just as much right to be at the table as any of the guys. Anyone can play poker, no matter who they are, where they come, or what they look like.
In fact, Harman sees being a woman as an advantage. Since a lot of men either have too much pride to ‘lose to a woman’ or they underestimate them, she uses these weaknesses to her advantage. By understanding how men play differently against her than they would against other men, she crafts her strategy accordingly to exploit them.