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Jennifer Harman: 'Really Important' To Get Into The Poker Hall Of Fame

Cash Game Legend Could Make It Six Years In A Row On Finalists List


The first round of the selection process for the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame class ended this past weekend, and there’s a player who could be among the 10 finalists for a sixth year in a row.

High-stakes cash game legend Jennifer Harman has seen her name on the list every year since 2010, and it’s safe to assume the 50-year-old will be on it again this year when the WSOP releases the names within the next two weeks. Two people are inducted each year into the the Poker Hall of Fame. There are currently 48 members.

Card Player had the chance to speak to Harman last week about her hopes for 2015.

Brian Pempus: You’ve been nominated many times, are you getting eager to finally get in?

Jennifer Harman: Well, with the the Poker Hall of Fame…basically poker is a solo sport. You basically have to pat yourself on the back and even when you are losing you have to pat yourself on the back if you think you played well. I think getting into the Hall of Fame means that your peers respect what you have done with your life and career. That’s really important.

BP: Has it been tough in a way for you to be nominated all these times and still be waiting?

JH: Well, I believe that everyone they’ve inducted has deserved it. Jack McClelland did a lot for poker, and Daniel [Negreanu], my best friend, he obviously has accomplished many things and deserved to go in the first year [in 2014] for sure. I’d like to go in, it would be one of those things that you really want. I have spent most of my life playing poker.

BP: Who else do you think really deserves to be inducted in the near future?

JH: I believe John Hennigan should be in. He has won WPT titles, has two or three bracelets, and plays in the biggest games in the world. Definitely him. I think Chris Bjorin should get in. I think Dave [Ulliot] deserves to be in. He was an all-around player. People love David. He should be in, but not because he died. It’s a sentimental thing, but I believe he should have been inducted when he was living. Carlos Mortensen should also be in.

BP: The Poker Hall of Fame doesn’t have a physical location like some other hall of fames, but do you think in the future it could, as more and more people get inducted?

JH: That would be amazing. Being in it would be amazing in itself, but having a shrine for it would be great. I think it’s a must.

BP: Can you talk about what your poker schedule is like these days when it’s not WSOP time?

JH: Well, raising two kids isn’t easy, and now I’m a single mom. I am basically hanging out around here. This [upcoming] year I am going to have more freedom because Marco and I are now doing week-to-week. We didn’t before. So, during a week when I don’t have the kids, I might travel to a tournament. I have some free time where I can actually travel to events. I plan on playing a few more than I have [recently]. Also more cash games obviously, because cash games are where I make most of my money.

BP: How are the cash games in Las Vegas these days?

JH: The games have been pretty decent over the past year. There are moments, like right now after the WSOP, when people take a break. We have a group text for the $1,000-$2,000 game. Everybody gets texted about what time and that kind of thing. People show up and we start a game. I wish I could release the group texts, because it’s absolutely hilarious. People making fun of each other. It’s hilarious. You wake up some days with 45 texts. That’s how we get that game started. The smaller games, which I play too, people just start uniting and calling each other. Once it starts, the game fills up. Then you have a poker game.

BP: Can you talk about some of the challenges someone just starting out in poker would face if they were dreaming of one day having the kind of career you’ve had? Do you think it’s harder these days to start off at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up to the highest stakes?

JH: I actually think it’s easier. You have so much information out there to learn. There are so many videos and people teaching. There is so much down on paper and black-and-white stuff. I believe you can get up there faster. You can go to the Internet and search things about poker. Kids are pretty bright right now. They entered the poker world in a different way. Everything is math and calculations and ranges.

BP: Do you think that at times some of the best players in the world have over-shared some of their knowledge of the game? Are there too many poker books, has there been too much revealed about the way the best players think?

JH: I believe too much has been shared for sure. In poker, you are making money from other players. If they know too much and become really good, you can no longer make money from them. I believe that there is too much out there. I am a firm believer that people should learn for themselves…Poker for me is about making money. I am not there to prove anything. It’s my job to make money. I have a family to support. That doesn’t mean I can’t have fun. I love poker and the people I play with, but that’s my objective.