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WSOP champs: Where are they now, Part 7
This is the seventh article in a 10-part series taking a look at the World Series of Poker champions from the very first to the most recent and at what they've done since in the world of poker.
The sixth installment featured some champions who've been much quieter on the poker scene since their World Series of Poker Main Event wins. The same can't be said for this week's featured players: Dan Harrington, Huck Seed and Scotty Nguyen.
While some WSOP champs go quietly into the night after their time in the spotlight, Dan Harrington is certainly not part of that club.
"Action Dan" has enjoyed great success at the tables since winning the big one in the summer of 1995. In fact, he took down two significant scores by winning two more tournaments that year - the £1,500 Festival of Poker in London for $109,250, and the $5,000 Four Queens Poker Classic for $212,000. All in all, Harrington's take for 1995 was $1,321,250.
Another eight years would pass before Harrington again made waves in a major tournament, and again it was the most prestigious tournament in the world that saw him turn in a highly professional performance. With a field of 839 entries in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, he finished in third place behind Sammy Farha, earning $650,000.
Even more impressive, though, was Harrington's feat in 2004. With the Main Event drawing an incredible 2,576 entries, Harrington once again made the final table - this time coming in in fourth place for $1,500,000.
Making back-to-back final tables in the two largest poker tournaments at that point in history was immediately recognized by the poker community as an incredible accomplishment, cementing his reputation as one of the great tournament players of all time.
That enhanced reputation led to a book deal with Two Plus Two Publishing. Harrington on Hold'em, written with former backgammon world champion Bill Robertie, quickly became the bible of tournament play for thousands of up-and-comers, introducing them to the concepts that helped Harrington make his name in poker.
Two more books followed on the heels of HOH, as he and his coauthors introduced more advanced concepts in Volume II and provided more situational exercises in Volume III.
Harrington continues to both write poker strategy books and make his presence at the tables known today. He recently won the World Poker Tour's 2007 Legends of Poker for $1,635,365, and the more recent Harrington on Cash Games series already has two volumes in bookstores.
Huck Seed is known for being one of the quietest players in poker, letting his game do all the talking. That theme has carried on throughout his poker career, as the intervening years have shown him to be quiet and consistent.
The towering Seed has 22 WSOP cashes since his 1996 Main Event win. Two of those were bracelet wins in Razz - the first in 2000, the second in 2003 - bringing his total bracelet count up to four. (He won his first in the 1994 $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha.) He also made a run in the 2007 Main Event, finishing 73rd of 6,358 players.
Including his two Razz bracelets, Seed has an impressive track record of 12 tournament wins and 33 final tables since winning the big one. Despite all this success, the WPT hasn't been particularly friendly to him when it comes to results: he only has three WPT cashes, and none of them have been at TV final tables.
He has shown himself to be a particularly deadly opponent in heads-up tournaments. He has twice finished third and twice finished ninth in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, and this year he won the Canadian Poker Championship by defeating Brad "Yukon" Booth in the final.
Seed wasn't one of the original pros on Team Full Tilt when the now-popular online poker site started up in 2004, but he has been involved with them from fairly early on. He contributes to the site's popular "Tips from the Pros" series of strategy pointers, which is featured in the PokerListings.com Blog section.
He has also become known over the years for his prop bets with fellow players. An August 2002 Cigar Aficionado article by Michael Kaplan describes Seed's propensity for crazy bets, including standing in the ocean for 18 hours for $50,000 (he lost) and doing a standing backflip for $10,000 (he won).
Scotty Nguyen closed out his 1998 WSOP Main Event win with one of the most memorable lines in poker history, telling his heads-up opponent Kevin McBride, "If you call now, it's all over baby." In the decade that has passed since McBride made his final, crucial mistake, Nguyen has become one of the most recognizable faces in poker.
The popular Nguyen has cashed in 26 WSOP events since winning the big one. Ten of those cashes were final tables, and two of them - both in 2001 - were bracelet wins: the $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo split, and the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha. As of today, his lifetime WSOP earnings total $2,654,421.
As the 2007 WSOP Main Event drew to a close, Nguyen had a chance to become the first repeat champion since Stu Ungar won his third in 1997. He came agonizingly close, but ultimately busted in 11th place from a field of 6,358 entries to take home $476,926.
Nguyen wore the frustration from having come so close on his sleeve that night, but as always handled himself with class in his post-tournament interviews.
In addition to the WSOP, Nguyen has found great success with WPT events. He has made five WPT final tables, including a win in the 2006 World Poker Open when his A-Q beat Michael Mizrachi's A-J on the first hand of heads-up play. That win contributed nearly $1 million to his total lifetime tournament earnings of $7,657,503, ranking him 12th on the all-time money list.
All that success at the tables eventually translated into a sweet deal for Nguyen. The state of Oklahoma legalized poker in January 2005, and when the Cherokee Casino in Tulsa came calling, Nguyen answered. Four installments of the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge have been held since he joined forces with Cherokee, with T.J. Cloutier winning the latest.
Stay with us next week as we bring you three more WSOP champions and take a closer look at what they've been up to since they won the big dance.
- WSOP Champions: Where are they now, Part 1
- WSOP Champions: Where are they now, Part 2
- WSOP Champions: Where are they now, Part 3
- WSOP Champions: Where are they now, Part 4
- WSOP champions: Where are they now, Part 5
- WSOP champions: Where are they now, Part 6
- WSOP champions: Where are they now, Part 8
- WSOP champions: Where are they now, Part 9
- WSOP Champions: Where are they now, Part 10