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Jennifer Harman - A Memoir: Leading Lady of Poker Book Summary

by Jackie Alyson

Jennifer Harman - A Memoir: Leading Lady of Poker

Jackie Alyson


From West Virginia coal country to Las Vegas, this memoir traces the remarkable journey of Jennifer Harman, one of the most influential female poker players in history. Through her unwavering determination, resilience, and strategic brilliance, Harman has not only achieved unprecedented success at the poker table but has also become an advocate for gender equality in a male-dominated industry.

Table of contents

Open Table of contents

Writing Background

The book is based on extensive interviews with Jennifer Harman and her family and friends, as well as archival research, offering an intimate and authentic account of her life and career.

Author’s Introduction

By age 17, Jennifer Harman was a single mother, working a cocktail waitress job, and getting rolled by a West Virginia hustler. An encounter with poker would forever alter her life, leading her to become one of the most formidable figures in the game’s history and a role model for women in poker.

Key Insights

  • Harman’s early life in West Virginia and her journey to becoming a single mother at a young age.
  • Her introduction to poker and her rapid rise to success in the game.
  • Her struggles and triumphs as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
  • Her advocacy for gender equality in poker and her role in mentoring other female players.
  • Her impact on the Las Vegas poker community and her influence on the game.

Chapter Summary

  • Chapter 1: Coal Country: Harman’s childhood in West Virginia and her early struggles.
  • Chapter 2: Vegas Bound: Harman’s move to Las Vegas and her introduction to poker.
  • Chapter 3: Queen of the Card Room: Harman’s rise to prominence in the poker world.
  • Chapter 4: The World Series of Poker: Harman’s historic victories at the WSOP.
  • Chapter 5: Mentoring Women in Poker: Harman’s role in promoting gender equality in the game.
  • Chapter 6: The Poker Brat: Harman’s controversial nickname and her struggles with media scrutiny.
  • Chapter 7: Comeback Queen: Harman’s return to form after a difficult period in her life.
  • Chapter 8: The Hall of Fame: Harman’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.
  • Chapter 9: Life After Poker: Harman’s retirement from poker and her current activities.


Jennifer Harman’s memoir is an inspiring and empowering story of a woman who overcame adversity to achieve remarkable success in a challenging field. Her resilience, determination, and passion for poker make her an icon in the game and an inspiration to women everywhere.


Harman’s book has received critical acclaim, with many reviewers praising her candor, humor, and insights into the world of poker. The book has also been the subject of numerous online discussions, with many readers sharing their own experiences and perspectives on Harman’s story.