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Dan Harrington – Personal Life & Career

Dan Harrington is a backgammon, chess and poker champion, a qualified lawyer, a real estate entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer.

Early Life

He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 6th, 1945.

Growing up near to Boston, he has always stayed true to his roots and is known for wearing his green Boston Red Sox cap at the poker table.

He attended Suffolk University where he would earn a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Law Degree.

At this time, he would get into games including chess, backgammon and poker. He even played a friendly poker game at Harvard that featured Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

During his University years, he became part of the “Mission Impossible” team that used MIT mathematical formulas to gain a 40% edge on each roulette spin. They were eventually caught by the Sands Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.

Backgammon and Chess Champion

Dan has always dominated at games.

First it was chess. He is brilliant at the game and won the Massachusetts State Chess Championship in 1971.

He is a first class backgammon player and champion and has won the National Backgammon Championship.

He once won a backgammon tournament worth $27,000 and became frustrated when the organizers stiffed him for half of the prize money.


Dan pursued a career as a qualified bankruptcy and real estate attorney in his earlier days. He founded Member & Harrington where he served as a partner for over a decade in Boston.

His professional interests changed as he discovered poker, the stock market and real estate investments. He describes real estate and the stock market as “other types of games.”

His new interests led him to abandon the legal profession. He does not regret giving up his legal career and the experience gained during that time.

The Mayfair Club

Dan played backgammon at the Mayfair Club in the 1980s. It was during that time that poker started to become popular amongst Club members and where he would improve his skills and take the game seriously.

He played alongside other well-known Club members including Erik Seidel, Howard Lederer and Steve Zolotow.

Both Seidel and Harrington were jointly elected to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2010. It was a huge bonus for both players to be able to share the honor with each other.

Anchor Loans

Dan Harrington Anchor Loans

Dan Harrington Anchor Loans

Dan Harrington moved to Los Angeles, California in the late 1980s in order to play more poker at the many large and legal casinos in the area.

He went on to found Anchor Loans in Santa Monica, California in 1998. Anchor Loans provides private loans to qualified borrowers as well as investment opportunities. Their focus is mainly on real estate agreements.

He served as the Chief Executive Officer for the company until retirement in 2009. He remains a major shareholder in the company.

Dan Harrington’s accomplishments are remarkable on their own without even considering his amazing poker results and the books that he has authored. He is nothing short of a genius.