Washington is a hotbed of poker, and plenty of local players have placed in national tournaments. Accountant Steve Dannenmann of Severn, Maryland, trumped them all when he won $4.25 million in the World Series of Poker. Dannenmann, whose exploits were captured by ESPN, beat out 5,617 players. Had he bested one more–Australia's Joseph Hachem–his winnings would have totaled $7.5 million.
Not bad for a guy who started playing two years ago and hosts a Tuesday-night game on a makeshift table in his home. He probably won't be playing there much longer. Harrah's Entertainment, which owns the World Series of Poker, has invited him to play in TV events–giving him many chances to win millions without his having to put up a dime.
Washingtonian staffers contributing to this section were Cristina Abello, Susan Baer, Susan Davidson, Ken DeCell, Rebecca Dreilinger, Kim Isaac Eisler, Mary Clare Fleury, Kimberly Forrest, Brooke Lea Foster, Garrett M. Graff, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, Aparna Nancherla, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Chris Wilson. Also contributing were Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Matthew Graham.