Donna Harris Bio and Books
Author Biography - Donna Harris
Donna Harris was born and raised in California and came to Las Vegas in 1979 for the World Cup of Darts which was held at the Sahara Hotel. She was the first female official for this event. Like many Las Vegas visitors, she was fascinated by the prospect of building a career in the casino industry, and in 1980 she returned to Las Vegas to deal blackjack professionally. Her first job was at the Golden Nugget Gambling Hall in downtown Las Vegas.
That same year, after becoming intrigued by the game of poker (which was played directly across the pit from where she dealt), and then playing poker after work, Donna asked to be transferred into the cardroom where the legendary Bill Boyd was the manager. Her initial position was as a "shill dealer", a dealer who only dealt when the "regular" dealers were out of the lineup, usually to play poker. Her other early job duties included brushing tables, getting fills and player's checks, and "playing poker" as a shill. She dealt poker until 1985.
In 1982 Bill Boyd retired, turning the cardroom over to another legend, Eric Drache. At that time very few women were in poker management and Eric felt that many of his regular customers, who originally played in "smokey back room" type environments, would not respect the decision of a young and inexperienced female floorperson. However, Donna persisted and was given the opportunity to succeed.
In 1998 Donna became the cardroom manager at The Mirage and was later promoted to Director of Poker Operations. Donna has also held positions in both The World Series of Poker and Grand Prix of Poker tournaments held in Las Vegas. Her experience includes traveling with Poker Cruises International, whose routes to most ports in the Caribbean and Mexico have now been taken over by Card Player Cruises and Classic Poker Cruises. She was also aboard the first "poker cruise" to England on the QE II in 1985, and worked poker tournaments in such exotic locales as Marakesh, Morocco, and Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Books Written by Donna Harris
- The Professional Poker Dealer's Handbook: Expanded Edition
by Dan Paymar, Donna Harris, and Mason Malmuth
This book is available in the online Two Plus Two Book Store and through our Poker Bonus Program where non-US players can receive it for free.