Professional Poker Player and Author
Duke (born September 13, 1965) is a professional poker
player and author.
was born in Concord, New Hampshire where her father,
Richard Lederer, a writer and linguist, was teaching
at St. Paul's School. Her brother Howard Lederer also
became a poker pro; her sister Katy Lederer is an
author and poet.
went to Columbia University where she double majored
in English and psychology.
was awarded a NSF Fellowship to attend graduate school
at the University of Pennsylvania to study cognitive
psychology, specifically psycholinguistics. Her intention
was to become a professor but she left school in 1992,
after five years of graduate school and one month
before defending her Ph.D. work. She left academia
to pursue family life with her husband, Ben Duke,
and moved to Columbus, Montana.
living in Montana, Duke began playing poker in the
legal card rooms in Billings. Her brother Howard was
already a professional and he both coached and helped
finance her play. In 1994, she and her husband moved
to Las Vegas so she could start playing poker full
time. Prior to 2004, her main claim to poker fame
was her 10th place finish in the 2000 World Series
of Poker main event (one position short of the final
table) while eight months pregnant with her third
early 2004, Duke received considerable publicity because
she tutored actor Ben Affleck, who then went on to
win the 2004 California State Poker Championship.
In September 2004 Duke won $2,000,000 in the inaugural
World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, a 10-player,
winner-take-all invitational event. She subsequently
appeared on the David Letterman show.
Duke is regarded as one of the best poker players
in the world. As of 2006, Duke has won one World Series
of Poker bracelet, in Omaha HiLo and more than $3.1
million in tournament play. Nowadays she refuses to
play in women's only tournaments, saying that "Poker
is one of the few sports where a woman can compete
on a totally equal footing with a man, so I don't
understand why there's a ladies only tournament."
is one of many poker players that take issue with
the restrictions placed on players during televised
tournaments. Although the players pay mandatory entry
fees to enter tournaments, some venues do not allow
players to wear sponsorship logos. Duke raised some
controversy when she made a statement in a news article
regarding this issue: "We [poker players] are
not even slaves. We're people paying to pick the cotton."
the 2004 World Series of Poker she eliminated her
brother Howard Lederer from four separate events,
including the aforementioned Tournament of Champions.
Unlike her brother, Duke is known for being somewhat
emotional at the poker table.
the Main Event of the 2006 World Series of Poker,
she finished in 88th place (out of 8,773 entrants)
for $51,129 in winnings. She was one of two women
left in the field when she was eliminated. (The remaining
woman, Sabyl Cohen, later finished in 56th place for
of 2006, her total live tournament winnings exceed
has been a spokesperson for Ultimate Bet since 2000
and has written many articles for the online poker
website, mainly on Omaha HiLo. She has several nicknames
including "Annie Legend", "The Duke",
and "The Duchess of Poker". Her sister,
Katy Lederer, wrote a book about the Lederer family,
titled Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers. She
also has her own biography, called Annie Duke: How
I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won
Millions at The World Series of Poker (ISBN 1-59463-012-7).
In promotion of her book she appeared on Comedy Central's
The Colbert Report in an episode that originally aired
on January 30, 2006.
2002 she moved to Portland, Oregon to work for ieLogic,
a company that produces software for online real time
casino gaming. She and Ben were divorced in 2004.
In 2005 she and her four children moved to the Hollywood
Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Her
new Mediterranean-style home and boyfriend, actor
and producer Joe Reitman, were featured in the New
York Times article At Home With Annie Duke on January
2005 Duke helped her brother Howard Lederer promote
a line of poker video games which featured both siblings
as virtual characters.
January 30, 2006, Duke became the first poker personality
to appear on The Colbert Report. During the show,
she talked about her book and what it's like to be
a woman in a male-dominated event. At the end of the
interview, Stephen Colbert celebrated his victory
over Duke in a single hand of five-card draw before
she realized that the hand was played with a brand
new, unshuffled deck.
2006, GSN premiered a television special titled Annie
Duke Takes on the World, which features Duke playing
against amateur poker players. Credit: Wikipedia.
Duke official website
Series Of Poker
Duke appeared on The