Duke in 2016
|Nickname(s)||The Duchess of Poker|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Born||Anne LaBarr Lederer|
September 13, 1965
Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
Anne LaBarr Duke (née Lederer; September 13, 1965) is an American professional poker player and author. She holds a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet from 2004 and used to be the leading money winner among women in WSOP history (a title now held by Vanessa Selbst). Duke won the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2010. She has written a number of instructional books for poker players, including Decide to Play Great Poker and The Middle Zone, and she published her autobiography, How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker, in 2005.
Duke co-founded the non-profit Ante Up for Africa with actor Don Cheadle in 2007 to benefit charities working in African nations, and has raised money for other charities and non-profits through playing in and hosting charitable poker tournaments. She has been involved in advocacy on a number of poker-related issues including advocating for the legality of online gambling and for players' rights to control their own image. Duke was co-founder, executive vice president, and commissioner of the Epic Poker League from 2011 to 2012.
Early life and family
Duke, born as Anne LaBarr Lederer, grew up in Concord, New Hampshire, where her father, writer and linguist Richard Lederer, taught English literature at St. Paul's School and her mother, Rhoda Lederer, taught at Concord High School. Her parents were both card players and Duke became interested in cards from an early age. Her siblings are professional poker player Howard Lederer and author/poet Katy Lederer, who published a memoir about the Lederer family.
Duke attended St. Paul's School, While attending St Paul's School Annie worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken for her first job. She enrolled at Columbia University where she pursued a double major in English and psychology. After graduating from Columbia, she pursued a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on cognitive linguistics and writing her dissertation on a hypothesis of how children learn their first language called "syntactic bootstrapping". For her graduate studies she was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship. In 1991, one month before defending her doctoral dissertation, she decided that she no longer wished to pursue academia and left school.
In 1992, she married Ben Duke, and moved to Billings, Montana. The couple divided their time between Las Vegas and Montana between 1992 and 2002, when they moved to Portland, Oregon. They were married until 2004 and had four children. Maud Duke was born in 1995; Leo Duke, in 1998; Lucy Duke, in 2000; and Nell Duke, in 2002. In 2005, Duke and her children relocated to Hollywood Hills, California.
Professional poker career
Duke first played Texas hold'em at age 22 in a casino and continued to play for fun in Las Vegas casinos while visiting her brother, Howard Lederer, during her graduate school years. In 1992 after Duke moved to Billings her brother encouraged her to play poker professionally, sending her $2,400 and providing her with poker instruction books and lessons by phone. She began to play poker initially at the Crystal Lounge, a local bar in Billings that had a legal poker room. Following a successful year playing in Montana, her brother prompted her to enter tournaments at the 1994 World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Within the first month, she won $70,000 and decided to move to Las Vegas to pursue a professional poker career.
In the first two tournaments of the 1994 World Series of Poker, Duke placed 14th and 5th, and finished 26th in the Main Event. Following her move to Las Vegas, Duke continued successfully playing poker on a professional basis through the late 1990s, and by 2000 had 16 in the money finishes at WSOP events, prior to the WSOP World Championship event that year.
From 2000 onward, she became well known for her high-profile achievements in WSOP events. In the 2000 WSOP World Championship event, although nine months pregnant with her third child, she placed 10th out of a total of 512 players, which was the second-highest finish by a woman in the event's history. She received a WSOP gold bracelet in 2004, placing first out of 234 entrants in an Omaha Hi-Lo Split tournament. By July of that year she had become the top female money winner in the history of the WSOP; earning over $650,000 from 25 in the money finishes, including 13 at the final table. Later in 2004, she placed first in the inaugural WSOP Tournament of Champions, beating her brother and nine former world championship winners and winning $2 million. In the 2006 WSOP, she was one of only two women left in the tournament when she finished in 88th place with $51,129 in winnings.
In 2010, Duke won the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship; she outlasted a field of 64 players, including eliminating previous winner Huck Seed, and defeating Erik Seidel in the final match. She won $500,000 and became the first and only female winner of the event, which ended in 2013. Her record over the course of the eight tournaments was one win and five losses.
World Series of Poker Bracelets
|2004||$3,000 Omaha High-Low 8/OB||$137,860|
Online poker activities
From 2001 to 2004, Duke worked as a spokesperson and consultant for ieLogic, a company that developed online poker software for multiplayer poker websites including Ultimate Bet. She moved to Portland, Oregon where ieLogic was based in 2002 and remained there until 2005.
Ultimate Bet Scandal
In 2008, poker champion and Ultimate Bet spokesperson Russ Hamilton was found to be using cheating software to see other players’ cards, which would ultimately win him millions of dollars. Though Ultimate Bet officials assured users that Hamilton acted alone, later evidence showed that other officials at the site knew about the scheme.
Duke represented Ultimate Bet as a spokesperson until December 2010, when she announced that she was leaving the company. No evidence was presented against Duke and there was no investigation of such with regard to any involvement or benefiting from any fraudulent crimes pertaining to the company.
On two occasions, Duke has testified in Congress on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance regarding the legality of Internet gambling. In 2007, she appeared in front of the House Committee on the Judiciary to testify against the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, and in 2010, she appeared in front of the House Committee on Financial Services to provide support for H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act.
Other poker activities
Debates, advocacy and coaching
As well as her advocacy regarding online gambling on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance, Duke has also been involved in debate about whether players should be allowed to wear the logos of their sponsor companies at televised poker events. In the mid-2000s, she was one of a number of players that argued against such restrictions being placed on players.
In 2006, she was one of seven players who filed a lawsuit against the World Poker Tour (WPT), alleging that the WPT's release forms, required for participation in their events, were anti-competitive and violated individuals' rights to their own image. The suit was settled in 2008, when the WPT agreed to modify the release form.
Duke has opposed and avoided playing at the WSOP Ladies Event, arguing that having a separate WSOP bracelet event for women suggests that there is a difference in intellect between men and women. Duke has supported women in poker through coaching women players at the LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) Tour, instructing at several women-only World Series of Poker Academy events, and giving the keynote speech at the 2011 Women in Poker Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
She has served on the World Series of Poker Player Advisory Council and has taught at the WSOP Poker Academy poker school. She has coached a number of celebrities on how to play poker, including Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, whom she coached to win the 2004 California State Poker Championship.
Duke was a co-founder and commissioner of the Epic Poker League, which sponsored three tournaments at the Palms Casino Resort in 2011. Through the three tournaments, the league raised more than $125,000 for charity: $53,000 for humanitarian organization Operation USA; $25,000 for the charity Fallen Heroes USA, which supports families of law enforcement officers who die in service; and $48,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation's "Bad Beat on Cancer" campaign.
The league was co-founded by former World Series of Poker commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, operating under Pollack's company Federated Sports + Gaming. After Epic Poker held its first three planned events, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 28, 2012. Filing records show Federated Sports + Gaming owed creditors more than $8 million, while Duke earned at least $299,000 in salary. The Epic Poker League and its parent company were acquired by Pinnacle Entertainment in a June 2012 bankruptcy auction. During 2011, Duke and Eric Faulkner, the CIO of Federated Sports + Gaming, created the Global poker index (GPI). The index ranks the top 300 live tournament poker players each week.
Books, DVDs and product line
Duke's book Decide to Play Great Poker, a strategy book for no-limit hold'em, was published in June 2011. The book was co-authored with John Vorhaus. The following year, Duke and Vorhaus published a second book together, The Middle Zone, which focused on strategy for difficult hands. Thinking in Bets, a guide to selecting and applying decision strategies in uncertainty, was released in 2018. In addition to her instructional books, Duke released an instructional DVD series including Annie Duke's Advanced Texas Hold'em Secrets: How to Beat the Big Boys and in 2005 she launched a range of poker products with ESPN.
Duke, actor Don Cheadle, and a mutual friend, Norman Epstein, co-founded the non-profit Ante Up for Africa in 2007 to raise money with poker tournaments for charities benefiting African countries. The first tournament in July 2007 was held at the start of the World Series of Poker and raised more than $700,000, which was donated to the ENOUGH Project and the International Rescue Committee. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, money raised in the organization's tournaments was again donated to the ENOUGH Project, and also to Not On Our Watch, Refugees International, Water.org, and the Eastern Congo Initiative.
In 2009, Duke entered the reality television show Celebrity Apprentice to raise money for Refugees International. She finished as a runner up to Joan Rivers and raised more than $700,000 for her chosen charity, over half of the total amount raised by contestants on the show. After the season ended, fans continued to donate to Refugees International and in May 2009 Duke hosted a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to benefit the charity.
Duke has played in and hosted charitable poker tournaments for organizations including Life Rolls On, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Boston Children's Hospital, for which she helped to raise $500,000 in 2007 and $425,000 in 2012. She played in a charity poker tournament organized by the Poker Players Alliance in July 2009 to benefit the United Service Organizations and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and hosted a poker tournament in May 2010 to raise money for After-School All-Stars, a non-profit supporting after-school programs for children from low income families.
From 2007, Duke served as a member of the board of directors for the Decision Education Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Palo Alto, California which provides training for teachers and mentors to produce curricula focused on decision-making skills for their students. As of 2013[update], she is no longer a member of the board of directors.
In 2014, Annie Duke founded How I Decide, a nonprofit to help young people develop the essential life skills of critical thinking and decision making. In 2016, she went on to join the Board of Directors for the Franklin Institute, one of America's oldest museums.
Duke wrote an autobiography titled Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker, which was published in September 2005. She performed for storytelling organization The Moth, and in January 2013, she was a featured storyteller on the Unchained Tour, a storytelling tour across the Southern United States.
In the mid-2000s, Duke was a producer and consultant for All In, a pilot television show for NBC based on her life, in which she was portrayed by Janeane Garofalo; the series was not picked up by the network. In the same time period, she also created Annie Duke Takes on the World, a television show on the Game Show Network in which she played poker against amateur players.
She has appeared on a number of television shows, including being the first poker personality to appear on The Colbert Report on January 30, 2006, and finishing in second place in the 2009 season of Celebrity Apprentice. Duke has appeared on Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100. On the latter, she answered correctly to 35 questions in a row before she was eliminated. She also reappeared for the "last man standing" game finishing in the final 5.
- Cheney, Dina (July 2004). "Flouting Convention, Part II: Annie Duke Finds Her Place at the Poker Table". Columbia College Today. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Epic Fail" Archived October 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Bluff (magazine), April 2012
- "Anne LaBarr Lederer is married to Benjamin B. Duke in Connecticut". The New York Times. April 26, 1992. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- Jones, Del (July 20, 2009). "Know yourself, know your rival". USA Today. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Friess, Steve (July 2, 2007). "A pair of poker aces". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Deitsch, Richard (May 26, 2005). "Q&A with Annie Duke". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Sauer, Mark (October 9, 2005). "Annie Duke found her calling". Union Times. San Diego. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Bellafante, Ginia (January 19, 2006). "Dealt A Bad Hand? Fold 'em. Then Raise". The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Darrow, Chuck (June 8, 2010). "Annie Duke, Flush With Success". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Jamie Berger (Spring 2002). "Annie Duke, Poker Pro". Columbia Magazine. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- "Annie Duke:Results". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Wise, Gary (March 8, 2010). "Welcome back, Annie Duke". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Player Profile: Annie Duke". wsop.com. World Series of Poker. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Neff, Erin (July 5, 2007). "All in for charity". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Calistri, Amy (January 3, 2007). "Women and Poker: A 2006 Retrospective". Poker News.com. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Keefer, Case. "Annie Duke outlasts 63 poker pros, becomes heads-up champion". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "National Heads Up Poker Championship Will Not Be Held in 2014". PokerNewsDaily. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- Earl Burton (January 11, 2013). "Editorial: Who Should Be In The Field For The National Heads Up Poker Championship?". Poker News Daily. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Peters, Justin (May 29, 2013). [The Online Poker Cheating Scandal That Keeps Going and Going "Ultimate"] Check
|url=value (help). Slate.com. The Slate Group.
- Welman, Jessica (December 30, 2010). "Annie Duke Parts Ways with UB Poker". Bluff. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Testimony of Annie Duke on Behalf of the Poker Players Alliance House Committee on the Judiciary "Establishing Consistent Enforcement Policies in the Context of Internet Wagers"". ThePPA.org. Poker Players Alliance. November 14, 2007. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Testimony of Annie Duke on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance House Committee on Financial Services "H.R. 2267, Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act"". House Committee on Financial Services. July 21, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Rosenbloom, Steve (April 13, 2005). "Players aren't bluffing in logo battle". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Caldwell, John (July 19, 2006). "Several Top Players File a Lawsuit Against the World Poker Tour". Poker News.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Hintze, Hayley (April 2008). "World Poker Tour Settles Player Release Lawsuit". Poker News.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- West, Justin. "An Interview With Annie Duke - Part II". Poker Pages. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Bergstrom, Tina (August 10, 2007). "Women's Poker Spotlight". Poker News.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Newell, Jennifer (September 23, 2011). "She Said/He Said: Women Should Accept Annie Duke's Challenge". Woman Poker Player. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Meth, Madeline (July 11, 2007). "Ante Up For Africa Raises over $700,000 at the World Series of Poker® To Provide Relief in Darfur". Center for American Progress. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Del Mar, Maria (June 26, 2009). "WSOP Academy features Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth to teach in Main Event Primer". Poker News Daily. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Barton, Shawnee (January 11, 2013). "What It's Like to Be a Woman Who Plays Professional Poker". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Annie Duke talks Epic Poker League, role model". ESPN.com. October 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Stutz, Howard (June 15, 2012). "Pinnacle Entertainment acquires bankrupt operators of Epic Poker League and Heartland Poker Tour". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Welman, Jennifer (December 11, 2011). "By The Numbers: Epic Poker Mix Max". Bluff. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Welman, Jennifer (August 15, 2011). "By The Numbers: Epic Poker League Debut". Bluff. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Feldman, Andrew (September 7, 2011). "Anything but an Epic showing in Vegas". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- "Epic Poker Charity Tournament Raises $48,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation". Prevent Cancer Foundation blog. Prevent Cancer Foundation. March 1, 2012. Archived from the original on September 17, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Epic Poker Statement Shows More Than $7.8M in Liabilities". Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Holloway, Chad (July 15, 2011). "Revolutionizing the Rankings: a Look at the Global Poker Index". Poker News.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Annie Duke profile". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "2 for Poker learned quickly: 200 Poker Tells, The Middle Zone". Gaming Today. July 31, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- "Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke". Penguin Random House. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Arseniuk, Melissa (May 14, 2009). "Matt Damon, Charles Barkley to play in charity poker tournament". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Hintze, Haley (May 18, 2007). "Don Cheadle, Annie Duke to Headline WSOP Darfur Fundraiser". Poker News.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Davis, Laura (April 9, 2008). "Stars put on poker faces for charity". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Cypra, Dan (May 12, 2009). "Annie Duke Discusses Outcome of Celebrity Apprentice Season 2". Poker News.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Leach, Robin (July 4, 2010). "Don Cheadle and Annie Duke's Ante Up for Africa raises $275,000". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- "Annie Duke Wins $700,000 for Refugees International as the second place victor on Celebrity Apprentice" (Press release). Refugees International. May 11, 2009. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Dan Cypra (May 12, 2013). "Annie Duke Discusses Outcome of Celebrity Apprentice Season 2". Poker News Daily. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Cox, Diania (May 27, 2009). "Annie Duke Gets Poker Players to Suck Out on Joan Rivers". Bluff Magazine. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Let the Chips Fall". Spirit of Giving. Boston Children's Hospital. Fall 2012. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- Wells, Carrie (July 21, 2009). "Lobbyists working to stack the deck in favor of fewer online poker rules". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Katz, Dan (May 5, 2010). "Annie Duke to Host Charity Poker Tournament for After-School All-Stars". Poker News Daily. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "People on the Move". San Jose Mercury News. November 7, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "DEF Board of Directors". Decision Education. Decision Education Foundation. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- "How I Decide". How I Decide. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "The Moth: Los Angeles Becomes The Newest Hub For Live Storytelling Events Brought To You By New York's The Moth". The Huffington Post. March 2, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Wake, Matt (January 9, 2013). "Unchained Tour storytellers traveling via '70s school bus to Huntsville's Flying Monkey Arts". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "The Moth – Radio Hour – Texas Hold 'Em, Kin, and Cloistered Nuns". The Moth.
- "Annie Duke appears on". The Colbert Report. January 30, 2006.
- Miller, Jeremy. "Annie Duke – Poker Player Profile". Poker News Daily. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annie Duke.|