Who is Annie Duke? Besides being professional poker player Howard Lederer’s sister she was also the winner of the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and the National Heads-Up Champion in 2010 which won her $500,000 plus the title. Annie Duke was born in Concord, New Hampshire on September 13, 1965 where she didn’t play much poker growing up.
Something many people would never guess about professional poker player Annie Duke is that the earlier years she spent in school getting a double-major in English and Psychology. Annie Duke was also awared a NSF Felloship to attend the University of Pennsylvania but decided to end her studies after 5 years of graduate school and only 1 month away from a PhD. It was at this time Annie Duke decided to marry long-time friend and fellow classmate Ben Duke and move to his home in Columbus, Montana. There she began playing poker with the help of her brother Howard Lederer in Billings, Montana.
Annie Duke played poker in Billings, Montana for about 2 years until leaving Montana to move to Las Vegas with her then-husband to play poker full time. Annie Duke and then-husband played poker full time but it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that she started winning large events. In 2002 Annie Duke moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked for company which developed software for real time online poker which would later come to be as UltimateBet. UltimateBet is one of the bigger poker sites out there and continues to grow with the sponsorships for Annie Duke.
It wasn’t until 2004 that Annie Duke started to see some real notoriety when she coached well-known actor Ben Affleck who then went on to win the California State Poker Championship. Also in the same year Duke won the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions where she eliminated her brother Howard in 4 events. One of the biggest stages for Annie Duke was when she was eliminated 1 spot before the final table in the 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event held in Las Vegas. Annie Duke may only have 1 bracelet but she has cashed out in 38 different events since turning pro.
Annie Duke has done many things and has taught many people to learn to play poker. Learning from one of the best is always great especially when they continue their greatness like she has with her most recent win of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship where she took out long time poker pro Erik Seidel.