Annie Duke learned how to play poker from one of the best, her brother Howard Lederer. It is always interesting to see these two meet at the poker table, as the name of the game is “No Mercy.” Annie Duke was formally a member of the Ultimate Bet professional poker team. Her brother Howard Lederer on the other hand, supports rival poker room Full Tilt Poker.
Annie was born into the competitive Lederer household in 1965. Like her brother, Annie’s fighting spirit was fueled by the highly competitive and serious card games the family played. No mercy was ever shown in these games, just as it would never be shown in Annie’s poker career.
With her husband Ben Duke, Annie moved to Montana in the early 1990s. It was here that Annie began her poker career, playing the card rooms of Billings, Montana’s state capital. She had some help from her brother, who gave her poker lessons and also helped bankroll her.
In 1994, Howard Lederer convinced Annie to enter the World Series of Poker Main Event. Annie had a very impressive performance, placing 13th and knocking Howard out of the tournament in the process. After her performance, Annie moved to Las Vegas in order to become a full time professional poker player.
Annie Duke finished 10th in the 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event, just one place short of making the final table. This feat was made even more impressive by the fact that she was eight months pregnant at the time. Later, in 2004, Annie won her first WSOP bracelet by emerging triumphant from the $3,000 Omaha Hi/Lo tournament. 2004 was a very good year for Annie, as later that year, at the first ever winner-take-all, invitation only, WSOP Tournament of Champions, Annie beat Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Greg Raymer, her brother Howard, and several other talented players to win the $2 million prize. Howard was probably quite annoyed by his sister that year, as Annie knocked her brother out of four different tournaments that year.
However, Annie and Howard do work together quite well. In 2005, they promoted some video poker games which featured Annie and Howard as game characters. Annie also has some other business interests, such as promoting ESPN Poker Club products such as chip sets, tables, and other poker accessories. Annie has dabbled in poker books, writing an autobiography, “Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker.”
Annie Duke used to be a UB Poker team member, supporting Ultimate Bet and urging others to play there. However, she left that role late in 2010 and announced in January 2011 that she would be working closely with Jeffrey Pollack, the former commsioner of the WSOP, to create an all-new poker league. This new poker league doesn’t currently have a name, but it will be competing with the likes of the WSOP, WPT, and NAPT.