Annie Duke learned how to play poker from one of the best, her brother Howard Lederer. It is always interesting to see Annie Duke and Howard Lederer play against each other on the same poker table because when the play, no mercy is given. Annie Duke was formally a member of the Ultimate Bet professional poker team, while her brother Howard Lederer supported rival poker room Full Tilt Poker, before it faced legal problems on April 15, 2011.
Annie Duke was born into the competitive Lederer household in 1965. Like her brother, Annie Duke’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 playing career.
Annie Duke moved to Montana in the early 1990s with her husband Ben Duke. With the help of her brother Howard, Annie Duke began her poker career in Billings, MT. Howard gave Annie poker lessons, and also bankrolled her.
Annie Duke WSOP Victories
In 1994, Howard Lederer convinced Annie Duke to enter the World Series of Poker Main Event. Annie had a very impressive performance, placing 13th and knocking her brother Howard out of the poker tournament in the process. After her performance, Annie Duke moved to Las Vegas in order to become a full time professional poker player.
Annie Duke went on to place 10th in the 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event, just one place short of making the final table. Annie was eight months pregnant at the time.
2004 was a very good year for Annie. She won her first WSOP bracelet by winning the $3,000 Omaha Hi/Lo poker tournament, and also won a winner-take-all invitation-only poker tournament named the WSOP Tournament of Champions. In this poker tournament, Annie Duke beat numerous notable professional poker players including Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Greg Raymer, her brother Howard Lederer, and several others. For winning this poker tournament, Annie Duke was awarded a $2 million prize. Howard Lederer was probably quite annoyed by Annie that year, as she knocked him out of four different poker tournaments that year.
However, Annie Duke and Howard Lederer work together quite well. In 2005, they promoted video poker games which featured Annie and Howard as in-game characters. Annie Duke also has some other business interests, such as promoting ESPN Poker Club products such as chip sets, tables, and other poker accessories. She 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 & Jeffrey Pollack Create EPIC Poker League
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 commissioner of the WSOP, to create the Epic poker league. The Epic poker league competed with the WSOP, WPT, and NAPT but was deemed unsuccessful and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 29, 2012.