Howard Lederer, “The Professor,” is a professional poker player and brother of Annie Duke. He was also part of the Full Tilt Poker professional poker team, as well as part owner. Along with Pokerstars, UB Poker, and Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker was charged with felony allegations of fraud and money laundering on April 15, 2011, and Howard instantly stopped posting on his Twitter account.
Every drop in Howard Lederer’s blood is competitive, coming from a family that was always playing games, and where everyone played to win, and showed no mercy. This New Hampshire family of five nurtured competitiveness, and Howard Lederer always played to the utmost of his abilities.
Unlike other famous poker players, who dropped out of college to compete, Howard Lederer went straight into gaming, moving to New York at age 18 to become a chess player. He discovered poker being played in the back room of his favorite chess club and started playing poker as well. He did not do well at first, often ending up broke, and forced to become an errand boy for the other players in order to get into the game. Howard Lederer played poker 70 to 80 hours a week, and this contributed to his lack of success. Once he realized that playing so much was hurting his game, he began to play less, getting more sleep; consequently, he was able to improve his game.
When Howard Lederer joined the Mayfair Club in New York, his poker fortunes began improving drastically. The Mayfair Club was one of the most famous gaming clubs in the world, known for its bridge, backgammon, and chess players. A group of poker players formed, Howard Lederer among them, and they began studying poker. This group played poker games from early afternoon well into the morning before retiring to one bar or another to discuss the day’s poker. This flow of ideas and information contributed to the improvement of everyone involved. Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington are a couple of other professional poker players who got their start from this group.
In 1993, Howard Lederer moved to Las Vegas, playing mostly in cash games. However, once World Poker Tour events turned into a monthly affair, Howard Lederer started playing in more and more poker tournaments. The intensity and excitement of the events has turned large buy-in No-Limit Texas Holdem tournaments into his favorite game.
Howard Lederer was once a much larger man than he is today, having been given the nickname of “Bubba” by the legendary Doyle Brunson. Today, he is “Bub,” as he is only half the man he once was, thanks to a vegetarian diet and healthier lifestyle. However, Howard Lederer is and always will be a gambler, having eaten a cheeseburger for a $10,000 proposition bet after turning into a vegetarian.
His little sister is also quite famous, as she is the professional poker player Annie Duke. Howard Lederer taught Annie Duke to play, and they have faced each other several times over the years. But they still play as they did back when they were children, playing to win and showing no mercy.