February 2019

Annie Duke

annie-dukeNew Hampshire-born Anne ‘Annie’ Duke, née Lederer, is a former professional poker player who has more recently found fame as an author, consultant and public speaker. Nonetheless, she holds a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet for winning an Omaha Hi-Lo Split event in May, 2004 and also cashed for $2 million when winning the WSOP

Tournament of Champions – for which no bracelet was presented – in September the same year. The latter event, which accounts for nearly half of her $4.27 million total live earnings, was an invitation-only freeroll, with just ten invitees.

Under the auspices of her brother, Howard, Duke started to play poker seriously at the Crystal Lounge in Billings, Montana from 1992 onwards and, having made a promising start, progressed to WSOP events in Las Vegas in 1944. She cashed in three events, including the Main Event, or World Championship, collecting in excess of $50,000 in prize money and subsequently moved to the ‘City of Lights’ to pursue her poker career.

Duke is also remembered for her association with Ultimate Bet, the Costa Rica-based online poker site that cheated players out of tens of millions of dollars from 2004 pnwards, and Epic Poker League, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, 2011, after running just three poker tournaments, with debts of over $5 million. Consequently, she remains persona non grata in the eyes of many in the poker community.