Annie Duke

Annie DukeThere aren’t many women in the professional poker scene, but that hasn’t stopped Annie Duke. One of the most popular female players, Annie Duke is the sister of the famed "poker professor" Howard Lederer (who, incidentally, taught her to play). She has admitted that many men underestimate her at the poker table… and that she uses it to her advantage. Just “being a woman,” she says, gives you “a distinct advantage over your male counterparts.”

While working on her cognitive psychology doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, she was enticed by her brother to join him in Las Vegas to watch the WSOP. It was there that Howard showed his little sister for the first time the ins and outs of Texas Hold’em.

In 1992, after five years of grad school, she left academic life to devote more time to her family and play poker. She headed out to Montana with her husband and started playing at the local card rooms. Her brother again encouraged her to go to Las Vegas, this time not to watch but to play in some of the WSOP events where she almost made the final table in her first tournament. She had enough success in that first year playing at events in Las Vegas to make her and her family decide to move there.

She continued her success at the tables and in 2004 she won her first WSOP gold bracelet. Then in August of that same year, she beat 8 of the world's greatest poker players and won the No-Limit Texas Hold'em WSOP Tournament of Champions.

Annie Duke is the mother of four children, divorced and currently makes her home in southern California. She has gone on to teach others, such as actor Ben Affleck, how to play poker, and to her credit he won the 2004 California State Poker Championship.

Like many other pros, Annie Duke has often been featured on poker TV shows, appearing on programs such as Poker After Dark and Best Damned Poker Show. But unlike perhaps any other player in the game, Duke has also been on numerous non-poker related television shows, including The Colbert Report, 1 vs. 100, and Deal or No Deal. In 2009, Annie was asked to compete in Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. While Duke fared amazingly well - raising more money for her charity than any other contestant - she eventually finished in second place, losing out to Joan Rivers.

Annie Duke's total live tournament winnings exceed $4.2 million as of 2017.  She was a spokesperson for and played online at Ultimate Bet from 2001 to 2010.  She retired from poker in 2012 and has been working as a corporate speaker and strategic consultant.

Annie Duke Fun Facts and Finishes

  • Annie Duke is the second leading female World Series of Poker money winner of all-time.
  • Won her first WSOP bracelet in 2004.
  • Won the 2004 WSOP Tournament of Champions.
  • She finished 10th at the WSOP... eight months pregnant.
  • In 2003 and 1999, she finished second in WSOP Limit Hold’em tournaments.
  • During the 2006 WSOP, Annie won the World Series of Roshambo tournament, earning her $10,000.

World Series of Poker Bracelets

Year Tournament
2004 $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split $137,860