Howard Lederer

Howard Lederer

Howard Lederer spent most evenings of his New Hampshire childhood playing all sorts of card games with his family, and he credits these family game nights for developing his competitive drive. He would revel in his childhood victories over his father.

He decided to take a year off from college to pursue his ambitions as a full-time chess player, leaving New Hampshire for New York City. As it happens, he discovered that a poker game or two would break out often in the back of chess halls. It wasn’t long before his chess nights turned into poker nights at the legendary Mayfair Club, where some of the top bridge and backgammon players in the world were ‘experimenting’ with a card game new to New York City: Texas Hold’em. Lederer was hooked, playing day and night with the likes of Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington.

In the early '80s when this was going on, Lederer wasn’t a very good player yet, losing more often that not, but eventually he caught his groove and became a force to be reckoned with. In 1993, he moved to Las Vegas to focus more clearly on poker, and he concentrated on cash games for the better part of 10 years until the WPT tournaments became a monthly event in 2002. Now his favorite game of poker is big buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournaments, and he also enjoys playing some of the highest-limit games around.

A very intellectual player, Howard Lederer is one of the best-known names in poker, and he earned his nickname “The Professor” because of his calm demeanor and analytic approach to the game. “Any time I play poker,” Howard has said, “I see it as an opportunity to learn.” Ironically though, this professor doesn’t hold a college degree.

Lederer taught his sister, Annie Duke, how to play poker, and in 1994 they became the first brother and sister to make the final World Series of Poker table at the same time. Howard Lederer currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Suzie, and son. He is also a devout "Dead Head" attending over 130 Grateful Dead concerts! He was a founder and board member of one of the largest online poker rooms in the world, Full Tilt Poker.  In 2011 the United States Department of Justice shut down Full Tilt Poker on charges of bank fraud and illegal gambling.  PokerStars ultimately purchased the assets of Full Tilt Poker from the US Justice Department. 

Howard Lederer Fun Facts and Finishes

  • In 2004, won $9.3 million from businessman Andy Beal!
  • In 2003, won the WPT Party Poker Million
  • In 2003, won the Five-Star World Poker Classic at the Bellagio
  • In 2002, won the World Poker Tour Finals
  • In 2001, won his second bracelet in the WSOP Deuce to Seven
  • In 2000, won his first bracelet in the WSOP Omaha 8 or Better

World Series of Poker Bracelets



Prize (US$)


$5,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo



$5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw