Annie Duke grew up in a very competitive household in New Hampshire. She and her siblings, including Howard Lederer, spent a lot of time playing games of all sorts, including cards. Apparently, back in the day, Annie was not the best loser.
Expectations were high for Annie as she went off to college at Columbia University. A high-achiever, she double-majored in English literature and psychology, eventually getting interested in the field of psycholinguistics. She won a National Science Foundation Fellowship to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate school. She threw herself into her studies with her characteristic dedication, but something was not quite right. She couldn’t really see a path for herself past graduate school and wasn’t sure that academia was really the place to her.
Annie ended up becoming ill and taking a leave from school a month before she was set to defend her dissertation. She knew that the leave would be permanent, but wasn’t quite sure what to do. She proposed to her boyfriend Ben, who accepted, and moved with him to Montana.
Things started to fall into place for Annie when her brother Howard invited her to watch the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. She had a go at the poker tables and realized it was something she enjoyed. After receiving some tips and money from her brother, she started playing in a smoky basement room in a bar in Montana.
After a year of playing in Montana, she and her husband packed their bags and moved to Las Vegas so Annie could pursue a career as a professional poker player. After ten years as a professional player, Annie is ranked in first place on the Women’s All-Time Money List. She supplements her poker income by consulting with a online casino gaming software company and teaching poker. One of her most famous students, Ben Affleck, recently won the 2004 California State Poker Championship.
Annie has an aggressive style of play. She’s a skilled reader and bluffer and is able to turn situations to her advantage. One situation she runs into a fair amount – men who become aggravated with her aggressive style.
From her humble poker beginnings in Montana, Annie has put together an impressive poker resume, including the following accomplishments:
· Career winnings of $4,274,795.
· One World Series of Poker bracelet.
· Won $2-million at the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Championship.