Annie Duke is a strong competitor and the leading money winner among women in World Series of Poker history. She regularly proves that women can hold their own in a game that is supposedly "male-oriented". Phil Hellmuth once stated that Annie is the best all-around woman poker player in the world today and many would agree with such statement.
Annie was born in Concord, New Hampshire. She attended school at St. Paul and went on to Columbia where she double-majored in psychology and English. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania where she was in pursuit of a doctoral degree in psychology. During graduate school, her brother, Howard Lederer invited her to Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker and taught her the basic rules of poker for Texas Hold'em, the world's most popular poker card game. Trips to Las Vegas changed her life, and in 1992, Annie Duke left university, moved to Montana with her husband, and started playing poker in the local poker rooms in Billings, Montana. Her brother sent her $2,400 and gave her some poker lessons. In the spring of 1994, impressed with her amazing poker results, Lederer convinced Duke to play in the World Series of Poker.
She quite impressively placed 13th in her first WSOP tournament and 3rd in the second one. She also took place in the $10,000 championship event the first year she played, stunningly knocking Howard Lederer, a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet holder and two-time World Poker Tour champion, out of the tournament. She won her first World Series of Poker bracelet in the 2004 $2000 Omaha High-Low event. Some of her other accomplishments include amazing winning in the September 2004 ESPN World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions where the first prize of two million dollars was at stake. She also earned respectful second place in Limit Hold'em in 1999 and 2003 at the World Series of Poker, second place in the Omaha High Low at the Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classic and sixth place in the Omaha High Low at the 2003 World Series of Poker .
Annie normally does not attend ladies only events. She stated in an interview with CBS: "Poker is one of the only sports where a woman can compete on a totally equal footing with a man, so I don't understand why there's a ladies only tournament." She wants to beat the best at the game whether they are male of female. Annie's sister, Katy Lederer, recently wrote a memoir entitled Pokerface. The book has great insights into both Annie and Howard's competitive nature. What is more interesting is that Annie works with the UltimateBet online cardroom, where you can find her articles on Omaha and participate in online poker seminars.
Annie once stated, if it was a choice between a tournament and one of her children's plays, the play always going to win out. She is a mother of four children. Children and poker these are the main things for Annie Duke in the Earth.