Annie Duke, UltimateBet's Poker Pro, wears many hats. She is first and foremost the proud mother of four, ages ranging from five to 12. She is an author, a poker tutor, and is considered one of the best poker players in the world, with tournament winnings exceeding $3 million. She is the sister of professional poker player Howard Lederer and to Katy Lederer who is an author and poet. She is daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Lederer, both teachers. Annie's nicknames include The Duke, Annie Legend, and The Duchess of Poker.
However, this past weekend, Annie sidestepped the poker tables to meet with The Decision Education Fund, a not-for-profit Palo Alto organization helping to teach children better decision making techniques. She now has a new hat to wear - that of Member of the Board of Directors.
Annie hopes that, as a board member, she can incorporate some of the strategies she uses in poker and parenting into the educational programs developed by the organization. Annie is quoted as saying, "Poker is this incredible game of skill that really is the ultimate decision-making problem." She goes on to say, "When my children do something wrong, we don't talk about how ‘you shouldn't do that because I'll punish you.' We'll talk about ‘what were your other alternatives?'"
Annie's statements echo the mission statement of The Decision Education Fund. Tom Keelin, a foundation founder, said, "She has a great passion for and great personal experience with the benefit of improved decision making, both in her profession and in her life." Annie hopes that her new role will enable her to encourage students to use more logic in their decision making, removing the emotion which can lead to a ‘bad call'.
A decision has yet to be made concerning the actual playing of poker in the Decision Education Fund programs. As reported by Kristina Peterson of the Bay Area News Group, the opinion of one student from Gunn High School in Palo Alto is that playing poker at school "sounds pretty cool."