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Poker Pros - Bios - Annie Duke
Born and raised in Concord, New Hampshire, Annie Duke grew up
in a family who had cards and competition in the blood. In a
home where card playing was the glue that held the family
together, everybody not only wanted to win but needed to win.
Early in her childhood, Duke struggled to fit in as a liberal product of two teachers in a sea of conservatism and privilege on the grounds of the prestigious St. Paul’s prep school. Never feeling like she quite fit in, at the age of 18, Duke matriculated at Columbia University and thought to try her luck in the big city.
Pretty, smart and popular, Duke completed a major in English and Psychology at Columbia University intending to follow in the footsteps of her parents and becoming a teacher. Instead, she enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania for Cognitive Psychology.
In 1991, while Duke was knee deep in doctorate research, she proposed marriage to an old friend, Ben Duke, packed up her life and research and left academia behind for Billings, CO. Living in romantic poverty with her husband, Duke began to play poker in local pokers rooms to pay the mortgage on their first home.
In 1994, at the suggestion of her brother, famed poker player Howard Lederer, Duke tried her hand at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. She ended up placing 13th in her first tournament, knocking her brother out of play. After winning 70K in her first month of competition, Duke and her husband made the move to Las Vegas so she could pursue poker professionally.
Over the course of the next decade, Duke established herself as one of the best poker players in the world. In 2004, Duke beat out an assembly of 234 players in the WSOP $2000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Lo Split and won her first WSOP bracelet. In August of the same year, Duke knocked out 8 of the worlds’ greatest poker legends and won $2 million in the No-Limit Texas Hold'em winner-take-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions, established by ESPN and Harrah’s Entertainment.
Duke now serves as a consultant for the online poker site UltimateBet.com to ensure that their rules of poker and tournament structure match those you would find in the famous poker rooms of the Las Vegas strip. Furthermore, she is sought after for her vast poker skills and knowledge, coaching the likes of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on their poker game.
Recently, Duke endorsed The ESPN Poker Club product line which offers poker aficionados premium quality poker products of unmatched quality, style and authenticity. The line, which was launched in May 2005, includes poker chip sets, tabletops, tables and other poker accessories.
Poker aside, Duke’s autobiography, Annie Duke: How I raised, folded, bluffed, flirted, cursed and won millions at the World Series of Poker, will hit shelves in mid-September 2005. Written in conjunction with David Diamond, the autobiography weaves the struggles of Annie’s life side-by-side with her struggles to achieve her first WSOP bracelet. She also worked with NBC to develop and produce a sitcom based on her life as a single mother of four who plays professional poker. While doing all this, she still enjoyed a successful family life raising her four children: Maud, Leo, Lucy and Nelly.
Visit Annie Duke's official website