Annie Duke was born September 13, 1965 in Concord, New Hampshire into a competitive family where card playing was the glue that held them together. Her brother, Howard Lederer
, is also a professional poker player and it wasn't until 1994 when Annie decided to pursue a career in poker full time.
Prior to playing poker professionally, Annie studied at Columbia University where she double majored in English and psychology. She was awarded an NSF Fellowship to attend graduate school at University of Pennsylvania to study cognitive psychology.
She went on to marry Ben Duke, whom she met at the same university and although originally intending to continue her studies, she left school in 1992 and it was at this time she took it upon herself, with the assistance of her brother, to play poker professionally.
The Beginnings of a Poker Career
Annie Duke initially began playing poker in the legal card rooms in Billings. Coached and initially financed by her brother, an already established successful professional, Annie began a successful poker career and moved with her husband to Las Vegas in 1994.
Her achievements include:
- 10th place finish in the 2000 WSOP while eight months pregnant
- Winning her first gold bracelet in 2004 WSOP in an Omaha Hi-Lo tournament
- Tutoring Ben Affleck in 2004 who went on to win the 2004 California State Poker Championship
- Holds the women's record for most "in the money" finishes at the WSOP.
- As of 2008, her total live tournament winnings exceed $3,600,000
Annie has appeared on several tv shows such as:
- The Colbert Report
- Annie Duke Takes on the World
- NBC's 1 v 100
- Poker After Dark
- Deal Or No Deal
- Best Damn Poker Show
- Celebrity Apprentice
Aside from competing, Annie writes and speaks on poker-related subjects and is a spokesperson for UltimateBet