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Poker News

Poker Spotlight: Who is Annie Duke?

Written By: Maya Michaels | October 8, 2015 | Posted In Poker News

As a child, Annie was influenced by her parents that both loved playing cards. However, it wasn’t until age 22 when she met the game she was destined to play, Texas Hold’em. Duke became fond of the game and continued to play when she visited her brother, Howard Lederer, who lived in Las Vegas. Her brother took notice of her poker skills and encouraged her to play professionally. In fact, her brother paid for her to have poker lessons, sent her poker strategy books and even gave her $2400 to start off with.

She began to play poker locally at Crystal Lounge, a bar that had a legal poker room. Following a successful year of playing Poker in Montana, her brother encouraged her to enter the 1994 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Within the initial month, she won $70,000 and decided to move to Las Vegas to pursue her career in Professional Poker full time.

From 2000 onward, Duke became well known for her high profile achievements in the World Series of Poker events. In fact, in the 2000 World Series of Poker Annie placed 10th out of a total of 512 players (and she was nine months pregnant!). This was the second-highest finish by a woman in the history of this tournament.

By July of that same year, she had become the top female cash winner in the entire history of the World Series Poker Tournament (profiting over $650,000). In 2010, Duke won $500,000 cash in NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship. She was the first and only female poker player to win.

Annie Duke believes that the stereotyping associated with female poker players (that they can’t play as well) worked to her advantage. Other poker players never saw her coming and her revenge was making them pay – literally!

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