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This Top Poker Pro is a…Girl?


Yes, that’s correct. And not only has this girl beaten the world’s top women players, but she has beaten several of the top men as well. Her name is Annie Duke, and she is known as the Duchess of Poker, with a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet to brag about.

Annie’s family was always very competitive, and they had many card nights together. In fact, her brother Howard Lederer is himself a well known poker player.

Annie did well in school, and graduated with a double major in English and Psychology from Columbia University. While they were in college, Annie would hang around Howard’s poker games, but for some odd reason she never joined in. She seemed intent on continuing her studies, winning a National Science Foundation Fellowship while studying Cognitive Psychology in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.

It was while Annie was in graduate school in the early 1990s that her brother brought her to Las Vegas for a weekend and taught her to play Texas Hold’em. Annie left school to marry and begin a family, and she played poker on the side to make extra money.

Howard became her poker mentor and she started winning tournaments in Billings, Montana. Eventually, he was able to coax her into entering her first WSOP tournament. During her first year, she placed in three tournaments, walked away with over $70,000 in earnings, and was on her way.

Since then, Annie has taken the crown at major tournaments and beat eight of the world’s top players to capture the $2 million first prize at the WSOP Tournament of Champions. She also holds poker seminars, and even movie star Ben Affleck has hired her to tutor him in the game.

Annie is a mother of four, an activist, a philanthropist, an author, and a sought after inspirational and educational speaker. Annie Duke has shown that the ladies can play alongside the men, and because of that she will certainly go down in history as one of the great professional poker players. But because of her parenting and philanthropic efforts, she will be remembered as a great person as well.

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