“The Annie Legend,” “The Duke” and “The Duchess of Poker,” are all nicknames that Annie Duke picked up while pursuing her career as a professional poker player. She is the top rated female players in the world and she won't stop there.
As a child, her family would gather together and play poker games with her father's chip set and this was the family's quality time. Annie Duke was pressured into following her father's footsteps as a professor and so she graduated from Columbia with a double major of English and Psychology. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania under a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study cognitive psychology. A month before defending her Ph.D. works, Duke was hospitalized and felt her body was telling her to leave it all and pursue other things that didn't hold expectations from all those around her.
Annie Duke then asked her good friend and love, Ben Duke, to get married. Of course, Ben agreed and the couple moved to Montana in 1992. Local poker rooms were the place to find Duke who began to play poker in order to pay the mortgage on their first home. Brother, Howard Lederer, suggested she try her luck at the World Series of Poker in 1994. She placed in 13th in $1,500 Limit Hold'em, 3rd in $2,500 Limit Hold'em, and 28th place in the Main Event walking off with around $70,000 in her first month of play.
Learning that poker can offer Annie Duke and her family a nice and comfortable status, the couple decided to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. Duke continued to place in the money over 33 times including 12 final table appearances. In 1996 at the WSOP $2,500 Seven-Card Stud she earned $72,000 from finishing 2nd and another $110,000 in 1999 $5,000 Limit Hold'em second places standing. A year later she placed a notable 10th place in the $10,000 World Championship No Limit Texas Hold'em Main Event while pregnant in her ninth month. 2003 saw her runner-up in the WSOP $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout.
2004, Annie Duke's highlight year came along win she won three major poker tournaments. The first was the World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classic in the $2,500 Limit Hold'em where she walked off with $157,140. Then she earned her first highly-praised WSOP bracelet in the $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split event including first place prize of $137,860. Last but not least at all was the televised invitational No Limit Hold'em - Tournament of Champions where she beat out 9 of the world's top poker players for a cool $2,000,000. An additional final table appearance at the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Final Day of the WPT sealed the tremendously successful year for Duke.
In 2005 she placed in the money in four events including a fourth place finish in the $5,000 Limit Hold'em WSOP event collecting overall a healthy $110,000. In WSOP of 2006 she again placed in two more events in the money and continues to excel as the widely known professional poker player she is.
Annie Duke missed quite a few major tournaments that could have led to big victories and major cash but she believes in spending time with her four children (Maud, Leo, Lucy and Nelly) and not missing out on whether it is her daughter's sixth birthday or her son's Christmas show. Currently, the Dukes reside in Oregon where she works as a consultant for online poker rooms. Besides poker, Annie Duke is also an author of Annie Duke: How I raised, folded, bluffed, flirted, cursed and won millions at the World Series of Poker.
Annie Duke has totaled around $3.3 million in live tournament winnings to date.