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Annie Duke: Professional Poker Player Profile

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Annie Duke is one of the most famous names in the tournament circuit. She has accumulated many nicknames in her long, stellar poker career. Among them are "Annie Legend," "The Duke," and "The Duchess of Poker."

Annie Duke started off playing in local card rooms in Montana. She and her husband moved to Las Vegas in 1994 so she could pursue her desire to enter the professional circuit. In the 2000 World Series of Poker main event, one position short of the final table, Duke bagged 10th place, while eight months pregnant with her third child. In 2004 she won $2 million in the inaugural World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tournament of Champions - a 10-player, winner-take-all invitational event. As of 2005, Duke has won one World Series of Poker bracelet and more than $3.1 million in tournament earnings.

Born September 13, 1965 in Concord, New Hampshire, to a family of academicians, Annie herself is quite the scholar. She attended Columbia University, where she got a double degree in English and psychology. Her father, Richard Lederer, was a writer and linguist who taught at St. Paul's School in New Hampshire. Her brother, Howard "The Professor" Lederer, also attended Columbia University, but dropped out to play poker full-time. Their sister Katy Lederer is a writer/poet.

Annie has written her own book, an autobiography entitled "Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at The World Series of Poker." While she is now arguably the most famous woman in poker, Annie Duke is definitely not a full-time poker player. She is happily married and has four children. She also works for ieLogic, a company that produces software for online real time casino gaming. ielogic has since moved to Canada, but Duke's family remained in Portland, Oregon.

Duke is very much a family person, a fact that is greatly admired by celebrated sports commentator with nine WSOP bracelets to his name, the "Poker Brat" Phil Hellmuth. When asked if she had to choose between a tournament and a play where one of her children will perform, she said she will attend the play, no question.

Duke and her brother Howard Lederer are also close allies in the poker world. Lederer has once issued a heated statement against spokesman Daniel Negreanu, in retaliation for certain hurtful words the latter had allegedly spoken about Duke. Duke and Lederer also coordinated in promoting a line of poker video games, in which they were represented as virtual characters.

One of the most notable things about Annie Duke is that she doesn't consider being a woman to have any sort of affect on her games. She refuses to play in women's only tournaments, saying "Poker is one of the only sports where a woman can compete on a totally equal footing with a man, so I don't understand why there's a ladies only tournament."

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