Annie Duke is a professional poker player and author who won a bracelet the 2004 World Series of Poker $2,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event and was the winner of the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions where she earned the winner-takes-all prize of $2,000,000.
After leaving her academic work, Annie Duke began playing poker in the legal card rooms in Billings. Her brother Howard Lederer was already a successful professional and he both coached and helped finance her play initially. In 1994, she and her husband moved to Las Vegas in order to commence playing poker full time.
In early 2004, Annie Duke received considerable publicity for tutoring actor Ben Affleck, who then went on to win the 2004 California State Poker Championship. Before this time, one of her claims to poker fame was her 10th place finish in the 2000 World Series of Poker main event (one position short of the final table) while eight months pregnant with her third child. In the 2004 World Series of Poker she also eliminated her brother Howard Lederer from four separate events, including the Tournament of Champions. During this same World Series, she won her first gold bracelet, in an Omaha Hi-Lo tournament. She was one of three women (Kathy Liebert and Cyndy Violette being the other two) to win an open event in that year's WSOP.
Duke is one of many poker players who take issue with the restrictions placed on players during televised tournaments. Although the players pay mandatory entry fees to enter tournaments, some venues do not allow players to wear sponsorship logos. Duke raised some controversy when she made a statement in a news article regarding this issue: "We [poker players] are not even slaves. We're people paying to pick the cotton."
As of 2008, Annie Duke holds the women's record for most "in the money" finishes at the WSOP. In September 2004 Annie Duke won $2,000,000 in the inaugural World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, a 10-player, winner-take-all invitational event. At the time, this victory was the most money paid in a single event to a female poker player. That record was broken by Annette Obrestad during the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event.
As of 2008, her total live tournament winnings exceed $3,600,000.