Annie Duke Is A Poker Ambassador

Her story is familiar to many who have followed her in the worlds of real-world and online poker: born in New Hampshire; her brother is poker pro Howard Lederer; four children; poker pro starting in 1992, but Annie Duke is more than just a famous player. She’s become an ambassador for the game of poker in some unexpected venues.

January of 2006 saw her becoming the first poker player to appear on The Colbert Report, where she discussed her book How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at The World Series of Poker and discussed the male-dominated sport frankly and with good humor. It was in the middle of 2006 that she also featured in her own TV special on the Game Show Network. Titled Annie Duke Takes On The World, the show featured her taking on amateur poker players around the globe and teaching the game.

It’s Annie’s belief that poker is a game of skill that can be taught that led her to testifying in defense of online poker in front of Congress in 2007. Her well-spoken testimony impressed many, and her rhetoric established her as an authority on poker and the government’s desires to regulate a game of skill. “There are many who believe that gaming is immoral or unproductive. I don’t share these beliefs, but I do respect them. What is harder to respect is the idea that just because someone disapproves of a particular activity that they would seek to have the government prevent others from engaging in it,” Duke stated.

While Congress did not reverse their earlier decision to make online poker illegal, Annie’s testimony was held aloft by many as an example to aspire to. That said, her appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice earned her a lot fewer new fans, even if many people felt she should have won. Throughout the season, competitors attempted to raise funds for their charity of choice. While Annie raised over three times the amount of the eventual winner Joan Rivers, judges took exception to her no-nonsense manner and frequent outbursts.

Even with the reality show appearance, Annie Duke is the face that the game of poker needs, one you can imagine having a cup of coffee with or commiserating about raising children. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for her.