Annie Duke

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In the vibrant world of professional poker, where the stakes are high, and fortunes can be won or lost with the turn of a card, one name stands out: Annie Duke. Duke has carved out a formidable reputation in the industry with a piercing gaze that could rival the intensity of a player eyeing their opponents across the green.

But her journey to the top had its fair share of challenges and triumphs. Duke’s story captivates and inspires from her early days in Concord, New Hampshire, to her record-breaking wins in the World Series of Poker.

But there is more to Annie Duke than just her poker prowess, and as we delve into her life and career, we will uncover the many facets of this remarkable individual.

Annie Duke

Early Life and Family

Annie Duke’s early life and family background were shaped by a blend of academic pursuits and immersion in the world of poker through her parents and brother. Growing up in a family with a strong academic and literary background, Duke’s early years were influenced by her father’s profession as an English literature teacher and her brother’s involvement in professional poker. Her parents’ emphasis on education and intellectual pursuits laid the foundation for her later academic achievements.

Duke attended St. Paul’s School, where she received a well-rounded education that fostered her intellectual curiosity. She pursued a double major in English and psychology at Columbia University, further solidifying her love for learning and analytical thinking.

Additionally, Duke’s exposure to the world of poker through her brother, Howard Lederer, significantly impacted her decision-making abilities. As a former professional poker player and winner of the World Series of Poker, Lederer’s expertise and strategic thinking undoubtedly influenced Duke’s approach to decision-making.

Duke’s experiences in poker, combined with her academic pursuits, set the stage for her future endeavors. Today, she’s an author, lecturer at Stanford, and a sought-after speaker on decision-making. Her book, ‘Think Faster, Think Smarter,’ delves into the psychology behind decision-making and offers strategies for making better choices.

Duke’s unique blend of academic and poker influences has positioned her as a leading authority on decision-making, making her a valuable resource for those seeking to improve their decision-making skills.

Professional Poker Career

During her early twenties, Duke embarked on a professional poker career to propel her to become one of the industry’s most successful and respected players.

Here are some key aspects of her journey:

  • Influences: Duke’s brother, Howard Lederer, played a significant role in encouraging her to pursue poker professionally. His guidance and mentorship helped shape her skills and strategies.
  • Decision Making: Duke’s success in poker can be attributed to her exceptional decision-making abilities. She carefully analyzes each hand, calculating the expected value of her bets and weighing the pros and cons. This analytical approach allows her to make better decisions and increases her chances of winning.
  • Obsession and Strategies: Duke’s passion for the game constantly drives her to improve and refine her strategies. She dives deep into the intricacies of poker, employing tactics such as premortems and analysis paralysis to gain an edge over her opponents.
  • Controversies: While Duke’s professional poker career was filled with accolades, she also faced controversies. Her involvement with the online poker site Ultimate Bet and a lawsuit against the World Poker Tour garnered negative attention.
  • Retirement: In 2012, Duke decided to retire from poker. Although she stepped away from the professional circuit, she continued contributing to the poker community by advocating for online gambling and supporting women in poker through coaching and speaking engagements.


After retiring from her successful professional poker career, Annie Duke turned her attention to philanthropy, using her resources and influence to impact society positively.

Philanthropy involves giving time, money, or resources to support charitable causes and address social issues. Annie Duke’s decision to engage in philanthropy reflects her strategic and analytical approach to decision-making. Just as she used her skills and knowledge to excel in poker, Duke now applies those qualities to determine where her donations and volunteer efforts can have the most significant impact.

By quitting professional poker, Duke recognizes that quitting influences decision-making. She understands that her decision to transition to philanthropy opens up a world of possibilities for making better decisions and contributing to causes she cares about. Duke’s strategic mindset allows her to approach philanthropy with a fact-based and data-driven approach. She seeks out tools and resources for making better decisions, ensuring that her philanthropic endeavors are well-informed and practical.

Annie Duke’s commitment to philanthropy is evident in her continued support for various charitable organizations. Her dedication to making a positive impact extends beyond her financial contributions. Duke actively volunteers her time and expertise, collaborating with organizations to develop and implement strategies that address pressing social issues.

Through her philanthropic work, Duke exemplifies the power of strategic decision-making and the potential for individuals to create meaningful change in society.

For more information on Annie Duke’s philanthropy, please refer to the attached fact sheet, bio, and high-resolution images in the Annie Duke media kit.

Other Ventures

One of Annie Duke’s notable ventures after retiring from professional poker is her engagement with the platform Substack. Through Substack, Duke can connect with her community and share diverse perspectives through newsletters and discussions. Here are some key aspects of her involvement with Substack:

  • Maven class: Duke offers an exclusive opportunity for individuals to improve their decision-making skills through her Maven class. This class provides valuable insights and strategies that can be applied in various areas of life.
  • New Year’s Day Open Thread: Duke fosters community engagement by hosting a New Year’s Day Open Thread. This allows individuals to share their perspectives and engage in meaningful dialogue.
  • Exclusive AMA sessions: Paid subscribers have the chance to ask Duke questions directly and engage in discussions through her exclusive AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. This allows for a deeper level of interaction and learning.
  • Nostalgia Delusion: Duke explores the concept of the nostalgia delusion, helping individuals recognize how it can impact decision-making and hinder progress. By addressing this issue, Duke provides valuable insights for mastering the skill of decision-making.
  • Seeking opinions and quitting contracts: Duke encourages individuals to seek opinions and actively engage in decision-making. She emphasizes the importance of using simple tools to overcome analysis paralysis and reactive emotions. Duke also shares her experiences of quitting contracts, providing valuable lessons in decision-making.

Through her engagement with Substack, Annie Duke continues to make a significant impact in the realm of decision-making, providing individuals with the tools and insights needed to navigate complex choices.

Best-selling Author

Annie Duke, a renowned best-selling author, provides readers with practical strategies and insights in her book ‘Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away,’ published by Penguin on October 4, 2022. This illustrated edition, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, offers a unique perspective on probabilities and decision-making. In ‘Quit,’ Duke emphasizes the importance of mastering the skill of quitting for greater success and making better decisions.

Aside from ‘Quit,’ Duke has authored other notable books, such as ‘The Middle Zone: Mastering the Most Difficult Hands in Holdem Poker’ and ‘Decide to Play Great Poker.’ She’s also written an autobiography, sharing her experience winning millions at the World Series of Poker. Additionally, Duke has written several thought-provoking blog posts on decision-making in various domains, including business, politics, and interpersonal relationships. These posts challenge the notion of certainty and highlight the role of luck and hidden information in influencing outcomes.

For media inquiries, Annie Duke’s media kit contains high-resolution images and can be accessed through the provided media links. Her bio and fact sheet, which include key information about her accomplishments as a best-selling author and professional poker player, are also available.

Readers looking to gain practical insights into making better decisions and understanding probabilities can turn to Duke’s books, particularly ‘Quit,’ as a valuable resource.



In conclusion, Annie Duke’s impressive career as a professional poker player has solidified her position as a respected figure in the poker world. With her strategic mindset and analytical approach, Duke hasn’t only achieved success in the game but has also made significant contributions to the industry through her advocacy and organizations.

Additionally, Duke’s philanthropic efforts and entrepreneurial ventures further showcase her dedication to using her success for the greater good.

Furthermore, her best-selling books on poker strategy demonstrate her expertise and influence in the field.

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