Posts Tagged ‘Annie Duke’

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Although she hasn’t really been a professional poker player since 2011, Annie Duke’s name recognition is way up there. Her poker resume includes a World Series Of Poker gold bracelet in 2004, winning the NBC National Heads-Up Championship in 2010 and a net worth of around $8 million. In fact, she was once the leading money winner among women in WSOP history (that title now belongs to Vanessa Selbst)

Annie Duke Poker ProNevertheless, her image hasn’t always been bright and shiny; she’s the sister of Howard Lederer, a player virtually exiled from poker. Her main sponsor, Ultimate Bet, was wiped out after being embroiled in a scandal in 2013, compelling her to distance herself from the brand as well as from high profile poker tournaments. Oh yes, and in 2009 she was a contestant on a little game show called “Celebrity Apprentice” where she raised over $700,000 for her charity, Refugees International, finishing second to Joan Rivers.

Nevertheless, Duke, (who double majored in English and psychology at Columbia University, leaving a month short of completing her doctorate) parlayed her poker career, scholarship and reputation as an expert in the field of smart decision making into a new career as a corporate speaker and “Decision Strategist.” In fact, Forbes, GQ and Entrepreneur have all done specials on her, and currently she’s back in the news.

Duke is teaming up with money management firm Hartford Funds. The firm is using her experience as a professional poker player to prevent financial advisors and investors from imploding, emotionally, when the going gets tough.

She has also been featured on the Hartford Funds Podcast “Human-centric Investing Podcast” and will host an exclusive webinar on Tuesday, September 10 at 16:00 (ET), called “Decision-making tips from a poker pro.

When all is said and done, we are still waiting for her to make an appearance at the poker tables and regain her reputation as one of the leading women in poker.

Send us your comments or questions.

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Whether they are playing the part of a poker player on the big or little screen, or whether they are playing in a real poker game, these are some of our favorite film and TV actors who truly love the game of poker almost as much as we do.

You can see their love and joy at poker tables around the world, as Kevin Hart was heard saying “I love to live, love and laugh. I want to bring this energy to the game of poker. And when I do this, poker will be elevated.” And Aaron Paul stated “I’m obsessed with gambling, winning and losing money! What’s so great about poker is that you can play it for your entire life. You can play against a pro and sometimes win. It’s unlike any other sport. And I think it is sort of like a sport.”

We could go on and on about the love celebrities have for the game but that would fill an entire book … maybe we’ll write that poker book in the future but for now here are just a few of our favorite celebrity poker players:

Kevin HartKevin Hart has only pocketed about 50 Grand playing poker but his love of the game keeps him going whether it is win, lose, or draw I think we will be seeing him making the rounds of poker rooms everywhere for a while.


Aaron PaulAaron Paul made his debut in the Global Poker League’s revolutionary Cube, as he played for his L.A. Sunset team versus Fabrice Soulier of the Paris Aviators. We loved him in his part as Jesse in “Breaking Bad,” as the cult leader in “The Path” and now follow him through his poker adventures.


Matt DamonMatt Damon has been around poker for quite a while and he sure knows how to play, perhaps he picked up more than we suspected in his role as the genius reformed gambler in the poker classic, “Rounders.”


Ben AffleckBen Affleck has stated that it was what he learned from his poker coaches, Annie Duke and Amir Vahedi that hooked him in. He won the $10,000 California State Poker Championship tournament at the Commerce Casino in 2004 for a first prize of $356,000.


Jennifer TillyJennifer Tilly won the 2005 World Series of Poker Ladies Only Event and took home the much coveted Gold WSOP Bracelet, forever placing her name in our Poker List of top players. She has now earned better than $800,000 and is still going strong.

James WoodsJames Woods has been one of my all time favorite actors and he’s not that bad of a poker player. He’s been playing for quite a while and has picked up more than $300,000 in poker winnings.


Texas Poker Store Poker Chips

We will continue this list in our next blog posting in a few days. Right now we have to rush out to one of our local home games and we promised to contribute a case of our Texas Poker Store Poker Chips.

Send me your thoughts or comments?

Vinny at the Indian Poker Legends TournamentConfessions of a Grinder

Many poker players are superstitious. Is this true? No. I believe ‘every’ poker player is superstitious. According to me, being superstitious brings out a more psychological explanation than one based on religion and ritual. As simple as it may sound, people like to be comfortable in their zone. Well-known professional poker players exhibit this habitual, comforting and often obsessive-compulsive phenomenon, too. Sammy Farha, an aggressive high-stakes cash game specialist held an unlit cigarette in his mouth when he finished as the runner-up in the 2003 World Series of Poker. He has continued the habit since. Johnny Chan, the two-time WSOP ME winner and a master poker pro carries his lucky orange with him, which he initially carried to eliminate the smell of smoke, around him. Barry Greenstein, a charitable poker player and philanthropist, writes in his book that a sex partner who travels with you can be a big asset. When ‘Texas Dolly’ Doyle Brunson wins a big pot; he always plays the next hand regardless of his hole cards. Doyle also carried his lucky Card guard named Casper in all his poker sessions, and made up to $15,000 a year renting it out to other poker players! Every poker player is guilty of their own bundle of superstitions.

May The Luck Of The Irish Be With You - Card Protector available at the Texas Poker StoreI admit that I am highly superstitious too. I wear my lucky jacket in all games; avoid cutting my nails on Saturdays; list my chip stack towards the east, and look at my hole-cards one at a time. These minor superstitions make up my own comfort zone. There are so many other things you could do to bring good luck and avoid ill luck. You could wear dirty clothes, not sit cross-legged, avoid dealer eye contact, carry fruits or horseshoes, spit on cards or not bathe, but the fact of the matter is that even though it comforts you, it will not help you. Maybe, you could invest in a few lucky card guards but it’s best you do not indulge in pondering about luck too much. Rumor has it that Annie Duke encourages others at the table to be superstitious because it sometimes makes them play badly – talk about smart strategy! As for me, I always believe in the Latin proverb Fortes Fortuna Juvat – Fortune favors the brave.

Good luck at the tables!

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