Q+A Annie Duke

May 30, 2005
May 30, 2005

Table of Contents
May 30, 2005

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: SI Adventure
Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Horse Racing
NBA Playoffs
Online Poker
Inside Baseball
Inside The WNBA
  • Seeking a fresh start after battling depression, Chamique Holdsclaw is reviving her game in Los Angeles

  • No WNBA champion has repeated since L.A. in 2002, and with defending titlist Seattle having lost two starters, its reign may be over. Here are four teams that could unseat the Storm.

Inside The NFL

Q+A Annie Duke

The 39-year-old poker pro is the leading female money winner of all time at the World Series of Poker

SI: Do your four kids, ages 3 to 10, know what you do?

This is an article from the May 30, 2005 issue Original Layout

Duke: They know and are proud of it. My friend said that the first thing my son Leo said when he met her on the playground was, 'My mom's a famous a poker player.'

SI: You started playing while you lived in Montana. What were those days like?

Duke: I would drive 45 minutes on sheer ice to the Crystal Lounge in Billings. Every time I beat one of those old rancher guys at a pot they'd call me a [expletive].

SI: How much sexism exists in poker?

Duke: At my level it's not overt at all. A lot of people, when they see great woman players, they think they are kind of bitchy--which we're not. We are just as intense as male competitors and just as competitive.

SI: After graduating from Columbia you earned a fellowship to attend graduate school for cognitive psychology at Pennsylvania. Did the National Science Foundation get its money's worth with you?

Duke: They did because I was a prolific publisher and gave talks around the country. But the minute I left school I said, 'Screw you, I'm not going to teach.' I've always felt guilty about that because I took that fellowship away from somebody who might have done that.

SI: You helped produce an NBC pilot based on your life starring Janeane Garofalo. Where do things stand?

Duke: It wasn't picked up for this season, but that doesn't mean it's dead. I just sold a show to the Game Show Network. I'm the creator, executive producer and the on-screen talent. It's obviously a poker-related game show.

SI: Your brother Howard Lederer is one of the world's best players. What's it like taking cash off a sibling?

Duke: He taught me to play. When I started, he said, 'You can become the best female player in the world.' I've knocked my brother out of four tournaments, but I know he still loves me. --Richard Deitsch