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Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 8, 2005

36 customer reviews

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About the Author

Annie Duke, one of the world’s best poker players, won $2 million in the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and her first WSOP gold bracelet in 2004, and is a consultant for She’s also the mother of four children, ages three through ten.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press (September 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594630127
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,286,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annie Duke has leveraged her expertise in the science of smart decision making to excel at pursuits as varied as championship poker, public speaking, teaching, philanthropy and parenting.

For two decades, Annie was one of the top poker players in the world, winning several championships during her career. She has shared her knowledge through a series of best-selling poker instruction and theory books, Decide to Play Great Poker and The Middle Zone: Mastering the Most difficult Hands in Hold'em Poker (both co-authored with John Vorhaus).

Annie is also the mother of four children and a master story teller. Her passion for making a difference has helped to raise more than $18 million for charities for causes as diverse as international refugees, victims of the conflicts in Sudan, improving education, and numerous children's hospitals.

Through her academic training in cognitive psychology and her real-world experience at the poker table, Annie Duke has mastered the art and science of strategic decision making. She applies those lessons to every aspect of her life, from parenting to nutrition to business.

The daughter of educators, Annie Duke was a was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania after graduating with a double major in English and Psychology in the first co-ed class at Columbia University.

She stepped away from academia to marry and begin raising a family, and started playing poker to earn extra money. At the suggestion of her brother, accomplished poker player Howard Lederer, Annie Duke entered the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 1994. Over the course of the next 15 years, she established herself as one of the top players in the male-dominated game. In 2004, she bested a field of 234 players to win her first WSOP bracelet. The same year, she triumphed in the $2 million winner-take-all, invitation only WSOP Tournament of Champions. And in 2010, she won the prestigious NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, beating poker legend Erik Seidel in the finals.

Marrying her academic studies in cognitive psychology with decision making lessons gained through her experience at the poker table, Annie Duke developed a series of inspirational and educational talks on topics such as decision fitness, emotional control, evaluation of feedback, sunk cost, and negotiation tactics. Her deft application of decision science concepts to a wide range of real-world situations spanning both personal and professional topics, coupled with an animated and personable presentation style, resonated with a diverse range of audiences. She has spoken to the sales forces of Gaylord Resorts and Pandora Radio; executive teams at Tremor Video, CitiBank and Bank of America; and YPO and EO groups around the country, among others. She is a contributor to The Huffington Post, blogging on decision making and critical thinking skills. Annie has also twice guest lectured at Stanford University to Ron A. Howard's Lessons in Decision Making class. Recently, Annie was invited to speak again to US Citibank trading group clients - the only speaker to have ever been asked back for a second time. Her talk centered on the asymmetry between how the feelings we get from winning and losing drive irrational decisions, regardless of whether we won or lost. She reflected on how these common circumstances induce asymmetric non-optimized trading decisions among traders.

Annie performs regularly for The Moth, an organization that preserves the art of spoken word storytelling, appearing three times on The Moth Main Stage. Her most recent story, The Big Things You Don't Do, aired on The Moth Radio Hour on NPR in May of 2013 Duke also participated in the January 2013 Unchained Tour.

Annie Duke also has leveraged her success to satisfy a passion for charity. In 2006, she founded Ante Up for Africa along with actor Don Cheadle and Norman Epstein. The organization has raised over $4,000,000 for Africans in need, with a focus on helping victims of the conflicts in Sudan. She also served on the board of The Decision Education Foundation (DEF) from 2007 to 2011. DEF develops decision making curricula for K through 12 students. In 2009, she appeared on NBC's hit show Celebrity Apprentice, through which she helped raise $730,000 for Refugees International, a charity that advocates for refugees around the world. In October 2013, Annie became a board member for After School All-Stars.
On July 19th, 2013, Annie spoke at the annual meeting of the International Association of Trial Lawyers in Chicago. Other speakers at this event included Senator Durbin, Rahm Emmanuel, and Governor Pat Quinn. The speech was a rousing success, as noted by IATL President Herman J. Russomanno:

"Annie Duke was a homerun at the Mid-Year Meeting of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers in Chicago in July of 2013. The title of her presentation, 'Better Decision Making: From the Poker Table to the Courtroom', had people intrigued even before the program began. Her engaging style and informative insights on how lessons learned at the poker table might be applied in the business arena, including the trial of cases, kept her audience of lawyers, spouses and guests riveted from start to finish. Annie won rave reviews - deservedly so."

Connect with Annie on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By 2many2read on November 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book intercuts between the play at a huge WSOP Omaha Hi-Low Split poker tourney and Ms. Duke's life story.

The method works, but depending on the reader, you'll be rooting for one -- the game -- or the other -- the life story -- to come back.

She's from a studious but dysfunctional family: heck they're probably all geniuses, but Mom's drinking and playing solitaire, and Dad's grading papers and trying to break out of his genteel poverty teaching at a prestigious prep school.

Fortunately, things get better: her older brother, poker champ Howard Lederer, learns to beat the odds in card games and sports betting. Mom works for him. And Dad writes a series of entertaining, immensely popular, pun-filled books on the English language. (No, I'm not making this up.)

Therefore, the book is filled with a harrowing life story, a report on what it feels like to be the final table of a big poker tourney, and poker tips. The poker tips are scattered about the text in little boxes, but they are the real goods from a professional player.

Unlike other poker memoirs I've read, this book has a whiz-bang happy ending, and it reads as fast as folding to an allin bet from Ms. Duke.

Or, for another point of view on Annie's family, read Poker Face by Katy Lederer, her younger sister. (I told you they're all geniuses.) It's a touching memoir of growing up Lederer, but you won't learn any poker from it.

P.S. I wanted a bigger book with more poker strategy. When you learn how well Annie's done at the tables, you know she knows a lot more than she reveals about the game.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Fernandez VINE VOICE on October 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have been playing poker for several years, and when they started broadcasting the World Series of Poker on ESPN I was hooked from the start. And as happens to most people I immediately took a liking for some players and started hating others. Annie Duke was among my favorites from the start, together with Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson and Gus Hansen. So 2004 was a great year for "my players", since Negreanu was player of the year, battling it out with Ferguson, Hansen dominated the WPT, and Annie won the Tournament of Champions.

That is why when this book came out I undoubtedly wanted to check it out; and the result was as good as expected. Not only did I get to relive in Annie's own narration some of the tournaments she had played, but I also got to know more about what led her to that place in life. On top of that, she uses a very interesting style in her writing, intertwining the chapters about poker with those dealing with her marriage, studies and kids. While I was reading this book I got the same sense I get from when I see her playing on TV: that she is a very entertaining person, and one that would be fun to have in my poker table (of course, unless my goal is to win some money).

Annie also includes text boxes throughout the book that contain poker advice, mostly for newbies, but I found a couple of pointers that helped me become a better player. At the end there is a more thorough explanation about the different types of poker (focused on Texas Hold 'Em and Omaha Hi-Lo) and a brief description of the most prominent poker players that dominate the spotlight nowadays.

The book is great, but I cannot help but point out a couple of things that surprised me as being wrong.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The two best reasons for reading ANNIE DUKE are for its point of view on big-time tournament poker and its honest self-examination of the life a controversial poker pro.

Duke and co-author David Diamond succeed in revealing a view from the table at high-pressure poker tournaments. The book goes through Duke's win at the World Series of Poker in 2004, then at the Tournament of Champions later that year. The vivid details and notes on the hands (the book isn't overly technical and contains explanations of the terms and rules of play, but part of the book's draw is that it takes you "inside," and that includes playing some poker hands) help understand the swirl of emotions and details that can fill a player's head when they get into this unusual environment.

The second reason for recommending the book is Duke's willingness to reveal how she became a professional poker player and celebrity through the circuitous route of a competitive family, academia, marriage, and motherhood. Plenty has been written about Annie Duke's story (including her sister Katy Lederer's POKER FACE, which also tells the story of their unusual and remarkable family). Her own version has some new details, but its best feature is its honesty. Duke thinks highly of her poker abilities and says so, but she also shares stories of her losses, insecurities, and bad decisions. She does a great job explaining the decisions that brought her into poker as well as those that led to her backing away from the biggest cash games.

Duke and Diamond also structured the book in a very readable fashion, shifting chapter-to-chapter between the action in her two big poker wins and her life story.
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