Howard Lederer is the poker circuit's true gentleman. Nicknamed "The Professor" for his intellectual style of play, he has calmly played his way to numerous final tables. His Zen-like approach coupled with his powerful observation and deduction skills make him a player that is both well respected and feared at the poker table. He favors high stakes cash games and large tournaments.
Annie Duke, who just so happens to be the sister of Howard Lederer, is one of poker's top female players. This busy mother of four has still found time to earn millions in poker winnings. Her earnings are greater than that of any professional female player. Her competitive background and her "controlled aggression" approach to the game have brought a great deal of success.
Annie Duke and Howard Lederer (or "Bub" as his friends call him) grew up in a fiercely competitive household in Concord, New Hampshire. Their family regularly engaged in a number of different games. Naturally, this included card games. Howard believes that his father, an English professor, never purposefully lost a game to his children. Annie describes her father as a man who would rather pass out and faint than give up in any competition. His level of competitiveness greatly influenced his children and helped propel them to poker success.
By engaging in constant competition, Howard Lederer and Annie Duke learned how to win effectively. This skill would ultimately guide them to a life of professional poker. Both children started college, but Howard dropped out with hopes of becoming a professional chess player. It wouldn't be long before his interest turned to professional poker. He made his way through card rooms in New York and later moved to Las Vegas, where the stakes were more to his liking. Throughout his career he has won countless tournaments, millions of dollars and has become a living poker legend.
Duke, on the other hand completed college and received a bachelors degree in both English and Psychology. She was a few months away from receiving her Doctorate degree when the poker bug attacked her. Brother Howard Lederer invited her to a World Series of Poker event and taught her the ins and outs of No-Limit Texas Hold'em. During their visit, she realized that she had a real knack for the game. She immediately quit school to pursue her interest in becoming a professional player and follow in her brother's footsteps.
In 1994, she played in the World Series of Poker, where she placed thirteenth in her first tournament and third in her second. This WSOP is where Howard and Annie made history. They became the first brother and sister duo ever to make it to the same final table of the World Series of Poker. Not only that, Annie had the pleasure of knocking the legendary Howard Lederer out of the tournament, thus finishing ahead of him.
So far in 2004 Howard Lederer has placed first in two tournaments and made seven final tables. His year-to-date winnings total $768,761. Annie has made two final tables and earned $295,000 in winnings. Both players are icons of poker and both have obtained celebrity status.
According to Cardplayer.com, when asked about her fame, Annie explained: "Being a female in a male-dominated profession, a single mom of four small children, and having won millions playing poker, I am fortunate to be a story America wants to hear. Although publicity has fallen in my lap, I cultivate what comes my way."
It is clear that both siblings are wildly successful poker players. And it's also clear that the two have worked hard and taken risks to get where they are. They have truly cultivated the success they've achieved. Ask any poker enthusiast for the names of some top players, and these two names often come up: Annie Duke and Howard Lederer.