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Recent Celebrity Apprentice second place finisher Annie Duke is role model for players all over the world. Proving that a woman can handle the same action as her male cohorts, Duke continues to thrive in a predominantly male-dominated industry.

Born and raised in Connecticut along with her brother poker professional Howard Lederer, Duke found herself at home with the family’s competitive side and she learned quickly to take calculated risks that saw her leave the comforts of CT. for Columbia University. Completing a double-major in English and Psychology, Duke continued laying the foundation for her future poker success.

Despite having a multiple college degrees, Duke decided her fate was in poker after she was convinced by her brother to take a shot at the World Series Of Poker in 1994. Duke went on to finish 13th in her first tournament and she hasn’t looked back since.

Duke spent the next decade mastering the different disciplines of the game and she finally saw that hard work payoff when she won her first WSOP bracelet in the $2000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Lo Split tournament. Later that year Duke continued her impressive run by in August by knocking out eight of the worlds’ greatest poker legends in the invitation-only No-Limit Texas Hold’em winner-take-all, Tournament of Champions. Duke won $2 million for finishing first.

Having become one of the most successful women poker players in history, Duke earned a roles as a spokesperson/consultant for online poker site UltimateBet. According to Duke’s Website, she helps to ensure that the site’s tournament structures and rules match the same ones used in land-based venues.

If Duke’s poker prowess doesn’t impress you, her charitable nature should. Duke has helped raise millions of dollars for the Ante Up for Africa by teaming with actor Don Cheadle and she continues to promote poker players rights in addition to donating to donating money to other worthy charities.

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Duke has earned $3,630,164 in career tournament earnings. She is second on the Women’s All-Time Money List.

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