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Annie Duke, A Regular Housewife?
Annie Duke is a very successful poker player and a representative of online poker room UltimateBet.com. In 2004 alone she earned more than $2,100,000 in tournament winnings. Before the poker boom she was mainly a cash game player, but today she almost exclusively plays in live tournaments as well as some online cash games at UltimateBet.com.
How long have you been playing poker?
I have been playing poker professionally for the last 10 years.
Why did you start playing poker?
We always used to play at home. I come from a very competitive family.
What is your favorite poker game?
I love all games. I am basically a mixed game player but my Pot-Limit Omaha game is a bit weak.
How many WSOP tournaments will you play this year?
I will play in all but 5 events probably, so around 40 in total.
What is different with the players of today compared to a few years ago?
The players today are inspired by TV where they only see the final six playing at the end stage of the tournament, and also they have played more Internet tournaments where you don't receive a lot of chips compared to the blinds. What happens then is that you get a breed of players that are much more loose and aggressive than they used to be, therefore you have to call with more hands and try to trap more.
Why is it that so many more men play poker than women?
It's mainly because of social factors. Women are brought up in our culture to be careful with money, not to be aggressive, not to study math, and such. These are not traits that are very good to display if you wish to be a professional poker player. Poker doesn't always give a stable income and you have to be an aggressive player in order to win. I think the numbers will even out though but will never come down to 50-50.
What do you have to say about the future of poker?
It's going to get bigger but eventually even out. I don't see it ever shrinking because it's such a great game that everybody can play and the Internet helps in that way. Poker is the great equalizer, meaning no matter your age, gender, race, etc., anybody can play. I like to think that poker is a bit like golf in the sense that you can be both young and old but still be successful.