There are some players that are expectedly not making an appearance at the 2011 WSOP.
Because of the timing of Black Friday and the complications involving payouts for U.S. players on Full Tilt Poker, no one is betting that Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer or Chris Ferguson will walk through the doors of the Rio any time soon.
There is one player, however, who has no ties to Full Tilt, other than family, who has been absent from the entire 2011 WSOP.
That would be 2010 NBC National Heads-Up winner Annie Duke.
Duke, who left long-time sponsor UB Poker in early 2011, has strangely been missing from the entire WSOP.
As one of the most well-known and skilled female players in the world, Duke has been a fixture of nearly every WSOP since the online poker boom of the early 2000s.
There are numerous reasons Duke might be missing in action of course. It probably doesn’t help that her brother Howard Lederer hasn’t so much as set foot in the Rio.
Of course the more likely reason she’s missing from the WSOP is the new Federated Sports + Gaming tournament series that she helped found with former WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.
The first event of the newly named Epic Poker League doesn’t take place until Aug. 5, however, so Duke could play the 2011 WSOP Main Event if she wanted.
It’s unfortunate because women would probably welcome another skilled player at the tables. It’s now been over 200 tournaments since Vanessa Selbst last claimed a bracelet for women.