Annie Duke – Professional Speaker, Author, Decision Strategist

[vc_row el_class=”animateText”][vc_column][vc_column_text]For two decades, Annie Duke, now a Professional Speaker, was one of the top poker players in the world, winning several championships during her career. Annie started playing poker at the suggestion of her brother, world champion poker player Howard Lederer. Over the course of a 20-year career, 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. In 2010, she won the prestigious NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, beating poker legend Erik Seidel in the finals.

Prior to choosing her career as a poker player, Annie Duke was a was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Fellowship.

She was awarded this Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. This occurred after graduating with a double major in English and Psychology from Columbia University.

Marrying her academic studies in cognitive psychology with decision making lessons gained through her experience at the poker table, Annie Duke has developed a series of inspirational and educational talks. These talks have been on topics such as decision fitness, emotional control, evaluation of feedback, Prospect Theory, and negotiation tactics.

Her deft application of decision science concepts to a wide range of real-world situations spanning both personal and professional topics. This, coupled with an animated and personable presentation style, has resonated with a diverse range of audiences. Annie Duke is a regularly sought-after public speaker, often addressing thousands in keynote remarks at conferences such as the 2015 Investment Management Consultants Association in Las Vegas and the 2015 EnergySMART Conference in Philadelphia. Annie has been brought in to speak to the executive teams or sales forces of widely-known organizations like Gaylord Resorts, Pandora Radio and Ultimate Software. She has quickly become a sought-after speaker in the financial sector, with clients such as CitiBank and MacQuarie Group.

Annie regularly shares her observations on decision making and critical thinking skills on her blog and has also shared her poker knowledge through a series of best-selling poker instruction and theory books, including 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 a master storyteller and professional speaker, having performed for The Moth.

The Moth is an organization that preserves the art of spoken word storytelling. She has appeared three times on The Moth Main Stage. In the Moth’s first-ever book, her story was selected as a prominent feature in The Moth’s top 50 stories.

Her passion for making a difference has helped to raise millions for charities with multiple causes. These are as diverse as international refugees, victims of the conflicts in Sudan, improving education, and numerous children’s hospitals. In 2006, she founded Ante Up for Africa along with actor Don Cheadle and Norman Epstein. The organization raised more than $4,000,000 for Africans in need, focusing on helping victims of 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. Refugees International is a charity that advocates for refugees around the world. In October 2013, Annie became a board member for After School All-Stars. In 2014, Annie helped launch How I Decide, a nonprofit with the goal of helping young people develop the essential life skills of critical thinking and decision making.

Annie currently resides in the Philadelphia area as a professional speaker where she is raising her four children. Connect with Annie on Facebook, Twitter,  Google+YouTube, or LinkedIn.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]