Poker Pros Come to Annie Duke’s Defense

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Gambling911.com reported on how the world outside of poker seemed to be celebrating the victory of Joan Rivers on Sunday night's Celebrity Apprentice Finale.  More than a few people referred to Rivers arch rival, poker pro Annie Duke, as a "bully".  The two women had been embroiled in a nasty on-air feud throughout much of the season.  Rivers compared Duke to Hitler while Duke suggested Rivers should die. 

Rivers also called poker players "worse than white trash", which Duke took personally and demanded an apology from the comedian. 

Needless-to-say, Annie received plenty of support from her friends on the professional poker circuit.

Most notable of all was icon Doyle Brunson's defense of Duke for several days leading up to the finale.

"Sorry Annie, you got screwed big time," Doyle Twittered.  "Pure robbery!"

He questioned how Annie kept from "belting Joan". 

Phil Hellmuth, who works with Annie as co-spokesperson for the online poker room UltimateBet.com sat in the audience of the Celebrity Apprentice finale.

"Wow, stunner!! I thought that Annie deserved to win. Many of the audience could see the writing on the wall early on, but I didn't..."  He added later on:  "Still in shock about Annie losing! She played the game perfectly and deserved to win. The word 'Railroaded' comes to mind..."

Shannon Elizabeth, an accomplished poker pro and star of American Pie, also chimed in. 

"I'm proud of Annie Duke. She should have won-but came out way ahead at having class & grace, & is one of the smartest women I've met!"

One of the biggest names in poker, Daniel Negreanu, took a slightly different stance.  While admitting he felt Annie should have won and played the game great, he also congratulated Joan Rivers on his blog.

"Congrats to both Joan River and Annie Duke for making the finals and for making some interesting TV! In the end, with all the bickering and fighting, the whole reason to do the show is to raise a lot of money for good causes, and this season of Apprentice was a great success. The poker world played a big role in that this season which should say something about the kind of people poker players are. Many poker players stepped up to the plate to raise a lot of money for charity, and that shouldn't go unnoticed. Good job all."

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher


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