Annie Duke to Lead New Poker League as Commissioner

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Annie Duke Poker League

We now know what one half of the power team that represented UB.com’s online poker room for nearly 10 years will be doing.  Annie Duke announced her departure from UB.com just hours before Phil Hellmuth on December 31.

Duke has been named Commissioner of a new, revolutionary professional poker league that is being formed as part of an alliance between the Federated Sports and Gaming and Palms Casino Resort.  The initial schedule calls for four marquee tournaments and one championship event in Las Vegas.

“A unified league is something we have been talking about in the industry for years and I’m really looking forward to bringing this vision to life,” said Annie Duke, Commissioner of FS+G.

The league will be comprised of the world’s top 200 players and the event will be rake-free for poker professionals and feature generous prize pool overlays. 

The league will have a proprietary ranking system based on an eligibility formula that is driven by mathematics and proven historic achievement. This system will rank the top professional poker players with guidelines similar to those governing professional golf and tennis.

 FS+G was formed last year by sports, digital media and gaming industry leaders Jeffrey Pollack, the former President and Commissioner of the World Series of Poker, Michael Brodsky, David Goldberg and Jeffrey Grosman, who together recently ran Youbet.com, the largest legal US-based online gaming company - which was recently acquired by Churchill Downs.

“I’ve long believed that the top professional poker players create enormous value for the industry and are skilled in a way that is worthy of star treatment,” said Pollack.  “Our new league will celebrate poker professionals like never before and provide a tournament experience at the Palms that is first-class at every turn.”

“We are committed to growing our poker business and were looking to align with a best-in-class venture,” said George Maloof, owner of Palms Casino Resort.  “A professional poker league celebrating iconic poker legends and the next generation of poker celebrity is a perfect fit for our property.”

The tournament schedule kicks off August 2011 and goes through December 2011.  A championship event will take place in January 2012. 

“It has been a long time coming for a poker league on par with other professional sports,” said Erik Seidel, eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, WPT Champion and 2010 Hall of Fame inductee. “I am looking forward to true excellence in the game being rewarded.”

In addition to launching a new league with televised tournaments for poker professionals, in 2011 FS+G will enter the social media gaming market to engage poker enthusiasts at home and will soon roll out a unified consumer brand name to support all of these initiatives.

A little background: 

About Federated Sports + Gaming

Federated Sports + Gaming (FS+G) was founded in 2010 to create proprietary world-class sports and gaming brands through the integration of traditional and digital media, including televised events, social media gaming and interactive digital programming. The company breaks new ground in the poker world through its launch of a revolutionary professional poker league in 2011. FS+G will celebrate the world's top poker players by providing them with the spotlight they have long deserved. FS+G is dedicated to creating new traditions in poker entertainment by providing fans and players with an unmatched poker tournament, poker TV and interactive poker experience.  FS+G offices are based out of Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

For more information please visit www.federatedinc.com.

About Annie Duke

World-renowned poker player, television personality and author Annie Duke knows how to play her cards right.  Duke currently hosts a show on the web, “The Annie Duke Show,” with guests, including Seth Godin, Peter Diamandis and John Prendergast.  She was recently featured on the NBC hit show “Celebrity Apprentice” and is known for her fundraising and humanitarian efforts, as a founder of Ante Up for Africa, a board member of Decision Education Foundation and working closely with After School All-Stars, 1736 Family Crisis Center and many others. Duke’s competitive spirit have helped her garner more than $4.2 million in tournament poker earnings and driven her pursuit for entrepreneurial endeavors.  She is the author of the autobiography, “How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Cursed and Won Millions in The World series of Poker” and her new poker strategy book, “Decide to Play Great Poker” is due out this spring. She is also an active lobbyist on Capitol Hill for the Poker Players Alliance, advocating for players’ rights, and has testified in front of both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Financial Services Committee supporting the civil liberties of poker players worldwide.

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