Annie Duke: New Poker League Can Co-Exist With Other Tournaments

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

In an interview with Poker News, one of poker’s leading ladies and a major spokesperson for the game, discussed her role as Commissioner of a newly announce poker league that will bring together 200 of the top pros through a specially tailored grading process.

“We expect to coexist peacefully with them,” she told Poker News contributor Chad Holloway.  “There is absolutely a place for both. The world where 8,000 people plunk down $10,000 to play an event and everyone has a chance at a huge prize pool, I think is a valuable piece of the poker world. I love it, I support it, and I’ll continue to play in it, our pros are going to continue to play in it, and I think it’s an amazing spectacle that fans love.

“But I think that fans also really love to see the players that they know, the players that have become stars and are the top talents in the game, competing against each other. I believe there is absolutely room for both to coexist.”

Ms. Duke also took the opportunity to stress that her departure from was amicable and had been considered over a long stretch of time.  It was not based solely on the opportunity to be named Commissioner of the new poker league, though Duke admits there is some correlation. 

“I sort of felt, on my side, my relationship with UB was winding down. The reason I stayed with UB through the difficult times they had in the scandal was that I felt like I wanted to stay and do what I could to try and make sure that the players were refunded and the hand histories were given out. I felt like the new management came in and had really good intentions and I didn’t want to leave the brand and make people think that for some reason I didn’t trust the people who were in charge. I just felt a deep obligation, honestly, to the community to try to stick around as that situation was being resolved. I tried to work hard to get as much done from that side as I could and really let people know that I thought it was absolutely a management you could trust.

“But, you know, that situation I feel has been resolved as much as it could possibly get resolved at this point, and I really wanted to be in a situation where I had a bigger voice in the business. So I had really started to think about parting ways and trying to wind down my relationship with them actually prior to this situation presenting itself to me. That being said, this opportunity probably sped that process up for me because I realized that I really wanted to focus full time [on this new league]. For that reason I really needed to be a little bit quicker about winding down my relationship with UB. So, I guess my answer is that it is somewhat related but I think that I would have been leaving UB anyway.”

- Ace King,