Annie Duke: Poker Pros in Their 20’s Lack ‘Star Power’

Written by:
Ace King
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Annie Duke:  Poker Pros in Their 20’s Lack ‘Star Power’

The Las Vegas Sun recently had an opportunity to speak with acclaimed poker pro Annie Duke.  She’s the Commissioner of the fledgling Epic Poker League, which is rumored to be in acquisition talks with Pinnacle Entertainment.

Duke dismissed the likes of Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Tom “Durrrr” Dwan as players that truly have name recognition.  Moreso she took aim at World Series of Poker champs Jonathan Duhamel (2010) and Pius Heinz (2011), both of whom are kicking off the first few days of 2012 with a bang at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure event.

As the Las Vegas Sun points out, WSOP winners of late have been in their 20s the past two years, but they haven’t had the star-name power that the big poker names have.

Duke told the Las Vegas Sun

“If you go to Middle America and you say who are the best poker players in the world, they’ll say Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Annie Duke because those are the people who got branded,” Annie said. “When somebody wins the Main Event, in general, they are known for a little while, and that’s kind of it. There are lots and lots of winners in the last five years, yet none of them have become huge stars and none of them have been able to generate the ratings that the original poker players did. So Epic Poker takes that one step further on.”

Reader on the popular posting forum called Annie Duke “Delusional”.

One had this to offer:

I don't think the majority of people in Middle America even know half these names, at least definitely not her! For some reason I hate Annie Duke and I don't even follow "branded" poker players.

Duke did become more of a household name a few years back appearing on the Celebrity Apprentice where she literally duked it out with comedienne Joan Rivers.  Both made it to the final, both hated each other and both helped boost ratings for the show.

- Ace King,