Thursday, January 06, 2005

Nice little write up on Annie Duke in today's Chicago Tribune. One angle the article takes is on how poker has become "Hollywood-ized" and that makeovers, gastric bypass surgery, and stylists are becoming as common as bad beats and lucky streets. I didn't realize that Howard Lederer had gastric bypass done - though his was in 2002, before poker went TV-gangbusters. I had heard that he used to be a big guy. Not anymore - good for Howard. Love that man.

They go on to talk about the gimmicks that are leading to big money endorsements for various players (a la Reymer's lizard-eye sunglasses, Jesus's card tricks, Unabomber's hooded sweatshirts). I'm surprised no clothing line has picked up on selling gray hooded sweatshirts with Phil Laak's name on the tag. They'd sell a zillion of em for the cost of a Fruit of the Loom. My gimmick will definitely be penguins. Ya know, when I'm famous and all that. (ha!)

And, oh, they talk about Annie - her fame, the sitcom she's working on with Lisa Kudrow for NBC (that should be interesting - or a total flop, one or the other), the book she has coming out, and her status as the highest earning female moneymaker in poker of all time in 2004. I hadn't realized her level of education - double degrees in English and psychology from Columbia University - nice. I love seeing well educated poker players - gives us academics some hope!! (I also love seeing the players who have worked all their lives, laborers, making it big. It's a really great melting pot of people, poker is, and it's so nice to finally have something that provides opportunity for ANYBODY, regardless of background, race, culture, income level, age, gender, etc. Poker transcends all of it).

The article ended with a line from Annie that I really respect.

Duke remains less concerned about titles. She's more focused on the future.....

"I figure the [poker TV boom] will be over one day, and then nobody will know who I am again. So I might as well enjoy what I have now," Duke says. "I want to pursue opportunities that are more likely to allow me to sit back and put my feet up with my kids, for a long time. That's what it's all about."

How excellent is that? I find it great that she recognizes the fleetingness of fame, and is using it to its advantage for what's really important: her family. Love it love it love it.

Thanks to my sis in law Manda for sending me the article!

Chicago Tribune | The making of a poker star: "Annie Duke -- Ivy Leaguer, mom, moneymaker at cards -- is a prime-time player looking beyond the next hand"


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