« Go Back

Annie Duke

Author, Speaker and Decision Strategist

Annie Duke has leveraged her expertise in the science of smart decision making to excel at pursuits as
varied as championship poker to public speaking. On February 6, 2018, Annie’s first book for general
audiences, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts will be released
by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. In this book, Annie reveals to readers the lessons she
regularly shares with her corporate audiences, which have been cultivated by combining her academic
studies in cognitive psychology with real-life decision making experiences at the poker table.
For two decades, Annie was one of the top poker players in the world. In 2004, she bested a field of 234
players to win her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. The same year, she triumphed in the $2
million winner-take-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions. In 2010, she won the
prestigious NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Prior to becoming a professional poker player,
Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Annie now spends her time writing, coaching and speaking on a range of topics such as decision fitness,
emotional control, productive decision groups and embracing uncertainty. She is a regularly sought-after
public speaker, addressing thousands in keynote remarks at conferences for organizations ranging from
the Investment Management Consultants Association to the Big Ten Conference. She has been brought in
to speak to the executive teams or sales forces of organizations like Marriott, Gaylord Resorts and
Ultimate Software, among others. She is a sought-after speaker in the financial sector, with clients such
as Susqehanna International Group and CitiBank. Annie regularly shares her observations on decision
making and critical thinking skills on her blog, Annie’s Analysis, and has shared her poker knowledge
through a series of best-selling poker instruction and theory books, including Decide to Play Great Poker
and The Middle Zone: Mastering the Most difficult Hands in Hold’em Poker (both co-authored with John
Annie is a master storyteller, having performed three times for The Moth, an organization that preserves
the art of spoken word storytelling. One of her stories was selected by The Moth as one of their top 50
stories and featured in the organization’s first-ever book. Her passion for making a difference has helped
raise millions for charitable causes. In 2006, she founded Ante Up for Africa along with actor Don Cheadle
and Norman Epstein, which has raised more than $4 million for Africans in need. She has also served on
the board of The Decision Education Foundation. In 2009, she appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice, and
raised $730,000 for Refugees International, a charity that advocates for refugees around the world. In
October 2013, Annie became a national board member for After School All-Stars. In 2014, Annie cofounded
How I Decide, a nonprofit with the goal of helping young people develop the essential life skills
of critical thinking and decision making. In 2015, she became a member of the NationSwell Council. In
2016, she began serving on the board of directors of The Franklin Institute, one of America’s oldest and
greatest science museums.