Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Annie Duke File (Part Two)

Yep, she said it. And let me be clear. Just because a girl claims on national television to be an accomplished cocksucker, hardly qualifies her as an asshole. Quite the contrary most would say and in most instances. I actually find it amusing, and well within my demographic. In fact, I have been a fan of cocksuckers for many years. The Scotty Clark in me would like to issue my official response to Annie's claim:

"I do not believe you my dear, and only I alone shall be the judge of this claim".
But I am quite sure a blow job is out of the question. Back to the subject at hand...

Annie Duke's star rises in the Poker World. Annie won her WSOP Bracelet in Event #19 in 2004, winning $137,860. She had won the Bellagio Five Star WPT World Poker Classic event earlier that year. She received some publicity for tutoring Ben Affleck and effectively made her mark as a player in September of 2004, winning the first ever WSOP Tournament of Champions (TOC). Well, it wasn't a tournament, it was a sit and go. The ten players for this invite-only event was a Who's Who of Poker, and the participants went out in this order: Chip Reese, TJ Cloutier, Ivey, Negranu, Brunson, Raymer, Chan, and Howard Lederer. The Heads-Up featured none other than the two faces of Ultimate Bet, Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth Jr. This was a $2 million winner-take-all event, but Phil told us at the Best Damn Poker Show, they agreed to take
$500K each and play for the remaining $1 million dollars. This was the scene...

This video is historic footage of the state of poker in 2004. Greg Raymer had just been crowned, the Moneymaker Effect and the poker boom were in full bloom, and here you had the old guard (Cloutier, Brunson, Chip Reese) versus Teams PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet. What the fuck is Annie Duke even doing in this group? Annie Duke's WSOP accomplishments at this point in time, hardly warranted her being sat at this table, and with this group of players -- despite the fact she won. We must conclude it was simply her online poker connections off the felt, and the fact her timing just couldn't have been better. Honestly, Annie was playing her hand very well.

"And that's the way it was, September 01, 2004"

Thank you Walter Cronkite, now back to our movie of the week starring Annie Duke.

The offspring of Richard Lederer had hit it big in the Poker World, and it pains me to say, this is the day Annie supplanted the great Linda Johnson as the top female ambassador in poker. Annie and Bub were the top assholes in charge of what could be estimated to have been -- half of the world's online poker traffic. The money trees were picked daily at FTP & UB -- and an unwritten alliance of sorts emerged. It was FTP + UB versus the #1 site PokerStars. The non-scandalous PokerStars relied on fiscal responsibility and became the industry leader, UB & FTP not so much. The years before Black Friday became an online poker Cold War. Advertising dollars, pro signings, investor dividends, and financing poker television created what may never be duplicated again in this sport. PokerStars won the war, the DOJ dropped the big one, and former FTP & UB players were left starving in Siberia, essentially victims of theft.

How the fuck did this happen? We let it happen, our online poker revenues financed it and Annie was the hardest working asshole in the business. Is Joan Rivers right when she says Annie's friends are mafia? Yes. Five of the Top Ten Assholes on the list were in Annie Duke's inner circle, one was her brother, and she was the sunshine it all revolved around. Annie filled a demographic and was a very saavy industry insider...

EDIT/ADD: It is important to note Annie finished 10th in the 2000 Main Event, won by Chris Ferguson. She did in fact have 24 cashes in her WSOP career prior to September 2004 -- but I stand by my opinion she did not rank an invite to the first ever WSOP Tournament of Champions. It was a insider motivated pick.

Parts Three and Four of The Annie Duke File will return next week. In part three, we will learn Duke reigned over Phil at Ultmate Bet, check out Annie's tramp stamp, talk Celebrity Apprentice, Ante Up for Africa, Joe Reitman, and a loan from Russ Hamilton. We will continue to investigate why Ms. Duke is the Top Asshole in Poker.


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