Tag Archives: Celebrity Apprentice

Poker Ace Annie Duke ‘All In’ at World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

Poker ace Annie Duke plays poker like she is running a business, not letting emotions rule her play, thinking quicklyAnnieDuke and accurately, as witnessed in her latest TV show stint.  With CEO-like skills, she is one of the most successful female poker players in the world.  The 43-year-old Duke has been playing in the World Series of Poker since 1994 and has cashed in on 37 events, earning more than $1.13 million through the Rio tournament annually held in Las Vegas. 

Her best finish in the tournament’s $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em Main Event was in 2000 when she placed 10th and won $52,160.  She won her first World Series of Poker champion’s bracelet in 2004 at an Omaha High-Low event. 

“I’ll probably play in about 15 to 20 events at the World Series,” Duke said. “It’s a long haul.” 

Duke drafted a new legion of fans and followers, boosting poker’s image in the process, as a contestant in the television series “The Celebrity Apprentice.”  She was one of 16 personalities trying to raise money for charity while trying not to be fired by the host, billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump.  Duke finished second ahead of a whole slew of sports stars, but it was her acrimonious verbal battles with comedienne Joan Rivers, the show’s eventual winner, that had the audience turning on in record numbers, driving ratings out the roof. 

Rivers said Duke was worse than “Hitler” and compared poker players to members of the Mafia.  Although the comments raised the ire of the poker community and officials at the World Series of Poker, the media boost couldn’t have been better for the game, Duke and Trump– it raised more than $1.5 million for various charities. 

But Duke believes that Rivers still owes poker players and Las Vegas an apology. 

“Poker is a legitimate profession,” said Duke, who is a graduate of Columbia University with degrees in psychology and English.  She also spent five years working toward a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in cognitive psychology, which she has set aside for now. 

Divorced, Duke is the mother of four children, ranging in age from 7 to 14.  

Her brother is poker standout Howard Lederer, who has two World Series of Poker titles to his credit.  On four occasions she and her bro have ended up at the same table during World Series of Poker play- each time she has knocked him out of the competition, adding “I guess I have bragging rights.” 

Duke is well known for her charitable giving efforts.  Through poker events, she has raised millions of dollars for children’s hospitals and educational foundations. 

In 2007, she and actor Don Cheadle established the Ante Up for Africa event, a $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold ‘em annual Las Vegas event in July that raises funds for the survivors of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.  The event attracts the best Hollywood A-list celebrities and the poker elite, raising $500,000 last year alone for the cause. 

Duke is also an activist on Capitol Hill in trying to change the federal law outlawing the Internet wagering.  She is one of the founding members of the Poker Players Alliance, which supports making online poker once again a legal activity.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, travel, Uncategorized

450-pound Drag Queen Voted Best Joan Rivers Look-Alike in Las Vegas

Cher Impersonator Tiny Bubbles, a 450-pound drag queen, was voted best Joan Rivers look-alike at Annie Duke’s Hard Rock poker benefit in Las Vegas last Wednesday. 

The event featured 20 Rivers impersonators.   Frank Marino, who headlined as Rivers in “An Evening at La Cage” for two decades walked the red carpet with Duke, who finished second in “Celebrity Apprentice” to Rivers. 

Rivers previously labeled poker players as “white trash” and “mafia” during “Apprentice,” as written on  May 27  by Las Vegas Backstage Access.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Annie Duke Faces Rival Joan Rivers Today at Las Vegas Charity Poker Tournament

Fans of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice may need to do a double take on May 27th after seeing Annie Duke join forces with archrival Joan Rivers at a charity poker tournament today in Las Vegas.  

Online poker site www.UltimateBet.net announced the sponsorship of the “Sucking out on the Rivers” charity poker tournament in support of Refugees International. Annie Duke will be hosting the event alongside Frank Marino, a well-known Joan Rivers impersonator.  Nearly all of the top poker pros in Vegas are already on board to play in the charity tournament. 

“I think that after this poker tournament, the real Joan Rivers will quickly realize that poker players are good-naturedAnnieDuke people – professional people with respected occupations and families – who really want to change the lives of those less fortunate,” stated Annie Duke. “As poker players, we’re all banding together, not just to prove a point to Joan, but to actually change the world.” 

While the charity poker tournament will be co-hosted by a Joan Rivers impersonator, the real Joan Rivers went head-to-head with Annie Duke on the most recent season of Celebrity Apprentice. The often abrasive and brash comedienne told Annie, on camera, that all poker players were white trash and that none of them had last names, suggesting that those who love poker are automatically linked to organized crime.  Rivers’ opinion has drawn the ire of many in the poker world. 

The world’s top poker players and several Hollywood celebrities are slated to play in the charity poker event today to show that there’s a lot of good that comes from poker. Over 20 Joan Rivers impersonators will also be playing in the event and each one will have a bounty on his or her head. Poker fans can secure their spot in the tournament for $200 and the No Limit Texas Hold’em tourney features rebuys and add-ons to help the prize pool grow even higher. 

Although all the prize money will go to the winner, half of the winnings are being voluntarily directed to charity. While Nevada gaming laws prohibit money being given directly from the prize pool to charity, the winner may volunteer to donate half of their winnings to the charity in keeping with what had been done in previous charity events hosted by UltimateBet.net. 

The “Sucking out on the Rivers” Charity Event, sponsored by www.UltimateBet.net, DeepStacks University, Hard Rock Poker Lounge, and WSOP Academy, gets underway today, May 27th at 6 p.m. at the Hard Rock Casino Poker Lounge.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Playmates, Playboys Lust for Playmate of the Year Honors in Las Vegas

Tonight fur of the fluffy white kind is going to fly in Las Vegas:  Playboy is announcing their Playmate of the Year atBrande Roderick Simon Restaurant at Palms Place.  The guy with the most Viagra in the world, Hugh Hefner, will be there, along with his Playmates from the past 55 years- a total of 68 beauties. 

Leading Las Vegas Backstage Access to question if Hef can clearly remember what happened that far back?   Is a bunny tail by any other name, still a bunny? 

The host of the sensual foray is Brande Roderick (pictured) of “Celebrity Apprentice” and 2001’s Playmate of the Year at the invitation-only event. 

It’s quite an honor for the City of Excess, as it marks the first time the event has been held outside the Playboy Mansion.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, travel, Uncategorized

Brande Roderick Walks Tao Nightclub Red Carpet in Las Vegas

If you missed Brande Roderick showing up in stylish fashion on the red carpet on Friday evening to host the Tao Brande Rodericknightclub in the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, we’ve included a fresh Vegas Backstage Access photo for your viewing pleasure.   And we asked again if she was going to be a winner on “Celebrity Apprentice” and again we got the cold shoulder.  But…a trivia question of the day: Who was the first “Baywatch” TV cast member that was also a PPOTY (Playboy Playmate of the Year)?  Erika Eleniak? Must be Pamela Anderson!  Nope – the first Baywatch babe to be the Playboy Playmate of the Year was Brande Roderick.   And now she’s the second PPOTY to participate in the Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show.  Brande has already done better than season one apprentice Tiffany Fallon, who was ‘fired’ in episode one.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Brande Roderick Next ‘Celebrity Apprentice’?

branderoderickDonald Trump through contract provisions isn’t letting the Playboy model, film star, and entrepreneur tell for certain if she’ll be one of the two finalists left standing in “The Celebrity Apprentice” when The Donald makes a decision in the live May TV finale.    

Although Brande Roderick, tonight’s celebrity “host’ at Tao nightclub inside the Venetian in Las Vegas, says she has no idea if she’ll be selected, she added that Trump “never yelled at me.”  Could this be her subtle prediction?

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized