Duke Gallery
9 Images

A world away from Vegas

As with most successful professional poker players, Annie Duke doesn’t reveal everything. “I never like being on flat land,” she says, looking out her picture window at the Hollywood Hills. “Up here, I can see people, but they can’t see me. I have privacy.” Duke and her boyfriend, comedian and TV producer Joe Reitman, shopped together for the furniture in the living room. They installed a reclaimed wood floor and a lantern-shaped chandelier. She found the Spanish tiles for the fireplace surround and set her collection of vintage glass bottles on the mantel. Near the balcony is a large standing abacus for the self-confessed “math geek.” (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
In 2004 Duke beat 234 players in the World Series of Poker $2,000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Lo Split. A few months later, she won $2 million in the No-Limit Texas Hold’em invitation-only World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. She can sit stoic for hours at felt-top tables in Las Vegas, but at home in Los Angeles, the poker face is gone. “This dog never moves and yet, now I can’t get her to stay,” says Duke, giggling as her corgi Gertie refuses to pose for a photographer. Also shown here with Duke: two of her four children, Leo, 10, and Lucy, 7. The family moved into the house a year ago after much renovation. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Duke’s house is set on a slope off Mulholland Drive, and the living room is seven steps down from the entryway. She had tiles for the stairs risers and the fireplace installed to add to the Spanish-flavored ambience. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
The hardwood table is the setting for family meals. To the left is a pantry full of organic ingredients. . (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Duke is flurry of activity at home, checking her laptop for e-mails and new postings to her blog (www.annieduke.com/journal.php), calling her kids to help her bake a healthy snack and greeting boyfriend Reitman, returning from a day’s work as a director-producer of “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” with still-hot, gooey, smelt-flour cookies. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Satirical pop culture artist Nelson De La Nuez shows no mercy to redheaded dummy Howdy Doody in his work titled “Low Ratings,” which hangs in Annie Duke’s downstairs hallway leading to the bedrooms. Below the print, Photographs of her children and their clay handprints adorn the wood cabinet Duke bought from the previous homeowners. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
The framed view from Duke’s living room window. She has coached Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ashton Kutcher and Charles Barkley on their poker game, and occasionally she gives private lessons on the coffee table in her living room, mostly to raise money for charity. But there are very few references to Las Vegas in her home. A collage with the words “Las Vegas” repeated hangs over the window. In the right corner: an antique Anchor Brand Folding Bench Wringer and ironing board, given to Duke by her mother. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
The bracelet from Duke’s win in the World Series of Poker. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
The gray stucco facade of Duke’s two-story house, which has views of the Hollywood sign. Looking at the panorama, Duke says, makes her feel as though she’s in the country and far away from a casino. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)