Annie Duke Is The New Poker Sheriff

On Tuesday, it was announced that Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack have created Federated Sports and Gaming, and, in cooperation with the Palms Casino Resort, a brand new poker league that will employ a special rankings system to determine the best players in the world, instead of, you know, guys bragging that they’re the best in the world.

The league will also hold players accountable for their success by awarding memberships much like PGA tour cards. Players can earn 2-, 3- or 5-year memberships based on their winnings, but obviously there will be exceptions for legends. Basically, the biggest name players will receive lifetime memberships. In all, 200 players will compete in four FSG tournaments during the year, with the fourth serving as the league’s championship.

Poker News recently posted an extensive interview with Duke about how the league was created and what the events will entail. For instance, what goes into the player rankings, Der Kommissar Duke?

What sort of tournaments will be involved in the scoring process? For instance, will a player’s performance in the World Series of Poker, NAPT events, EPT events, and WPT tournaments be taken into account?

Absolutely, they’re extremely important in our consideration. For example, when you talk about that one of the qualification criteria is how many major titles someone has won, clearly you’ve just named where the major titles in general are coming from. Obviously there are some other events but you just got the bulk of them right there. Not only that, in order to maintain a card in good standing in our league, you have to be participating in those great poker brands. You have to continue to perform and you have to continue to be relevant in the game. You’re not going to be able to do that playing only the four events that we’re doing, so those who qualify will have to continue to be active participants in the brands that you’ve mentioned.

Professional poker players have been talking about a system like this for years, at least since the game has been overrun with people they perceive to be amateurs… you know… lowly Internet folk. Anyway, if you’re a poker fan, the interview explains the rest, but in the meantime I have an exclusive clip of the first tournament…

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