Born in New Hampshire, USA, in 1964, Howard Lederer is the brother of poker professional Annie Duke and author, poet Katy Lederer.
After college, Lederer moved to New York City – renowned for its chess clubs – to pursue his passion for chess. He soon discovered a poker game in the back room of his favorite chess club – and was immediately hooked.
For two years, Lederer played poker relentlessly – 70 to 80 hours a week – and went home broke nine out of 10 nights. He would earn his nightly stake by running errands for the players. The frenetic pace caught up with him and he realised that playing all-nighters wasn’t helping his game. He took a couple of steps back, got more sleep, and saw his results improve.
Lederer made big strides in his game when he started to play at the Mayfair Club in New York. The Mayfair was a legendary bridge and backgammon club – home to the greatest games players in the world. He became part of a circle of world-class games players who were the first to experiment with No-Limit Hold ‘em when it was introduced in New York City. The daily game at the Mayfair would begin at 4pm and wind down by 2am, when all the players would retire to their favorite bar for a lively discussion of the day’s game. The camaraderie among the players created an invaluable learning environment. Everyone was new to the game, but the ideas flowed freely and elevated their playing efforts. This group of early players included Dan Harrington, Steve Zolotow, Jay Heimowitz, and Erik Seidel.
In the late 80s, Lederer started to work with his sister, Annie Duke, on her game. She would play during the day and discuss her difficult game decisions with Lederer in the evening. Her questions soon became more challenging to answer, and Lederer encouraged her to go to Las Vegas and play in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments. She has now won more cash than any other woman in the history of the WSOP. She has also knocked Lederer out of three WSOP events, including the US$10,000 final table. In 1994, Lederer and Duke made poker history as the first brother and sister duo to make the same final table at the WSOP.
In order to take his game to the next level, Lederer moved to Las Vegas in 1993. He concentrated on cash games until 2002, when World Poker Tour (WPT) tournaments became monthly events. His game continued to improve and he earned his first of two Hall of Fame titles when he won the US$2,500 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw event at the 1994 Hall of Fame Poker Classic. A year later, Lederer earned his second title by defending his Deuce to Seven Draw title at the 1995 Hall of Fame Poker Classic.
After five more years of hard work, Lederer won the first of his two gold bracelets in the US$5,000 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event at the 2000 WSOP. A year later, he won his second gold bracelet in the US$5,000 Deuce to Seven event at the 2001 WSOP.
Lederer continued to hone his skills and, in November 2002, won his first WPT Championship title. In March 2003, Lederer won his second WPT Championship title in the US$5,000 Limit Hold’em event on The Poker Million cruise.
Just one month later, Lederer won the first of his three Bellagio titles in the US$2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2003 Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classic. His second Bellagio win was in the US$2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event in April 2004. His third Bellagio title came just 13 days later in the US$5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event.
Nowadays, Lederer enjoys providing commentary and analysis on FullTiltPoker.Net’s Learn from the Prosand FSN’s Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, lending credence to his nickname, “The Professor.”
Further cementing his nickname, Lederer enjoys running a Poker Fantasy Camp where people can play with and learn from the best in the game. Away from the table, Lederer enjoys family life in Las Vegas with his wife Suzie and son Mattias, and can often be found at the movies, concerts, or on the golf course.
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