Wednesday, July 1, 2009 | 5:26 p.m.
Poker pro Annie Duke might be known as “the Duchess of Poker” but the queen of the card tables wishes she could lose the nickname.
“Someone gave me that nickname, I didn’t give it to myself,” Duke said Tuesday as she arrived for dinner at Lavo.
However, when asked what nickname she’d prefer, duchess Duke didn’t have an answer.
“I wouldn’t have one,” she said. “I’d just be Annie Duke.”
“Here’s the thing: I used to be Annie Lederer,” she said. “That was my maiden name. And then I got married and the person I married was named Duke and I had always said I wouldn’t change my last name, but then I was like, Annie Duke’s a super cool name, particularly for a poker player.”
“It sounds very Old West, like I was hanging out with Wild Bill Hickok or something,” she said.
Since she decided years ago to take her former husband’s last name, the former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant has made deliberate efforts to keep it.
“When I got divorced I kept the name Duke because I thought it was a cool name,” she said. “It’s actually in my divorce agreement.”
So if the 2004 WSOP bracelet winner has her way, she’d be known simply as Annie Duke.
“I try to avoid the Duchess of Poker,” she said. “I think that it’s … over the top. Like (I’ve) got no sense of humor.”
Melissa Arseniuk writes about Las Vegas entertainment and celebrity events. She can be reached at 702-948-7823 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.