Most people tend to make big life changes after the New Year, but Annie Duke appears to be getting a headstart on her 2011 resolutions. Just days after announcing she is engaged to longtime boyfriend, actor Joe Reitman, Duke announced she is leaving UB Poker after spending the better part of a decade with the company.
Duke Tweeted the news on @AnnieDuke earlier today and later posted a blog offering a little more insight on her departure:
“I have nothing but positive things to say about UB and my experiences with the brand, management team, and dedicated employees who work hard every day to deliver a terrific online poker experience for players like you,” Duke explained. “So why am I leaving UB? In a nutshell, professional and personal growth.”
Duke has a number of projects outside of her poker career, including her own business, MyMixedNuts, WSOP Academy, a new web show, The Annie Duke Show, and her charity work with Ante Up for Africa. She also appeared on the NBC reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009. Even though she is busy with a number of business ventures, she still found time to take down the NBC National Heads-Up Championship earlier this year.
Shortly after Duke announced the news, UB Poker released a statement of its own wishing Duke well on her new career path:
“Annie has been a key part of assembling today’s Team UB, an amazing group of passionate poker pros who love this game more than anything else. While Annie’s presence on Team UB will certainly be missed, Team UB will go on loud and strong. We wish Annie well in all of her future endeavors.”
Duke’s departure comes weeks after speculation that the other longtime UB Pro, Phil Hellmuth, also parted ways with the company. Hellmuth has not been seen with UB gear on since October, despite several high profile appearances at the November Nine, Poker After Dark, and the Bellagio Five Diamond WPT event earlier this month. There is no official word yet on whether or not Hellmuth, like Duke, will begin 2011 as a free agent.