Poker Pro Annie Duke to Head Elite Poker League

Turns out Annie Duke had a reason for walking away from her long-time spot at Team UB: She’s just been named commissioner of an elite new new poker league.

This new poker league (which hasn’t yet been named) is reportedly being modeled after the PGA, “defining the game’s best players and hosting invitational tournaments for only its biggest stars,” according to the L.A. Times.

The league has already planned to hold four televised regular-season events this year, per the Times article.

“This is incredibly pro-centric,” Duke said. “This is the one piece that’s kind of missing from the poker landscape right now, which is something for the best players in the world to compete against the best players in the world.”

When she says “best”, she means it: “About 200 players will be invited to the league based on a mathematic formula measuring finishes in major events, money earned and recent success,” the Times article continues. “It won’t measure success in cash games or in online poker.”

So what’s this mean to the Internet poker world? There are no immediate plans for an online version of this poker league, but if it’s successful, there will likely be online touranament tie-ins. No qualifiers — if the league remains “pro only”, they’re not likely to let rookies play against ’em.

But you can also expect cross-promotion with the World Series of Poker, which Duke says she’ll continue to compete in. Given the WSOP’s status as online gambling’s biggest traffic driver, there could be a bright future for poker affiliates who stay on top of this new pro poker league.