Howard Lederer may be the smartest poker player in the world. He is one of four players with multiple WSOP bracelets and multiple WPT victories (Daniel Negreanu, Carlos Mortensen and Barry Greenstein are the others,) he is a world-class chess champion and member of the legendary Mayfair Club, he is credited by his sister, Annie Duke for teaching her how to play poker and he’s developed a four-staged evolutionary chart for the course of a poker master derived from the four stages of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. But that isn’t what qualifies him as the smartest in the world.
Howard is arguably the smartest poker player in the world because he may be the player who most understands the following: to make money at the poker table, one has to risk money; but to make money in poker without risking anything one has to own the table on which the poker is played. Howard Lederer has careers apart from the felt as: announcer for multiple poker shows including Poker Superstars Invitational and Learn from the Pros (not to mention a contract with Fox Broadcasting Company,) best selling poker author many times over, owner and star of the Howard Lederer Poker Fantasy Camp and Secrets of No Limit Hold’em instructional video; but the crown jewel in his growing poker empire is the fact that Lederer is founder, CEO and co-owner of TiltWare Inc. – the parent company of Full Tilt Poker. While there is no way to know a company’s true value until it is sold, at an average of more than 10,000 players at any given hour of the day, Full Tilt Poker alone could be worth upwards of $5 billion USD.
“The Professor” – as he is known – is also famous for having undergone a dramatic change in shape during his career: when Howard first burst on to the poker scene in the early 1990’s, he was obese. However a shift in diet (Howard is now a strict vegan,) a commitment to aerobic activity – especially basketball – and a gastric bypass surgery have left Lederer in the best physical condition of his life. Despite his veganism, Lederer did win a $10,000 prop bet made against him by David Grey simply by eating a cheeseburger.
Howard Lederer was born on October 30, 1964 and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and son.