Howard Lederer was born into in a family of 5 where he loved taking part in numerous card games when he was young. He discovered himself getting very aggressive in these card games while competing against his father. After finishing high school, Howard made a decision to put college on hold for a little bit and moved to New York City to play some big-time chess. While competing in chess, he was brought in to a poker game going on in the rear of the room. Howard’s initial two years were difficult as he would play many hours and don’t win a majority of the time. He earned some extra cash by becoming an runner for the poker players. He theorized he could improve his game by analyzing his life outside of poker. He brought about an effort to get more sleep and focus more on the game.

The definite improvement in his game happened when he started betting at the Mayfair Club in New York. The Mayfair was a bridge and backgammon club where the best players would regularly play against each other. Howard was able to access some of the greatest minds in chess. With their assistance, Howard Lederer would sharpen his cunning thinking skills. He applied these strategic ideas to the game of NL holdem.

He also assisted his sibling Annie Duke learn poker. Annie was an excellent student of the game as she would consistently be asking questions about the right way to make the correct decision. Howard told Annie Duke to move out to Vegas and play in the WSOP competition. Annie is one of the best women players the poker arena has ever seen. He moved to Las Vegas in 1993 and participated in money games for the following 10 years. When the WPT grew in popularity, he decided to play more tournaments.