Doyle Brunson Recalls the Good and Bad Sides of Stu Ungar

3 years ago
Doyle Brunson Recalls the Good and Bad Sides of Stu Ungar
05 Jan

This year will mark a decade since the death of Stu "The Kid" Ungar, but the legend will always live on.

The three-time WSOP Main Event champ, who passed away at the much-too-young age of 45, was a topic of conversation on Twitter the other day. A social media poster elicited an opinion regarding Stuey's personality both on and off the felt from Doyle Brunson, who minced no words in describing the larger-than-life poker pro and gin rummy champion who was immortalized in print and film.

Those conflicting views paint a portrait of Texas Dolly taking on the role of father figure to Ungar, who lost his real father, Isodore, to a heart attack when Stu was just 13 years of age. Brunson was reportedly not the only person who tried to straighten the destructive path that Ungar took in life, as many attempts to put an end to his drug addiction fell short.

Getting hooked on cocaine apparently had ties to poker-playing for Ungar, who was quoted as saying that he got involved with the drug after being told that it would energize him and allow him to play poker for extended periods of time. While the coke may have temporarily produced the ability to play marathon poker sessions, unfortunately, it resulted in his life being reduced to that of a sprint.

Ungar won the WSOP Main Event in consecutive years in 1980-81, and again in 1997 just one year before his death. Brunson and other poker pros of that era undoubtedly have fond (and perhaps not so fond) memories of The Kid, while the rest of us poker fans hang on every word and marvel at the many stories that describe Ungar's poker prowess, and his life away from the poker tables.

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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more


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