Doyle Brunson Turned Down $235,000,000 for Online Poker Room

4 months ago
Doyle Brunson Turned Down $235,000,000 for Online Poker Room
18 May

Doyle Brunson shocked his Twitter fans and followers by revealing that he turned down a $235million offer for his online poker room, only to see Black Friday wreck its value.

The revelation came on the back of Rounders writer Brian Koppelman big question to the Twittersphere:

"'I consider a person financially rich if they make ___ a year or have a net worth of ___.' Please fill in these blanks if you have time or inclination. It might lead to good discussion in the Billions writers’ room.”

Though Texas Dolly is a millionaire several times over from his legendary 60-year poker career, rejecting the chance to pocket such a vast sum obviously still hurts.

“Brutal”, was how Koppelman described Brunson’s bad beat, although it might well make a good sidestory in the popular Showtime series ‘Billions’ he co-writes - a drama about ‘power politics in the world of New York high finance.’

And who was willing to pay such a phenomenal sum for Doyle's Room?

Paradise Poker became a popular online room just before the noughties heyday of the game, although who exactly was behind the site that was created in 1999 is a mystery‘three Canadian men’ all that we know.

Bought over in 2004 by Sportingbet, the deal saw Bonaire – the British Virgin Islands company owned by the Canadians – offered a similar amount to Doyle - $160 million in cash and $88 million in shares.

It became the first site to offer a $1million freeroll, but eventually it was superceded by the big players coming to the fore – the likes of Ultimate Bet, Full Tilt, partypoker and PokerStars.

Doyle's Room also opened up in 2004, just as the online poker boom took off following Chris Moneymaker’s online satellite to WSOP Main Event victory run.

It ran for several years on various networks, originally Tribeca, then Prima, Cake and finally Yatahay just a few months before the April 11th devastation in 2011 that saw online poker room domains seized by the FBI in what became known as poker’s Black Friday.

Shortly afterwards, Brunson cut all ties with his poker-room, which was later sold to ACR – a company unencumbered by US laws and regulations.

Back to Koppelman’s question, and Doyle’s answer of $500k per year, or $20million net worth, seems about right for a poker player. The next big question is – who would that list include?

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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