Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Passes Away at the Age of 89

2 weeks ago
Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Passes Away at the Age of 89
15 May

Doyle Brunson, an iconic figure in the poker world and a renowned author known as The Godfather of Poker, passed away on Sunday in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

The news of Brunson's death was shared by his agent Brian Balsbaugh, who released a statement on behalf of Brunson's family. The statement expressed the family's grief and described Doyle Brunson as a beloved Christian man, husband, father, and grandfather. The family requested prayers and announced they would share more about his legacy in the coming days. Their final wish was for Doyle to rest in peace.

Known by his nickname "Texas Dolly," Brunson played a pivotal role in bringing poker into the mainstream. He achieved remarkable success and won 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets between 1976 and 2005, including consecutive victories in the $10,000 no-limit hold 'em main event in 1976 and 1977.

In 1976, Brunson won the first prize of $220,000 in a winner-take-all competition that featured a field of 22 players. He secured an award of $340,000 in 1977.

Brunson's influence on the game of poker was immense. He played a significant role in the game's rapid growth, from his emergence as a top-class player in the 1970s to the televised poker boom in 2003 and beyond.

His early triumphs at the WSOP propelled him to become a successful author with the release of the groundbreaking strategy guide, "Super System," in 1978. This comprehensive book, consisting of over 600 pages, was one of the first to offer detailed insights into poker strategy by a professional player, making it accessible to anyone interested in the game. In 2005, Brunson published a follow-up book titled "Super System 2."

While poker has evolved with the integration of advanced analytics and computer solvers, rendering the information in the "Super System" outdated, its significance in the history of poker remains unparalleled. Brunson also played a significant role in the television boom of poker.

The game's popularity skyrocketed in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker, an amateur accountant from Tennessee, won the WSOP main event, defeating seasoned pro Sammy Farha and claiming the $2.5 million prize. This victory, televised on ESPN, inspired amateurs worldwide to pursue poker in hopes of achieving similar success.

It also led to the proliferation of poker on TV, where Brunson emerged as a prominent figure. Brunson became a regular presence on WSOP event broadcasts and high-stakes cash games, capturing the hearts of fans with his reputation, aggressive playstyle, and engaging personality.

Brunson's journey as a player turned into a legend. In each of his WSOP main event victories, Brunson held the 10-2 hand, an unfavorable starting hand that became his trademark. Yet, remarkably, he completed full houses with this hand in each win.

Following the news of Brunson's passing, professional poker player Scott Seiver shared a story of attempting to bluff Brunson with his iconic hand, only to be unsuccessful.

Nevertheless, Brunson continued participating in high-stakes games well into his 80s, even as televised poker shifted to online streaming platforms. Brunson's enduring passion for the game was reflected in his famous quote, "We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing."

Upon news of his death, poker community members fondly remembered Brunson and his contributions to the game.

He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988. Brunson is survived by his wife Louise and his children Todd and Pamela.

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Nenad is equal parts animal lover, poker enthusiast, and nostalgic nerd. He spends his time writing and gaming with the occasional binging of a TV show or a cartoon.Read more


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