Whether you refer to him at “Texas Dolly”, “The Godfather of Poker”, or just simply Doyle, you must agree that he is one of, if not the greatest players of all time and a true legend of the game.
Born way back in 1933, Doyle Brunson has been earning a living at poker ever since his basketball career was cut short by a knee injury. Although he may not look it today, Doyle was a world-class athlete. Both a star on the basketball court and on the track in high school, he went on to play basketball at Hardin-Simmons University. From there, Brunson was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers before his unfortunate injury.
Upon graduating with an MBA in administrative education, Doyle took a job as an office-equipment salesman. When he realized his paychecks wouldn’t be nearly as much as he could make playing cards, Doyle gave that up and hit the underground card rooms of Texas.
The times were rough, very rough. Often enough, the players consisted of criminals and outlaws and many dangerous situations arose. He didn’t do it alone though. Doyle lead a group called the Texas Rounders, which included Sailor Roberts and Amarillo Slim. Together, the players would frequent the illegal poker games around Texas and clean up. They even shared a bankroll at times.
Later, Brunson moved to Vegas with his wife and four children. Poker in Vegas was legal and much less dangerous, which made things a little easier for Doyle and his family.
World Series of Poker
It didn’t take long for Doyle to take over the Vegas poker scene just like he had done in Texas. In 1976, he won his first WSOP title and repeated in 1977; both times he won with a ten and a deuce as his hole cards. Doyle was able to win both his championships with a full house, tens over deuces and that hand would forever be known as the “Doyle Brunson”. As the years went by, Doyle piled on the bracelets and is now up to 10 total.
Doyle Brunson's Top 10 WSOP Results
|1976||$10,000 World Championship||1st||$220,000|
|1976||$5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw||1st||$80,250|
|1977||$10,000 World Championship||1st||$340,000|
|1977||$1,000 Seven-Card Stud Split||1st||$62,500|
|1978||$5,000 Seven-Card Stud||1st||$68,000|
|1979||$600 Mixed Doubles||1st||$4,500|
|1991||$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em||1st||$208,000|
|1998||$1,500 Seven-Card Razz||1st||$93,000|
|2005||$5,000 Short Handed No-Limit Hold'em||1st||$367,800|
World Poker Tour
In 2004, Doyle beat the critics that claimed he was too old when he won the Legends of Poker WPT event for just shy of $1.2 million. Apart from the title Brunson has three more WPT final table finishes and a total of eight championship event cashes.
Doyle Brunson's Top 5 WPT Results
|2004||Legends of Poker $5,000 Championship||1st||$1,198,260|
|2005||Five Diamond World Poker Classic $15,000 Main Event||3rd||$563,485|
|2003||Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classi $25,000 Championship||4th||$159,987|
|2010||Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,000 Championship||18th||$33,785|
|2011||Five Star World Poker Classic $25,000 Championship||24th||$37,167|
European Poker Tour
Brunson is not know for visiting the old continent very often, but when he does, London is his primary destination. The English capital was also the place where Doyle scored his only European Poker Tour money finish. He placed 77th on the 2011 EPT London £5,000 Main Event taking home £9,000 in prize money.
When he’s not playing tournaments, you can probably find Doyle tossing around chips in the “Big Game” at Bellagio with the likes of Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, and Jennifer Harman. Despite his age, Brunson still proves day in and day out that he is one of the game’s best players.
Did you know?
- Besides all of his playing accolades, Brunson may be best known for his two books, Super/System and Super/System 2. The two books boast some of the best players in the world as contributing authors and still serve today as prime reading material for any player.