When the Epic Poker League launched earlier this year, it installed a list of criteria to determine which players qualified for a membership card. The league's $20,000 Main Events were only made available to players who had qualified for one of three cards based on their accomplishments in live tournaments across the globe.
Those requirements no longer apply to Doyle Brunson. On Tuesday, "Texas Dolly" was offered the first lifetime membership card by the Epic Poker League, making him eligible for every future Main Event regardless of his recent achievements on the felt.
Brunson, known as the "Godfather of Poker," has more than $6 million in live tournament earnings to go along with 10 World Series of Poker bracelets and a title on the World Poker Tour. He's also regarded as one of the toughest high-stakes cash-game players in the world, and author of Super System, considered the go-to guide for players learning Texas hold'em.
"He just has this secret sauce of every accomplishment you can imagine, big generosity to the poker community, incredible longevity, amazing ambassadorship," Epic Poker League Commissioner Annie Duke told the Associated Press. "And then on top of that he's just an easy guy to really like."
Brunson was absent from the Epic Poker League's first two $20,000 Main Events this year despite earning a two-year player card under the league's criteria. While he was gracious about the lifetime membership honor, Brunson told the Associated Press that he isn’t likely to play in many tournaments going forward.
"As I'm getting older, these tournaments are getting too hard to come through," Brunson said. "It's probably not worth it to me anymore to really go on the tournament grind, so I don't plan on playing a whole lot of tournaments the rest of my life. I much prefer to play cash games."
The third Epic Poker League Main Event is set to get under way on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
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