Doyle Brunson is an American poker player who is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time and a true legend of the game.
Known as 'The Godfather of Poker' or 'Texas Dolly', Brunson has won 10 WSOP bracelets including the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 1976 and 1977. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.
In 1978, Brunson authored 'Super/System' which was considered one of the most authoritative books on poker at the time. A sequel 'Super/System 2' was published in 2002.
Born in Longworth, Texas on August 10, 1933, Brunson turned to poker after a promising knee injury ended his hopes of a professional basketball career. He attended Hardin-Simmons University, and upon graduating took a job as a business machines salesman.
However, poker quickly took over as he began to travel around Texas with fellow poker players Amarillo Slim and Brian "Sailor" Roberts. The trio were among the most famous Texas road gamblers of the time, frequenting illegal poker games around Texas and even sharing a bankroll at times.
In 1959, Brunson met his future wife Louise. They married three years later. Brunson eventually settled in Vegas with his wife and four children.
Doyle Brunson and the World Series of Poker
Brunson was one of the players to enter the first WSOP in 1970. After a third-place finish in 1972, he won his first bracelet in 1976 in the $5,000 2-7 Draw event. That same year, he would go on to win the Main Event for the first time, defeating Jesse Alto heads-up and earning himself $230,000.
A year later he added two more bracelets including another WSOP Main Event victory, this time over Gary Berland. Both Main Event victories came with ending up as his winning hand. For that reason, this hand is known as the 'Doyle Brunson'
Between 1976 and 1979, Brunson won six bracelets in total, establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with on the felt.
Read More: WSOP Legend Doyle Brunson
Over the years, Brunson played fewer and fewer WSOP events, stating that the reason was that it took up "too many hours", preferring instead to play cash games.
In 2018, Brunson announced that he was retiring from tournament poker that summer. He entered Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, finishing sixth for R43,963.
Doyle Brunson WSOP Bracelets
|1976||Event #5: $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw||$90,250|
|1976||Event #8: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event||$220,000|
|1977||Event #5: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo||$52,500|
|1977||Event #13: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event||$340,000|
|1978||Event #4: $5,000 Limit Seven Card Stud||$69,000|
|1979||Event #4: $600 Mixed Doubles Seven Card Stud||$4,500|
|1991||Event #16: $2,500 NLHE||$208,000|
|1998||Event #2: $1,500 Razz||$93,000|
|2003||Event #9: $2,000 H.O.R.S.E.||$84,080|
|2005||Event #$31: $5,000 NLHE 6-Max||$367,800|
Battles with Cancer
Shortly after his marriage, Brunson's wife Louise fell pregnant. Later that same year, a tumor was discovered on Doyle's neck that was diagnosed as cancerous. Brunson was told that there was no case history of anyone with this affliction living longer than three months. However, following surgery, the cancer was found to have disappeared completely.
"[The Doctor] called it spontaneous remission, and said he and his colleagues had seen such an occurrence only a few times," Brunson wrote in his autobiography The Godfather of Poker.
Brunson has since battled with cancer on a number of occasions, most recently in 2016 following an operation to remove squamous carcinoma.
Other Poker Achievements
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. Brunson has also made three other WPT final tables.
Why is Doyle Brunson called Texas Dolly?
Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder called Brunson 'Texas Doyle'. A member of the Associated Press overheard the two talking, and erroneously referred to the nickname as 'Texas Dolly' in their reporting, and the rest was history.
What is Doyle Brunson's net worth?
Although his total net worth is unconfirmed, Brunson has cashed for over $6 million over the course of his career according to The Hendon Mob.
Is Doyle Brunson married?
Yes, Brunson has been married to his wife Louise since 1962
Does Brunson still play poker?
After retiring from tournament poker in 2018, Brunson does occasionally still play poker in Las Vegas.
WSOP Main Event Winners 1970-77
|1977||34||Doyle Brunson||United States||$340,000|
|1976||22||Doyle Brunson||United States||$220,000|
|1975||21||Brian Roberts||United States||$210,000|
|1974||16||Johnny Moss||United States||$160,000|
|1973||13||Walter Pearson||United States||$130,000|
|1972||8||Thomas Preston||United States||$80,000|
|1971||6||Johnny Moss||United States||$30,000|
|1970||7||Johnny Moss||United States||N/A|