When it comes to the World Series of Poker, fans expect to see a few familiar faces each year, such as Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu. The top bracelet holders are usually in attendance, and over the years, we have come to expect to see certain players at the felt. One face that has been missed in the poker community is Doyle Brunson. Texas Dolly has competed for decades in the WSOP but retired in 2018. To the crowd’s surprise this past Sunday, Brunson took a seat to compete in Event #58.
The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino was abuzz yesterday as Doyle Brunson walked into the casino and sat down to compete in the Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Event. After paying the $1,000 to compete, Brunson greet the players at his table and grabbed up his WSOP cards. This is the first time we have seen Brunson at the poker table in three years.
Coming Out of Retirement
Brunson was last seen at the Rio in 2018 when he made it to the final table of a WSOP poker event. Now at 88 years of age, Brunson is still going strong and had to come out and play one more time. As he made his way to the WSOP table this time around, Brunson was escorted by Mori Eskandani, a Poker Hall of Famer and PokerGO President.
Texas Dolly was not shy about getting started and raised from his first hand. The big blind decided to go all-in, so Brunson folded. He laughed and the opponent showed pocket kings. While it was exciting to see Brunson back in action, he did bust out early, eliminated after less than an hour of gameplay.
According to live reports by PokerNews, on his final hand, Brunson was up against Jana Vondach. He pushed all-in with his last 6,000 in chips pre-flop while holding 6-4 off-suit. Vondach held pocket Aces. The board ran A-K-J-7-10, giving Vondach the win and knocking Brunson out of the competition early.
Brunson showed up to compete in a WSOP that has seen less than stellar player numbers. Events are not seeing the turnouts as expected, with officials hopeful that the Main Event will be the turnaround point for the series.
Some events have seen a field decrease by 30 to 40 percent. It seems players are either not willing to be vaccinated to play or perhaps still worried about COVID-19 to attend the series. International travel is also an issue, which has led to less participation from players located outside the state.
This should be remedied though by November 8, when travel restrictions for individuals outside the country that are vaccinated will be removed.