On Monday, May 15th, 2023, the poker world lost one of its finest gems, Doyle Brunson, at the age of 89.
The family of this legendary player issued a statement: “It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson. He was a beloved Christian man, husband, father, and grandfather. We’ll have more to say over the coming days as we honor his legacy. Please keep Doyle and our family in your prayers. May he rest in peace.”
Brunson was famous all around the world. His nickname was “Texas Dolly,” and under it, he achieved numerous wins, starting with underground card games and developing his skills enough to become one of the most successful players in the world.
Brunson was the icon of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), where he got ten bracelets and won the Main Event twice. In addition, he was the first person ever who won US$1 million in tournaments.
Not only was Bruson a fantastic player: he also became a writer. In his book The Godfather of Poker: The Doyle Brunson Story, he described the fantastic adventures and challenges we had been facing through the years. Another book he wrote, Super/System from 1978, was among the first ones with detailed explanations of strategies. Historians will note that the book changed the way poker was played.
In 1970, he made it to only seven players who got invited by Jack Binion to participate in the first WSOP. He didn’t win that year since it was up to the players, and Johnny Moss had more fans at the moment. However, the concept was changed, and in 1976 Brunson won the tournament with an amount of US$220.000, which was the biggest prize at the moment. Next year, he won again, getting the prize of US$340.000.
These years were significant for Brunson. He even got one winning hand to be named by him in poker folklore. Since both times he won with a winning hand of 10-2, this hand became “The Doyle Brunson Hand.”
He earned his tenth bracelet 18 years ago, in 2005. He is one of only four men that achieved double figures of bracelets in this tournament, and the only one who has more than Brunson is Phil Hellmuth, with 16 of them.
All of that led to the induction of Brunson into the famous Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.
WSOP said goodbye to one of its best players, saying: “Rest in Peace to the Biggest Legend of Them All. Thank you for being the consummate player and gentleman. No one will ever fill your seat.”
Brunson fellow colleagues, Phil Hellmuth, Scott Seiver, and Daniel Negreanu, also said their goodbyes and reminded themselves and the world how big a soul and player Texas Dolly was.
The whole world will miss this great player – but he will be missed the most by his family, wife Louise, and two children, Todd and Pamela.