Poker is one of those disciplines that is not easy to get rid of and, as it is a mental sport, it does not require you to have an optimal physical condition as is the case in other sports where retirement is inevitable from a certain age. And this allows you to see true legends of the cards continue to put on the show from time to time, although their level is no longer quite that of their prime. Not long ago, Doyle Brunson was still there at the WSOP, moreover by proposing some outstanding class actions for his young opponents. The veteran is not yet ready to say goodbye to his favorite tournament.
The American is now 88 years old, and has a career of more than half a century in poker in which he has become one of the greatest players. Winnings of over $6 million in events in live bringing together the most important tournaments on the planet; a title, three final tables and eight editions in the paid-out bubble at the World Poker Tour; a paid place on the European Poker Tour; and especially 10 World Series Of Poker bracelets, likely to add 26 final tables and 37 tournaments finished with winnings. A track record more than enough to consider him a top poker figure.
Brunson comes from Longworth, a small town in Texas that has the distinction of being considered an “unincorporated area” in the United States. A region with a very marked social identity in livestock and agriculture, but which does not belong to the government of any local municipality. All this reflects the humility of its inhabitants, but also that of a young man who managed to continue his education thanks to a scholarship given to him for his sports performance. Athletics and basketball were his two great passions, until a knee injury ruined his hopes of being called up to the NBA despite having received an offer.
Life had other plans for the American, who had however already had contact with poker before his injury. But after finding a job in a factory, he was invited to participate in a Five Card Poker tournament with his colleagues. In just one night, game strategy allowed him to win the perfect equivalent of a month’s salary, which was a clear sign of the natural talent he had for this game. not as successful as he hoped.
Dwayne Hamilton thus ceased to accompany him on the tournaments, but Brunson joined other cracks of the time like Amarillo Slim to pursue his professional career. It should not be forgotten that Doyle had started playing at unauthorized tables in Fort Worth, where the mafia controlled everything and each party only followed the law of the jungle. “Texas Dolly”, as he was later nicknamed, was even abused at this time, which however greatly hardened him and helped him in his quest for the heights. But it was the creation of the WSOP that allowed him to become a real star.
Since the inauguration of this tournament in 1970, Brunson has always been present and with extraordinary results while playing incredible. Plus, he’s one of those players worth watching live, and his Main Event victories in 1976 and 1977 made him a legend. He is one of only four players to have achieved the feat of winning two years in a row, and he now belongs to the Hall of Fame of poker and has often been considered the discipline’s most influential player on many occasions.
This last point is explained by the publication in 1979 of his book Super/System, one of the very first poker books about strategy and which has gradually become a must for all those who aspire to a professional career. In this book, along with other specialists in the game, he explains the operation and the basics of poker before describing in detail the different rules of poker variants such as Draw Poker, 7-Card Stud, Lowball or of course Texas Hold’em.
He also marked his era by becoming the first player in history to win a single prize of more than one million dollars during the same tournament. And if his name means anything to you, it’s that he left his mark on two hands: the 10-2 hand, now bearing his nickname “Texas Dolly”, which remains forever linked to him because it is with her he won his two titles of 1976 and 1977; and the Ace-Queen hand which he describes in his book as the hand that should never be played with and which often confused Doyle, for it is in the apparent strength of this that the greatest trap lies. .
Although he has never been interested in online poker and prefers to compete with other players only in the flesh, as he always has, Brunson will never cease to amaze us and is not ready to be forgotten. He is in truth one of the godfathers of poker who deserves all the homage.