Poker World mourns the passing of Doyle Brunson


Doyle Brunson, widely regarded as the most legendary card player in poker history with a career spanning nearly seven decades, has passed away. The poker hall of famer was 89 years old.

Brunson’s death was confirmed by his son Todd, who was at his father’s side in a Las Vegas hospital.

“Yes, I’m sorry. It’s true. RIP Doyle.” Todd Brunson wrote on Twitter. “Thank you all for your concern, but at this point I have to ask everyone to respect my family’s privacy.”

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson,” the Brunson family added in a statement. “He was a beloved Christian, husband, father and grandfather. We will have more to say in the coming days as we honor his legacy. Please keep Doyle and our family in your prayers. May he rest in peace.”

Todd and Doyle Brunson side by side at the WSOPBrunson, known as the Godfather of Poker, was born on August 10, 1933 in Longworth, Texas. He was an exceptional athlete, excelling in both track and field and basketball. In fact, he was being watched by the Minneapolis Lakers’ NBA before a devastating work injury ended his sporting career.

He initially turned his attention to teaching, but realized he could make a lot more money, in addition to his hours, playing poker.

After years on the road with “Amarillo” Slim and “Sailor” Roberts, playing dangerous and illegal games often organized by members of organized crime, Brunson has finally settled in Las Vegas.

Was there in the early 1970’s World Series of Poker and went on to win an incredible ten gold bracelets, which ranks second all-time with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey, behind Phil Hellmuth’s 16 wins. His run included back-to-back main event victories in 1976 and 1977, in which he won both events with a 10-2 record.

Brunson was also the author of Super/Systemwhich was considered the bible of poker when he self-released it in 1978.

Despite his age, Brunson remained active in the poker world until his death. A few years ago he stated that he intended to continue playing, “as long as I can get to the table”.

“It was a great life,” Brunson said Card player in 2018. “I was consumed with being an athlete when I was young and was about to make basketball my career. When I broke my leg, that was it. I turned to poker to still be able to compete, and it was great. You can’t find many things where an 84 year old can still compete with 30 year olds. It meant a lot to me. My competitive nature drove me to keep fighting, and poker was the vehicle that allowed me to do so. I’m just grateful for that. I have had many blessings in my life, survived many difficult times. But I’m still here.

Although he admitted that he no longer had the stamina for tournament play and didn’t want to leave his wife for long, he still played regular cash games, including PokerGO’s High stakes poker show. In the summer of 2022, he was signed as a brand ambassador for the Poker World Tour.

In recent years, a handful of film and documentary projects about Brunson’s life have been announced. In March he attended the official opening of the Horseshoe on the Las Vegas Strip, which is the new home of the WSOP.

Brunson is survived by his wife Louise, whom he married in 1962, as well as his children Todd and Pamela.

The poker world reacts

*PokerGO photo credit / Enrique Malfavon

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