Doyle Brunson

Added on June 24, 2024, in Gambling Legends by Gambling Gurus

Caption: Legendary gambler Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson | Gambling Legend

In his time, Doyle Brunson made an incredible mark in the world of poker in two outstanding ways; he created an unbeatable record playing poker in the most professional but fascinating way with breathtaking wins and countless bracelets, but he also wrote several books about poker and his way of playing the card game.

Regarded as the best poker player of all time, Doyle Brunson is an American whiz kid poker player and one of our Gambling Legends featured here at the Gambling Gurus. Doyle Brunson was born on August 10, 1933 and has been on the poker tables for over 50 years and is credited to be the first player to amass $1million in tournaments!

Texas Dolly, as he is fondly called, also has his name on gold in the Poker Hall of Fame, having been a two-time champion of the World Series of Poker main event with ten WSOP bracelets. This places him below only a few poker players in the World.

The Beginning

Though Doyle Brunson realized the depth of his poker playing potential on his first day at his new job, that depth was not developed exclusively on the poker table. Brunson’s success as a professional poker player is also traceable to his days as an athlete where he developed the resilient and winning personality. As evidence, Doyle Brunson was part of the team for All-State Texas Basketball. In 1950, he won the Texas Interscholastic Track Meet with a time of 4:43 before an injury benched him.

However, Dolly has already developed his poker skills to a level of excellence in five-card draw before the injury struck. Having earned more than a month’s salary playing seven-card stud on his first day at his new job where he was employed as Business Machines Salesman, Dolly took to a lifetime career in gambling. Poker was his major choice, though as he once mentioned, he, and his friends gambled in just everything when they worked as a group.

From Illegal Street Gambling To Mainstream Poker

Doyle Brunson did not start as a mainstream poker player in the big halls with secure environments; he started with illegal street games, often run by criminal gangs on the Exchange Street, Forth Worth, Texas USA. There were no rules and the risks were many. Dwayne Hamilton was his companion and they had it rough, sometimes beaten, robbed, and even harassed at gunpoint.

In no time at all, the two friends were all over Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma for bigger games. Professionals like Sailor Robert and Amarillo Slim became part of the group too. When the group could not succeed in their bid to gamble ‘as a group’ after a six-figure loss in Las Vegas, they broke up and Brunson pitched his tent in Vegas for a whole life of gambling in the card game of poker, but also gambling in everything, as Dolly once put it.

Finally, Brunson was at it as a lone player in Vegas. His record in mainstream gaming in poker raved so fast, having been participating in the WSOP since 1970 and having played at the WSOP main events every year. He was also not missing in other poker events for the awards of bracelets.

Doyle Brunson made back-to-back wins in 1976 and 1977 when the wins at the event were not counted as cashes because it was winner-take-all. However, before these two wins, Brunson had made it to the WSOP championship event finals. Dolly also won the main event cashes in 1980 when he came in second and fourth in 1982. In 1983 and 1997 Dolly came in 3rd and 16th respectively in the main event cashes. He also won it in 2004 with a 53rd position amidst 2,576 participants.

With almost all his family making careers in professional poker gambling, Brunson still tried his wits in the biggest poker games. In Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, he plays a $4000/8000 limit mixed poker game. All around the world, Brunson still gives it a shot, playing in the biggest poker tournaments. His wins at the 2003 mixed games event and his win at the 2004 No Limit Texas Hold’em Championship attest to this. Also in 2004, Dolly won the prize of $1.1million at the Legends of Poker World Poker Tour, while emerging 4th at the World Poker Tournaments Championship event.

Dolly made a new record at the 2005 WSOP when he tied Chan’s record of 10 bracelets placing himself just 2 bracelets less than the World Poker hero Phil Hellmuth, who parades 12 bracelets at the WSOP, having earned the last one at the 2012 WSOP. As to date, Doyle Brunson has had 34 cashes at the WSOP with a total earning of $2,945,053. Dolly’s total live tournament winnings stood above $6 Million by 2011.

Like Father Like Children

If it is true that the skill for playing poker runs through a generation, the truth is most evident in the life of Doyle Brunson and his children. Todd, his son, is a professional poker player who created the first father-son combination in World bracelets winnings in poker when he won the 2005 WSOP Omaha Hi-Lo bracelet. In the 2007 and 2009 World Series of Poker, Doyle’s daughter, Pamela, featured prominently. The Doyle household is seen as a compact team of poker pros- like father like children.

Texas Dolly and the Pen

Doyle Brunson did not only create amazing strides playing professional poker, he also created amazing records in the field of poker writing. One of the most authoritative poker books “Super System: How I Made One Million Dollars Playing Poker“, which was first published in 1978, is his work. The book unlocks the top poker winning secrets of top professionals and had the contributions of professional poker players like Mike Caro, David Sklansky, Bobby Baldwin, Joe Hawthorne, and Chip Reese.

The Super System helped many new poker players to compete favorably with professionals like Brunson, and according to Brunson, the secrets unlocked by his first book, Super System, unlocked the poker winning potentials of new players. As a result of these revelations made by the book, Dolly Brunson lost a lot of money. In 1984, Lye Stuart published another of Brunson’s books with the title “Poker Wisdom of a Champion

Etching on Gold

Bluff Magazine voted Doyle Brunson as the World’s No.1 Most Influential Force in the ‘world of poker’ in 2006. According to available records, Doyle Brunson is the first out of only five poker professionals who has won both the World Poker Tour and the WSOP main events, having also won WSOP bracelets for four consecutive years, aside other incredible records. Doyle who holds a Master’s Degree in Administrative Education is an inductee at the Poker Hall of Fame. Due to his incredible record in the world of poker, the poker world named two Texas Hold’em hands after Brunson Doyle.

Since he won the No Limit Hold’Em event at the World Series of Poker in 1976 and 1977 consecutively, therefore, One Hand, a 10 and a 2 of any suit is named after Doyle Brunson. The Ace and the Queen of any suit are also named after him, as according to a report quoting him…”he tries to never play that hand”. He passionately spoke about this very poker hand in his Super System, showing himself as the underdog of that hand.