|by Greg Cavouras|
Every medium has its superstars; timeless participants that will go down in history as among the best ever. In the Poker world, one such player is Doyle “The Texas Dolly” Brunson. Even after his 80th birthday, Doyle remains one of the most feared players in the Poker world. After 50 years of Poker, Doyle is just as tough to play against now as he was in 1976 when he won his first World Championship.
Born on August 10th, 1933 in Longworth Texas, Doyle Brunson was an outstanding athlete as a teenager. He was competitive in basketball, baseball, and track and field events, and his success afforded him a scholarship from Hardon-Simmons. Young Doyle appeared to have a future in the National Basketball Association, until a work accident left him with a severely damaged knee. Brunson finished his studies, and graduated with a master’s degree in Administrative Education, however he was no longer able to compete to his ability in any sport because of his knee injury. Being very competitive in nature, Brunson turned to the game of Poker to satisfy his need, and it wasn’t long before he found himself making more as a poker player than at a 9-5 job.
In 1976, Doyle Brunson won his first World Series of Poker title, as well as his first of two consecutive champion event titles. Interestingly, his winning hand in both 1976 and 1977 was a 10-2, which converted to a full house of 10s full of 2s. In fact, the hand 10-2 has been dubbed the “Doyle Brunson”, in recognition of Brunson’s success with this modest hand. Showing versatility and longevity, Brunson won WSOP titles again in 1978, 1979, 1991, and 1998- he owns nine golden bracelets in all- this total ties him with Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan for the all-time record. And if you think old age has slowed the Texas Dolly down, think again- he won the WPT Legends of Poker event in 2004 to take home over a million dollars in winnings.
Currently residing in Las Vegas, when he’s not playing poker, Doyle Brunson remains active as a regular swimmer. He is also known to be quite the gambler, even without poker as pretext- legend has it that he bet a friend $1 Million that he could lose 100 pounds- a bet he is said to have won. Doyle is also famous for having written the “Super System” his instructional book considered by many to be the Bible of Poker. In 2004 Doyle Brunson was one of the first 3 inductees into the Poker Walk of Fame- a place befitting of his legendary status. But he’s not done yet; watch for the Texas Dolly to win many more pots before he’s done with the game!