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Poker Star: Doyle Brunson

Poker Star: Doyle Brunson
Today's poker star is living legend Doyle Brunson.
by Academia   |   comments 0

Born in Longworth, Texas, USA, on August 10, 1933, Doyle F. Brunson is a retired poker pro who has spent more than 50 years of poker career. The legendary player was a two-time World Series of Poker Main Event champion, being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and contributing to numerous poker books. Another record for Doyle was being the first person to cash in $1 million in a poker tournament.

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Among his achievements, Doyle has already racked up ten WSOP bracelets in his 50+ year journey as a poker pro. The number of bracelets matches those of players Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan. However, Doyle falls behind Phil Hellmuth, who got fifteen bracelets. Doyle is also one of four pros who have managed to win back-to-back Main Event at the WSOP, those being in 1976 and 1977. In addition, Doyle has also won the WSOP for four consecutive years, along with Bill Boyd and Loren Klein.

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The Fisher County young man was on the Texas basketball team and participated in the 1950 Texas Interscholastic Track Meet and won the one-mile sport, setting a time of 4:43. In this, Brunson received several offers from colleges, ending up studying at Hardin-Summons University in Abilene, Texas.
After that, the NBA Minneapolis Lakers team even looked to Doyle at the time, but the young man got a knee injury and ended his hopes as a basketball athlete there. Brunson sometimes still uses a crutch because of this injury and claims that it ended his dream of being an NBA player. As early as 1954, Brunson earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in the field of administrative education.
In the meantime, Brunson started playing poker, devoting more time to the game after his injury. As such, his gambling resulted in his expenses paid during his injured time. After Brunson graduated, the young man started working as a machine salesman. However, on his first day on the job, Doyle was invited to play a seven-card game and managed to earn more than his salary. So he quit his job and devoted himself to being a poker pro.


Professional contact with poker began in illegal games on Exchange Street in Fortworth, along with his partner Dwayne Hamilton. Soon after, both friends left to travel through Texas, meeting other legends such as Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts. Through this, the biggest events that players took part in were illegal and carried out by criminals. During this time, Brunson even reported that guns were pointed at him several times, including being robbed and beaten.
After several difficulties, Brunson settled in Las Vegas. As such, the living poker legend has been stamped on editions of the World Series of Poker since its founding in 1970. Almost every year Brunson has participated in the WSOP Main Events, securing numerous prizes and bracelets throughout his journey. After hitting 1976 and 1977, Brunson also set the following years: 1972, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1997, 2004 and 2013.
In 2018, Brunson announced his retirement from poker at that year's WSOP. At the time, Doyle said: "Going to Rio to play the 2-7 Lowball tournament. It's probably the last I'll play in my life."
Recently, in 2021, Doyle came out again saying he might be coming back from his retirement: "I'm planning on playing some WSOP tournaments this year."
Currently, data indicates that Doyle Brunson's fortune surpasses the US$80 million mark. In addition, the legend also collaborated on the book "Superstars Poker Strategy: The World's Greatest Players Reveal their Winning Secrets" alongside Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.

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