Doyle Brunson, The Father Of Texas Holdem, Passes Away At 89

By TheNuts - May 17, 2023

Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson, The Father Of Texas Holdem, Passes Away At 89

The news that one of the true poker legends, the man who essentially taught the world how to play Texas Hold'em and whose name was synonymous with the sport of poker, had passed away shook the poker community late on Sunday night. Doyle Brunson, a two-time World Champion and ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, quietly died away on Sunday night. "Texas Dolly" was 89 years old when she passed away without a known cause of death.

Little indicated that Brunson, who was born in Longworth, Texas, on August 10, 1933, would go on to become one of the poker industry's most recognizable figures. Brunson would be an all-Texas basketball player and a champion in the Texas state track competition. Despite obtaining numerous scholarship offers, Brunson decided to attend Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, in order to be close to home.

The National Basketball Association champion Minneapolis (now Los Angeles) Lakers were reportedly courting Brunson when he was there as he guided the school's basketball team to numerous championships. His career as a professional basketball player was cut short by an accident he had while working at a sheetrock company, where he had a compound fracture of his leg and walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

After graduating from Hardin-Simmons with a teaching degree, Brunson decided to work in office equipment sales in an effort to support his family. He frequently participated in poker games that would be taking place inside the businesses when he was working as a salesman. Despite the fact that these games were against the law, Brunson finally improved to the point where he could outperform his salesman income. He will soon resign from his position as a salesman and pursue a career as a professional card player.

If Brunson had been a good salesman, how different would the game of poker have been? Brunson eventually arrived in Las Vegas after years of travel with Sailor Roberts and Amarillo Slim Preston. He played in the inaugural World Series of Poker and went on to take home 10 bracelets, including two World Championships. He would also write additional publications, including his autobiography, as well as Super/System, a seminal study on poker, and Super/System 2, its follow-up.

In total, Brunson won around $6 million playing tournament poker, including a World Poker Tour title (the WPT Legends of Poker) in 2004. But he probably made several times that much in cash games over the course of his lifetime thanks to his skills.

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