Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson Wiki – Doyle Brunson Bio

Doyle Brunson, a two-time world champion considered to be the “Godfather of Poker,” died on Sunday, May 15, at the age of 89. The news of his death was announced in a statement by his agent Brian Balsbaugh. “It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson,” the statement read.

“He was a beloved Christian man, husband, father and grandfather,” it continued. “We ‘ll have more to say over the coming days as we honor his legacy. Please keep Doyle and our family in your prayers. May he rest in peace,” it concluded. His immediate cause of death has not yet been confirmed to the public. Brunson is survived by his wife, Louise, his son, Todd, and his daughter, Pam.


Doyle Brunson died at the age of 89 years old.


Brunson was born in Longworth, Texas, and was part of the All-State Texas basketball team. He even won the one-mile event at the 1950 Texas Interscholastic Track Meet. Despite receiving several college offers, Brunson decided to study at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. While The Minneapolis Lakers showed interest in Brunson, a major knee injury shattered his dreams of becoming a professional basketball player.

The poker legend obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1954 as well as a master’s degree in administrative education the following year before starting to work as a school principal. Brunson already started playing poker before his injury, often playing the five-card draw but took up more games post-injury. He started working as a business machine salesman after graduation but won more than a month’s salary after being invited to play in a seven-card stud game. He soon decided to leave the company and became a professional poker player.


Brunson started his poker career several decades ago by playing illegal games on Exchange Street in Fort Worth with his friend Dwayne Hamilton. The duo began traveling around Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana to play bigger games and met fellow professionals Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts. While Hamilton eventually moved back to Fort Worth, the remaining group, including Brunson, continued to travel and gamble on poker, golf, and others.

After pooling their money for gambling for six years, the group made a trip to Las Vegas but lost a six-figure amount. While they decided to stop playing as partners the squad remained friends. Brunson eventually settled in Las Vegas and became a regular player at the World Series of Poker since its inception in 1970. He won the World Series of Poker main event in back-to-back in 1976 and 1977, making the final table of that event an additional three times. The starting hand 10-2 is now known as the Doyle Brunson, as he won the WSOP main event with that hand both years.

Brunson won a total of 10 World Series of Poker tournaments, second to Phil Hellmuth’s record of 16 wins. His endless accolades also include 26 WSOP final tables and a victory on the World Poker Tour. Brunson earned more than $6 million from live tournaments, with his last WSOP cash coming in 2018 after he made the final table in the $10,000 2-7 lowball event. Dubbed the “Texas Dolly” and “Godfather of Poker,” Brunson was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988 at the age of 54. He also authored the 1979 book ‘Super System,’ which is considered to be one of the most impactful books about poker strategy of all time. Brunson also wrote the book ‘Poker Wisdom of a Champion,’ which was originally published as ‘According to Doyle’ by Lyle Stuart in 1984.

Brunson’s son, Todd, is also a professional poker player and fellow member of the Poker Hall of Fame. He was reportedly inducted after winning his bracelet in 2005. Brunson allegedly did not teach his son to play poker but the latter learned the game on his own during his time as a law student at Texas Tech University.

Todd’s total live tournament winnings exceed $4.5 million and his 69 cashes at the WSOP account for over 2 million of those earnings. The Brunsons also became the first father-son duo to both win WSOP gold, ABC News reported. In the wake of Brunson ‘s death, it is possible that his son will carry forward his legacy in the poker industry in the days to come.

Cause of Death

Brunson died in Las Vegas on May 14, 2023, aged 89. He was two-time world champion considered to be the “Godfather of Poker,” died on Sunday, May 15, at the age of 89. The news of his death was announced in a statement by his agent Brian Balsbaugh. “It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson,” the statement read.


Several celebrities and notables names from the poker industry poured in heartfelt tributes after Brunson’s passing. “can’t believe this day has come – you will always be held high in our hearts, the man, the myth, the legend & THE GODFATHER of poker baby! Mr Brunson, you made poker what it is baby! thank you for what you give to all of us baby! RIP Mr Doyle Brunson THE GODFATHER OF POKER,” wrote five-time WSOP winner Scotty Nguyen. “This one is a heartbreaker. Doyle Brunson, the greatest poker player who ever lived, has cashed in his chips. Doyle was so kind and helpful to me. He was gracious to my late dear brother and every friend I introduced him to. A gentleman and a genuine legend. #TexasDolly #RIP,” tweeted actor James Wood.

“I’m so lucky I had the opportunity to truly understand Doyle’s greatness by sitting across the table from him. “Legend” feels inadequate. We don’t have a word for what Doyle Brunson is to poker. Rest in Peace,” said RunItOnce founder and pro poker player Phil Galfond. “Rip #DoyleBrunson. I had the pleasure of playing with him many times. He had a wicked sense of humor and always put a smile on my face. Even when he bluffed me out of a hand he did it in such a genial way, I felt like it had somehow been an honor for him to take my chips. #Legend,” shared actress and poker player Jennifer Tilly.

“I am sad to have just learned of the passing of the greatest poker player ever, #DoyleBrunson. His accomplishments dwarf mine, and it is a great honor to share with him the title of World Champion. One of the few times I got to play with him, the 2004 Tournament of Champions,” added 2004 WSOP main event champion Greg Raymer. “Woke up in Europe to 100’s of messages, you can tell the legend of a man by the impact he’s made on so many and certainly he’s done that for me and my family in my 30 years in this game. Rest in peace Doyle Brunson!” tweeted WPT executive tour director and PokderTDA founder, Matt Savage.

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Fans of Brunson also took to social media to offer their condolences after his passing. “Rest Well #DoyleBrunson truly the Godfather of poker and Legend for decades,” one wrote. “Godfather, Rest in peace Doyle Brunson,” added another. “RIP to a true legend, a bridge between three eras of gambling history. Doyle Brunson played poker with Titanic Thompson, who played with Arnold Rothstein. He saw it all and stayed in action for over 70 years,” a third stated.


One said, “Texas Dolly. The Godfather of Poker. Doyle Brunson. His legend, from the gambling stories that made him one of poker’s true cowboys to his success at the WSOP, will live on forever. Rest in peace” while another tweeted, “We just lost an absolute legend. R.I.P. Doyle Brunson One of the greatest poker players to ever live His legacy will live thru all that loved him forever.”