Lisa Cheban | 13 June, 2023 11:33 | Last update on: 13 June, 2023 11:33
The gambling industry was mourning on May 15, 2023, after it was announced that Doyle Brunson, alias Texas Dolly had passed away in Texas. Born in 1933, Doyle Brunson was a champion poker player with a colourful and lucrative career to show for it.
Mr Brunson was a World Series of Poker main event champion, the most desired prize in the poker game. He is the only player to win back-to-back main events in 1976 and 1977. His poker career began with playing illegal card games in the back rooms of Texas clubs. Before his demise, he won more than $6 million in tournament winnings.
Doyle started as a basketball player in his teenage years, initially considered undersized. But that didn’t kill his determination to guide Sweetwater High School, in the nearby Sweetwater community, to the state tournament in Austin. Interestingly, his classmates introduced him to poker the evening before the semifinal game, which his team lost.
Texas Dolly was also quite good in baseball and running. He enrolled at the Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and began playing poker after failing to get a full scholarship to the University of Texas. He was in front of the school’s disciplinary committee five times for gambling but was never suspended, thanks to his athletic prowess.
After nearly captaining Hardin-Simmons to the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament, Mr Brunson secured a summer position at the nearby gypsum company. But sadly, his playing career ended abruptly after a stack of Sheetrock collapsed on him, breaking his right leg.
Besides playing poker for a living, the poker legend also had a master’s degree in education. However, he rejected a career as a schoolteacher after being astonished by how little school administrators were paid and instead accepted a position marketing business equipment. He stumbled into a poker game while making a sales call. He entered the game and equaled his monthly pay in three hours only. Brunson resigned from his position and began playing illegal poker in Texas.
Meanwhile, Brunson was also an accomplished writer. He wrote about his amazing experiences and difficulties over the years in his book “The Godfather of Poker: The Doyle Brunson Story.” He also wrote “Super/System,” one of the first books to provide in-depth strategies for this card game. The book ultimately altered the game of poker.
Brian Balsbaugh, Brunson’s agent, tweeted a family message, stating: “It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson. He was a beloved Christian man, husband, father and grandfather. 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.”
W.S.O.P. (World Series of Poker) also bid farewell to one of its bets ever, saying: “Rest in Peace to the Biggest Legend of Them All. Thank you for being the consummate player and gentleman. No one will ever fill your seat.”