|In order to survive in Texas
after an accident, Texas Dolly
Doyle Brunson took up the
game that would prove to be
his lifeblood, poker. His
upbringing and early life as an
outsider made him a lifelong
observer of people, and his
skill at reading faces was his
ace in the hole; he got very
good, very fast.
|WSOP Gallery of Champions Poker Professional Player Biography|
He was the star of the infamous band of traveling poker sharks, the Texas
Rounders. He was the first of the high stakes hotel poker players in Las
Vegas introducing his “power poker” to the world. He has won an
unprecedented and record ten World Series of Poker events, including the
two back-to-back world championships. In addition, he is a best-selling
author and in the world of professional poker, he is king.
Doyle learned early on in life, no matter what you’re dealt, anything can be
turned into a winning hand. Raised dirt poor in rural Texas, he was a natural
athlete who went to college on both a basketball and track scholarships. His
NBA career with the then-Minneapolis Lakers ended before it began when he
shattered his leg in an accident at the gypsum factory where he was working
pre-season. The leg never did heal properly, and to this day, his place at a
poker table is easily spotted by the crutch standing nearby.
In order to survive in Texas after the accident, Brunson took up the game
that would prove to be his lifeblood, poker. His upbringing and early life as an
outsider made him a lifelong observer of people, and his skill at reading faces
was his ace in the hole; he got very good, very fast.
But then life took a turn for the worse in 1962 when he was diagnosed with
cancer and given a mere three months left in this world. But he called that
bluff and the other guy folded, and 40 years later, Brunson is still at the
table, and still winning.
Considered the patriarch of modern poker and the person most responsible
for its rise from smoky backrooms to the pop-culture spotlight, Brunson was
the leader of the Texas Rounders, a group of men who, in the words of The
History Channel, "cleaned Texas dry" playing high-stakes poker in the 1950s
and '60s. Outrunning both the law and the hijackers who preyed on winners
of illegal big-money card games, he eventually landed in Las Vegas where he
became one of the city's earliest tourist attractions: audiences would gather
in awe to watch him play.
In 1978, Brunson changed the game of poker forever with his book
Super/System, a complete guide to Texas Hold'em and other games of poker.
Essential reading for everyone from weekend dabblers to high-stakes
gamblers, the book remains the bible of poker, the top-selling poker book of
all time, still selling 14,000 copies a month. Following the books success,
Brunson recently published a sequel, Super/System 2, which includes new
games, new strategies and insight from not only Brunson himself but also
some of the other biggest names in poker today. As well, Brunson has an
autobiography, a recently released book specifically on online poker, and the
tales of the greatest hands he's ever seen all scheduled to be published in
the coming months.|
Doyle, at the ripe young age of 72, continues to play at the elite level. Where
most poker players’ skills usually deteriorate with age and time, Brunson is
sharper than ever still eliminating the competition day in and day out. In
2005, he won both his record 10th WSOP bracelet, and hundreds of
thousands more in tournament play.
He is a spokesperson for the new online poker website DoylesRoom.com, and
writes a syndicated poker column in the London Telegraph. He plays poker
every day and often hosts high-stakes Texas Hold'em games that cost
$100,000 just to sit down. He'll win, and sometimes lose, $50,000 or more on
a single hand. But as he recently told the History Channel, "to be a successful
gambler you have to have a complete disregard for money." That and a keen
eye for what's happening in the eyes of the other guy.
Most recently, in January 2006, ahead of ESPN, the World Poker Tour, and
the rest of the world, BLUFF magazine voted Brunson the #1 most influential
force in the world of poker. Despite all these accomplishments, Doyle shows
no signs of slowing down. He still has the eye, the nerve and the skill and
just in the fall of 2004, won another million-dollar World Poker Tour event at
the Bicycle Club in Los Angeles, CA.
Doyle continues to defy the odds and play with the best, but he’ll be the first
to tell you, it’s not always what you’re dealt, but how you play the cards.