The cowboy hat-wearing, minimal table talking, Godfather of Poker’s massive return to glory Doyle Brunson died on May 14th.
First announced by long-time agent Brian Balsbaugh, the word broke via Twitter. “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.”
With ten World Series of Poker Tour titles and two world championships under his hat, the man known affectionately as “Texas Dolly” was a force to be reconned with at the poker table. A man known just as well for his smooth demeanor off the table as he was at it, it was easy to see why people flocked to him. As proof that still waters are deep, you never saw the man get rattled when someone got the better of him for a hand.
That patience is what allowed him to sew up back-to-back world championships in 1976 and 1977, as well as kick open the door to his entrance to the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988. It’s also what his fellow players loved and hated about the man in the 10-gallon hat.
It also transcended the game, with actor James Woods reflecting dearly on Brunson “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.”