Doyle Brunson -
The Big Daddy of Texas Holdem Poker

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doyle-brunsonThere are very few people who become genuine legends in their own life time, and Doyle Brunson is certainly one of them. Doyle has been around the Texas Holdem Poker scene for as long as the game has been played, and was one of the original “Dallas Crew” who brought the game to Las Vegas in the late Nineteen Fifties.

Born in 1933, in Texas at the height of the Great Depression, Doyle Brunson, as young man, was a superb athlete. He looked to be developing a promising career as a basket ball player, until a serious knee injury meant that he could no longer achieve his potential on the parquet.

Undeterred, Brunson continued his college and went on to qualify as an MBA in administrative education.

Like many who came after him, Brunson paid for his education by taking part in poker games, initially at his own college, and later by travelling around to play against fellow students at universities and colleges throughout Texas.

To all intents and purpose Brunson received an education at two levels, at college during the day and at the poker tables at night.

Brunson recalls these years as being the most exciting of his young life, although he knew that when he graduated his poker playing days would be over.

After graduating, the intelligent and articulate Brunson soon found himself in an office selling office equipment. After just a week, Doyle decided that he so missed the adrenalin rush of playing poker and that holding down a nine to five job was not for him.

Playing the university circuit was not for him, so Doyle began to seek playing action in the largely illegal and decidedly unsafe poker circuit of Dallas, Texas. It was there that he began to play the Texas Holdem version of poker and where he first got to know the rest of the Dallas Crew including the legendary Amarillo Slim and Johnny Moss, along with their mentor, Benny Binion.

In 1960, when the Dallas Crew decide to follow Binion to Vegas, Brunson had no hesitation in packing up his wife and four children to go with them.

To begin with poker in Las Vegas was legal and Doyle, who was more of a gentleman than most of his gambling buddies, felt more comfortable there.

1976-wsopIt was in Vegas that Doyle began to reach his peak as a Texas Hold’em player, winning his first World Series of Poker title in 1976, and again the following year. Winning two back to back championships was a remarkable feat, and what makes the victories even more memorable was that Doyle won both final table head to heads with an identical hand- a full house of tens full of deuces, a hand that from that day is known as the "Doyle Brunson"

Doyle Brunson, now 78 years old, is still active as a Texas Holdem Poker player and a much loved and respected father figure to every player involved at all levels of the game. The ever genial Brunson remains a redoubtable opponent, regularly taking part in tournaments and high level cash games.

Still wearing his Stetson, Doyle looks like being around for years to come.

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