Celebrating Doyle Brunson’s extraordinary legacy at the World Series of Poker
Doyle Brunson and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) have been around for a long time. Texas Dolly’s biography contains the history of the WSOP.
Brunson was at the very first WSOP and has competed at almost every WSOP since (save for the four-year boycott in the early 2000s). He won his sixth ever WSOP Main Event (one of two Main Event wins) and amassed ten bracelets in total, tied for second-most bracelets with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey.
With just days to go before the WSOP 2023, PokerNews joins the poker community in taking a look back at how Brunson stood like a colossus at the WSOP.
The “Godfather of Poker”, Doyle Brunson, has passed away at the age of 89
Doyle at the inaugural World Series of Poker
Before the first WSOP in 1970, there was the Texas Gamblers Reunion in 1969. The reunion took place in Reno at the Holiday Hotel and Casino. The original idea was to create an exhibition table with the best poker players in the world that could attract potential players.
Brunson, one of the most Texan players of all Texan players, was in attendance, although the event’s eventual winner was Crandell Addington.
Benny Binion took note of the event, recalling the success of a similar friendly in 1949 between Johnny Moss and Nick “the Greek” Dandalos.
In 1970, Binion hosted his own version of the reunion, hosting a seven-player cash game at his Casino Horseshoe in Vegas.
Addington and Moss were invited to play. As well as Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Sailor Roberts, Walter “Puggy” Pearson and Carl Cannon. Brunson made the seven.
After three days of poker, the players voted on who was the best. It was a seven-way tie. Everyone had voted for themselves.
After a re-vote where players were not allowed to put their own names on their ballots, Johnny Moss took the crown at the inaugural World Series of Poker.
Bob Hooks: The Forgotten Texas Road Gambler
Ten bracelets and a standing O.
Doyle competed at the 1971 WSOP when the format first switched to a winner take all freeze-out. In the following years he achieved some good rankings. But it wasn’t until 1976 that he won his first double bracelet. One for the 1976 WSOP $5,000 deuce-to-seven draw event – his first ever – and later in the series he won the 1976 WSOP $10,000 main event.
Over the next 30 years, Brunson won a further eight bracelets, including the 1977 WSOP $10,000 Main Event (one of only three consecutive ME wins ever). Although the ’80s were a dry spell for Brunson, he managed to win multiple events in the ’70s, ’90s and 2000s.
I’m going to Rio to play the 2-7 lowball tournament. Probably the last I’ll ever play.
— Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly)
Doyle’s last bracelet came in 2005 in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short-Handed event.
Despite not winning another event after that, he did make a final table at the 2018 WSOP $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. Ahead of this event, he tweeted that it might be his last tournament ever. It was a fitting choice considering 2-7 Lowball was the game in which he won his first bracelet nearly 30 years ago.
When he finally busted out in sixth place, the TV studio stood up and applauded him into the sunset.
Doyle returned to the WSOP a few times after 2018, but that was his last final table at the WSOP.
Doyle Brunson plays at the WSOP. Doyle Brunson’s Complete Bracelet List YearBuy-InTournamentPrice (US$) 1976$5,000Deuce to Seven Draw$80,250 1976$10,000No Limit Hold’em World Championship$230,000 1977$1,000Seven-Card Stud Split$62,500 1977$10,000No Limit Hold’em World Championship$340, 0 00 1978 $5,000 Seven-Card Stud $68,000 1979 $600 Mixed Doubles Seven-Card Stud (with Starla Brodie) $4,500 1991 $2,500 No Limit Hold’em $208,000 1998 $1,500 Seven-Card Razz $93,000 2003 $2,000 HORSE $84,080 2005 $5,000 No Limit Short Played Texas Hold’em (6 players per table) $367,800 Ten-Deuce: “The Texas Dolly”
Part of Doyle Brunson’s WSOP legend lives on after him in the random mix of players. Any time a player is dealt a ten-deuce on the hole, they’ll think “Texas Dolly.”
Texas Dolly is an old nickname of Doyle. And the ten and the two were his hole cards, winning his Main Event bracelets both times.
The first time was heads-up against Addington. The second time was against Milo Jacobson. Both times, Doyle made a full house from an otherwise bad pair of cards.
In this year’s series, you can find out who has The Brunson preflop. The tell is a tip from the Stetson when he checks the hole for the first time.