On Sunday night, the poker world lost a legend in Doyle Brunson, who passed away at the age of 89. The loss of the 10-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet winner sent shockwaves through the poker world, with titans such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Jen Harman sharing their sorrow.
Brunson leaves behind an unmatched legacy – which was discussed in a special episode of the PokerNews Podcast here – as well as being the subject of some of the most iconic poker photos ever taken.
“I look through my photo archive and I have something to remember,” the original WSOP photographer Ulvis Alberts shared. We first met in 1977 in Las Vegas, Binion’s Horseshoe Casino. You were charismatic, talented, and invincible – that’s how you will remain in our memories and in the history of poker. RIP.”
“You were charismatic, talented, and invincible – that’s how you will remain in our memories and in the history of poker.”
Eric Harkins, who was once called the “Godfather of Poker Photography,” shared similar sentiments.
“Very sad to hear that our friend the ‘Godfather of Poker’ Doyle Brunson has passed away at age 89. Always a genuine smile; bigger heart; and treated my crew (Image Masters Photography) and myself with the greatest respect during our time with World Series of Poker (WSOP). Our condolences to his family and management team Poker Royalty. The poker world has lost a true legend of the game. Thank you for ALL the memories, Doyle!”
Drew Amato, who has made a name for himself as one of the most respected modern-day poker photographers, summed it up with a simple: “Always loved photographing Doyle. Sad to hear of his passing…. the last of a dying breed. Rest Easy Tex.”
Brunson has had his picture snapped thousands of times throughout the decades by hundreds of photographers. While some images are iconic, such as his winner photos from the 1976 and 1977 WSOP Main Events, PokerNews, unfortunately, does not own the rights to such images.
That said, we have hundreds of photos of “Texas Dolly” in our database, and below we present some of our favorites.
Poker Players From All Eras Pay Tribute After Doyle Brunson’s Passing
PokerNews Shots of Doyle Brunson
Our last photo of Brunson came back at the 2021 WSOP when he participated in Event #79: Poker Hall of Fame Bounty. Brunson, who was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame back in 1988, was all smiles during the tournament where he played the role of ambassador chatting with tablemates and taking photos with fans. Here, Brunson is all smiles in a picture taken by Rachel Kay Miller.
While at the 2021 WSOP, Brunson participated in a promotion sit-and-go with some of the biggest names in the game, including 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Back in 1989, Hellmuth was the new young gun rising through the ranks ushering in a new-school era from the Texas Road Gamblers, like Brunson. However, unlike some of the old times, Brunson stood the test of time and would battle Hellmuth many times in the years to come including in this photo by Hayley Hochstetler.
Brunson’s last WSOP cash came back at the 2018 WSOP when he finished sixth in Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. After he busted, Brunson took off his iconic cowboy bat in what would essentially signify his retirement from tournament poker. Antonio Abrego snapped this photo just prior to Brunson taking his leave from the tournament.
In the same tournament, Brunson’s son, fellow Poker Hall of Famer Todd Brunson, finished in 10th place. Before his elimination, the father-son duo got the opportunity to play next to each other, and once again Abrego was there to capture the special moment.
It was rare to get a photo of Brunson when he wasn’t either playing or surrounded by others, but at the 2018 WSOP Jayne Furman snapped this beautiful picture of the legend inside the gamed Amazon Room.
Ten years ago, during the 2013 WSOP, officials commemorated Brunson’s stellar career with a bronzed bust. WSOP officials Jack Effel and Ty Stewart presented Brunson with the bust in a special ceremony, and the old Texan didn’t hesitate to pose with his likeness.
At the 2013 WSOP, Brunson took part in Event #55: $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship, which featured a trophy named after his best friend, David “Chip” Reese. While Brunson never won that tournament, he did cash it twice finishing eighth in 2006 for $274,560 and 16th in 2008 for $124,320. In 2013, Brunson played alongside Phil Ivey giving poker fans a side-by-side shot of the two poker greats in action.
A lot of poker fans have shared experiences of nearly getting run over by Brunson, who was known to drive his scooter up and down the hallways of the 2009. Well, at the 2009 WSOP it became an actual spectacle when Brunson had an officially-sanction scooter race against the late “Amarillo Slim” Preston, his longtime friend and fellow Texas road gambler.
One of PokerNews’ earliest photos of Doyle Brunson is from the 2007 WSOP. At the time, Brunson was in a three-way tie with Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth for most gold bracelets with 10 each. However, Hellmuth went on to break the record by claiming No. 11 in Event #15: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. During the bracelet ceremony, both Brunson and Chan took time to present the “Poker Brat” with his new hardware.
Executive Editor U.S.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.