The "Godfather of Poker," Doyle Brunson has Passed Away at 89

The poker world is mourning the loss of one of its most iconic superstars, Doyle Brunson, who passed away this weekend at the age of 89. Details of his passing and the cause of death weren’t available at the time of publishing.

“It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson,” Brian Balsbaugh shared on behalf of the Brunson family. “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.”

“Texas Dolly,” as he was often referred, rose to poker fame in the 1970s and was a staple in the high-stakes world right up until his death. He even appeared on in some televised poker games over the past year, including the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

Brunson leaves behind quite a legacy in poker, including 10 WSOP bracelets, tied for second behind Phil Hellmuth (16), and competed in the highest stakes cash games for more than 50 years.

Prior to becoming a poker pro, Doyle was a talented basketball player in the 1950s at Hardin-Simmons where he starred on the hardwood in college. The future poker legend had a shot at making the NBA but a knee injury derailed those aspirations. Instead, he took on a career path in poker that worked out quite well.

Related: Doyle Brunson Proves He Still Has it Despite WSOP Main Event Exit

Doyle Brunson Left Behind an Unmatched Legacy in Poker

Doyle Brunson poker
Doyle Brunson

Brunson’s impact on the poker community spans far beyond his incredible accomplishments on the felt. He wrote Super System and Super System 2, still to this day two of the most iconic poker strategy books ever. He was also an ambassador for the game for decades, and recently served as an ambassador for the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Daniel Negreanu, who faced Brunson countless times at the poker table, broke the devastating news on Twitter. He wrote that “there will never be another Doyle Brunson.”

On the felt, Doyle was pretty much unstoppable from the 1970s all the way up until he passed away. He was the 1976 and 1977 world champion, won 10 WSOP titles, was a WPT champion, made millions playing against some of the best players in the world for decades in cash games in Las Vegas, and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.

Brunson’s son, Todd Brunson, is also a Poker Hall of Famer (2016). The elder Brunson was born in 1933 in Longworth, Texas, a small town PokerNews visited on its Texas Week road trip last year, but spent most of his adulthood in Las Vegas. He’s been married to his wife, Louise, since 1962, and met her in 1952.

PokerNews would like to extend our condolences to the friends and family of Doyle Brunson, one of the greatest and most beloved poker players of all-time.

Doyle Brunson’s WSOP Bracelets

Year Event Place Prize
1976 $10,000 World Championship 1st $220,000
1976 $5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw 1st $80,250
1977 $10,000 World Championship 1st $340,000
1977 $1,000 Seven-Card Stud Split 1st $62,500
1978 $5,000 Seven-Card Stud 1st $68,000
1979 $600 Mixed Doubles 1st $4,500
1991 $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em 1st $208,000
1998 $1,500 Seven-Card Razz 1st $93,000
2003 $2,000 H.O.R.S.E. 1st $84,080
2005 $5,000 Short Handed No-Limit Hold’em 1st $367,800

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