Doyle Brunson retired from tournament poker in 2018, having turned 85 in August that year, after more than five decades as a professional. In his long, illustrious career, Brunson won a total of ten World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, including the WSOP Main Event two years running, in 1976 and 1977, and amassed just over $6.1 million in live earnings. His biggest payout was $1.2 million for winning the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker event in Los Angeles in 2004.
Brunson also has the distinction of having two hands named after him. The first, ten-two, was his final hand in the WSOP Main Event in both 1976 and 1977 and, in both cases, he made a full house on the river to win what is considered the world championship of poker. The second, ace-queen, is known as a ‘Doyle Brunson’ because it is a hand that he never played or, at least, a hand that he tried never to play.
Brunson was born in Longworth, Texas – hence his nickname ‘Texas Dolly’ – but settled in Las Vegas, where he still resides. He regularly contested the WSOP Main Event from its inauguration in 1970, finishing second in 1980, fourth in 1982 and third in 1984, in addition to his two wins. In 1988, at the age of 54, Brunson was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas and later in his career, in 2006, ‘Bluff’ magazine declared him the ‘most influential force in the world of poker.’