- Tributes have been pouring in for Doyle Brunson who passed away on May 14 at 89
- Poker pros call him a legend, a poker hero, and a man with a wicked sense of humor
- Brunson was among the most successful players of all time, winning 10 WSOP gold bracelets
Doyle Brunson, considered the “Godfather of Poker”, dedicated more than 50 years of his life to playing the game professionally and helping it grow to what it is now. Brunson died on May 14 in Las Vegas at the age of 89.
He is arguably the most important poker figure in history and a lot of pros young and old would agree, based on the plenty of tributes pouring in for him after his passing.
Brunson’s Poker Accomplishments
Brunson had been one of the regular players of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) since its inception in the 1970s. He ranks second all-time with 10 bracelets, tied with Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan. Throughout his career, he excelled both in tournaments and cash games, making him one of the best poker players in history.
Age was never a barrier for Brunson to keep his passion for the game burning. He competed in the 2021 WSOP Main Event at 88, much to the delight of the thousands of poker fans and players who look up to him. In 2022, he joined the World Poker Tour (WPT) as a brand ambassador, fittingly so as he’s a WPT champion himself, winning the WPT Legends of Poker event in 2004 for a career-best $1,198,290.
But more than his poker accomplishments, Brunson, known to many as “Texas Dolly”, was well-loved because of his character and personality.
Tributes Pour In for Texas Dolly
Brunson’s name is synonymous with poker. Every poker enthusiast knows who he was and his huge contributions to the overall growth of the game. He had been an inspiration to many of the successful poker pros we know, including Phil Galfond who couldn’t seem to find the exact words to describe Brunson’s greatness.
I’m so lucky I had the opportunity to truly understand Doyle’s greatness by sitting across the table from him.
“Legend” feels inadequate.
We don’t have a word for what Doyle Brunson is to poker.
Rest in Peace ♥️ pic.twitter.com/IjCDrNG96c
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) May 15, 2023
Those who had the pleasure to often share the same poker table with Brunson would remember him as a man with a “wicked sense of humor”, as Jennifer Tilly put it in a tribute posted on Twitter. Jerod Smith and Lex Veldhuis are among those impressed by his ability to bring genuine joy to the people around him.
For many younger pros, including Daniel Zack and Darren Elias, Brunson was a childhood hero.
Industry veteran Mori Eskandani recognized the importance of the Poker Hall of Famer’s presence in the game, saying Texas Hold’em would never be the same again without him.
Brunson spent his last few months doing what he loves playing poker. He played at the record-breaking WPT World Championship in December 2022, competing alongside popular pros Maria Ho, Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen who all got star-struck playing with him.
My sincerest condolences to the entire Brunson family. The #poker world is wrapping you all in warmth and love during this time. Thank you for sharing him with us all. #RIPDoyle
— Maria Ho (@MariaHo) May 15, 2023