The world of poker may never see another Doyle Brunson. He’s one of a kind. The legend who invented Texas Hold’em and has won more money than any other poker player on earth is an extraordinary man who has led an extraordinary life.
He has survived poverty, armed robbery, physical assault, and even cancer, on a journey that has taken him from a dusty little town in East Texas to a mansion in Las Vegas and more money than he can ever spend.
Brunson’s hardships have not embittered him. In fact, just the opposite is true. He is a devoted family man with a wide circle of friends that include many of the world’s finest poker players. More remarkably, in a game that is often dominated by huge egos and fierce competition, his peers will agree that no one has done more for the game of poker than Doyle Brunson.
At age 71, Brunson is still nowhere close to resting on his laurels. In 2004, he beat over 600 players in the WPT’s Legends of Poker Championship, winning $1,173,260. In 2005, he published Super System II, the sequel to his original bestseller.
Brunson’s fans have long been mesmerized by his awe-inspiring skill. He won the World Series of Poker twice in a row, 1976 and 1977. Even more incredibly, it was with the same hand, a full house, tens full of deuces. The feat was so astounding, that ever since, the hand has been called a Doyle Brunson. But it was in 1979 that he solidified his place on the list of all time greats by publishing the ultimate poker bible, Super System. It revolutionized the game by blowing wide open the trade secrets of professional poker players. For $100, the book’s original cover price, the average player could teach himself how to play poker like a professional gambler.
One hundred twenty thousand copies of the updated and highly anticipated Super System 2 were printed in February 2005. They sold out in a month. “Everybody wants it,” Doyle said. The new book uses the original’s winning formula, experts in their game lay out the secrets. While Texas Hold’em might not have changed much, Brunson said, other games have evolved. The new book addresses those games that weren’t even being played in casinos when Super System first came out. Few things about Brunson are as simple as they appear. The man beneath the cowboy hat loves sushi. The professional gambler is a serious businessman. The poker superstar has a large family that includes four children, one grandchild, and two great grandchildren. He loves vacationing with them at a cabin on Flat Head Lake in Montana.
During the summer, Brunson said, he and his family go up for “fishing, good weather, good people.” He dotes on his two small dogs, Casper and Cutie sit on his lap and follow him everywhere. “They’re my babies, they’re like part of the family.