Doyle Brunson Dies: ‘Godfather Of Poker’ And Two-Time World Champion Was 89

Doyle Brunson, the American poker legend who helped popularize the card game globally, has died aged 89.

Known as ‘the Godfather of Poker,’ Brunson was a leading professional player for more than 50 years, wrote a number of books on the game and was a familiar face on programs such as High Stakes Poker and World Series of Poker. He was a Poker Hall of Fame inductee and a two-time World Series of Poker Main Event champion.

Perhaps aptly, he passed away in the home of poker, Las Vegas, on Sunday. He was known in poker circles by his nickname, ‘Texas Dolly.’

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Brunson appeared in films such as Zak Penn improv comedy The Grand as a poker pro and was a consultant on Lucy You, a 2007 film from Curtis Hanson about a hotshot player with personal demons.

Poker superstars such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Scotty Nguyen have written messages expressing their sadness at Brunson’s passing. Negranu, considered by many the greatest poker player of the modern era, wrote on Twitter, “There will never be another Doyle Brunson.”

Brunson began playing illegal poker games in the U.S. before settling in Las Vegas, where he began to build his fortune. He played in the first World Series of Poker and was a champion in 1976 and 1977. He went on to author several books such as Super System: A Course in Power Poker, providing insight into tactics and mindsets for millions of amateur players. He retired from professional poker in 2018, but did occasionally return for tournaments.

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