Our legal poker guide offers

  • Poker Reviews
  • State Laws
  • Comparison Guide

Doyle Brunson Announces Retirement from Poker

Earl Burton, Jun 12, 2018 01:57 UTC

In what was a stunning prelude to the start of the week for poker, living legend Doyle Brunson has indicated over Twitter than he will be playing his final poker tournament ever. Additionally, Brunson has indicated that he will be walking away from all aspects of poker, including cash games, and end his time on the felt.

Prior to the start of Day 2 of the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball tournament at the 2018 World Series of Poker, Brunson was one of the players in line to late register for the event. But it was his Tweet that started off his Monday that turned out to be the earth-shattering news of the day. Hitting Twitter to talk to his 431,000-plus followers, Brunson Tweeted “Going to the Rio to play in 2-7 lowball tournament. Probably the last one I’ll ever play.”

Brunson expounded on this to Remko Rinkema of Poker Central after arriving at the Rio on Monday. “I’m planning on retiring after the summer. My wife (Louise, whom he married in 1962) is not in very good health, and I will stay with her for the duration of either her life or mine,” Brunson stated to Rinkema. “I’m going to stop playing completely…I might change my mind (but) I don’t think that I will. This will be the last time that my wife and I have to spend together and, right now, every day that I leave the house I feel guilty.”

Brunson’s dedication to his spouse was evident as he continued talking with Rinkema. “My daughter stays with my wife a lot, and I never play until late anymore these days so I can be with her. After 57 years of marriage, I feel like owe it to my wife to stay with her.”

To say that Brunson has had an impact on the poker world is kind of like saying a small meteor hit off the Yucatan Peninsula. Born in 1933 in Longworth, TX, Brunson was an outstanding athlete in his high school years, particularly in basketball and track and field, winning the 1950 Texas Interscholastic Track Meet one-mile run in a time of 4:43 (the world record at the time was just over four minutes). Brunson would use that competitive drive to move on to Hardin-Simmons University, where he led the school’s basketball team to small college championships and drew interest from the Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association (the forerunners of the Los Angeles Lakers today).

Fate would intervene on Brunson’s life, however, and not for the last time. While working in a sheetrock plant during summer break, Brunson attempted to stop a shifting palatte of sheetrock with his leg, resulting in it being broken in two spots with severe knee damage. The injury would bother Brunson for the rest of his life, but he made the best of the situation in getting his college degree from Hardin-Simmons.

While working as a salesman after graduation, Brunson began to apply one of the other tools he had in his toolbox – poker. Playing Five Card Draw, Brunson soon learned that he could make more money from his poker prowess than he could through his sales abilities or teaching. He became one of the legendary “road gamblers” of old, joining up with fellow players “Amarillo Slim” Preston and “Sailor” Roberts, to alleviate the variance of playing in illegal games. In the 1960s, Brunson came to Las Vegas and, when Benny Binion brought out an event called “The World Series of Poker,” Brunson was one of the first in line to take part.

Except for a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, Brunson has been a part of the WSOP and leaves an indelible mark on its ledger. He was the second back-to-back champion (arguably the first to win it outright, as Johnny Moss was voted “champion” at the inaugural WSOP) of the $10,000 Championship Event, and would go on to eventually win 10 bracelets overall (tied for second all-time with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey behind the 14 won by Phil Hellmuth). Brunson is the only player to have cashed in the Championship Event in every decade it has been offered, from the 70s to the 2010s. He also netted a World Poker Tour title and several other events worldwide during his run.

What is probably the most remarkable achievement of Brunson’s career isn’t his tournament stats but his longevity away from the tournament tables. Brunson plied his trade on the battleground of the best players – high stakes cash games – and made a living from the game for decades. He also taught basically the world how to play poker with his seminal poker tome Super/System in 1978 and followed it up with Super/System 2 in 2004. These achievements, along with his well-documented place in the game, well-earned Brunson’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.

If the Deuce to Seven is to serve as Brunson’s farewell to the poker world, a run for an 11th WSOP title would be the perfect way to end it. Brunson comes into the final day of Event #20 at the WSOP in fifth place of the final 11 men left standing. It is also perhaps appropriate that his son, Todd (the only father/son duo to have each won a WSOP bracelet), is also at the table with his “Dad” for the event.

Thanks for the memories, “Texas Dolly,” and here’s a salute to you!

Poker News

Casinos Not Biting During Pennsylvania’s Online Gaming Licensing Push

29 June 2018

When Pennsylvania became the fourth state to pass online gaming and poker regulation, it was expected that there would be a flood

States Moving Forward on Sports Betting, But Nothing Happening Regarding Online Gaming or Poker

26 June 2018

Since the U. S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 back in May, the free-for-all

Doyle Brunson Announces Retirement from Poker

12 June 2018

In what was a stunning prelude to the start of the week for poker, living legend Doyle Brunson has indicated over Twitter

New Jersey Online Gaming Industry Breaks Record with Biggest Monthly “Win” in its History

20 April 2018

Signaling the vibrancy of its online gaming industry, New Jersey was able to bank its biggest online “win” rate in its history

Interstate Compact Between Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey to Begin May 1

17 April 2018

After a great deal of discussion over the issue, the three states that currently offer online poker to their citizens – Delaware,