Most of you are familiar with one of the, if not the most well known poker player in history. That poker player would be Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson. Most people familiar with poker at all have at least heard his name in passing, either referencing what he is doing in the World Series of Poker or possibly a book he had written.
Brunson wasn’t always the well known figure he is today. Everyone starts somewhere and he popped up in illegal poker games in Texas. It became an event for himself and a friend named Dwayne Hamilton, more then a passing hobby. When you feature yourself in these back-room games a player might find himself in some unconventional situations. Doyle himself has admitted to having a gun pulled on him in more situations then anyone would care to remember.
Poker at this time was not something anybody would consider a profession and the attached stigma to the game allowed for little room to complain about messed up games or rules. Criminals often ran or participated in the events and things often got relatively hairy.
At this early point in Doyle’s life gambling did not limit itself to poker. Anything that could be bet on with an interesting stake was indeed wagered on. After a trip to Vegas with at least $100,000 Brunson and Hamilton came back empty handed. They concluded that they would be better off as friends instead of partners after such a loss, but this didn’t hamper Doyle’s gambling habits which we are familiar with today in the poker world.
Here’s where we come into the second facet of his life which begins to focus on poker in more ways then just playing the game. In 1978 Doyle published Super/System. This is a book which changed the direction of poker for uncounted individuals. It let the average player sit down and have an understanding of the game in a relatively new light and he confirms this by saying he cost himself a lot of money over the years.
Over the years after the publishing of Brunson’s book he continued to play a great deal of poker. This has amounted to many wins and a relatively large amount of money (over five million dollars). Living in Vegas has given him the opportunity to play on a regular basis and we see him on television in a variety of poker events, particularly the World Series of Poker. Without him many wonder where poker would be today, or how intimately people would know the game without the publishing of his book Super/System. I think we should all thank Doyle for helping to bring poker into the lime light and I hope to continue watching him win over the years.