Doyle Brunson, called the Godfather of Poker, dies at 89

Doyle Brunson was one of the most influential poker players, winning two world championships in 1976 and 1977. His book ‘Super System’ led many people to the game.

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FILE - Doyle Brunson is pictured prior to play at the final table of the World Series of Poker on Nov. 8, 2011, in Las Vegas. Brunson, one of the most influential poker players of all time and a two-time world champion, died Sunday, May 14, 2023, according to his agent. He was 89. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)

Doyle Brunson at the final table of the World Series of Poker in November 2011 in Las Vegas. Brunson won 10 World Series of Poker tournaments . He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Doyle Brunson, one of the most influential poker players of all time and a two-time world champion, died Sunday, according to his agent.

Brunson was 89.

Brian Balsbaugh, Brunson’s agent, posted a statement on Twitter from the family.

“It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson,” the statement read. “He was a beloved Christian man, husband, father and grandfather. We’ll have more to say over the coming days as we honor his legacy. Please keep Doyle and our family in your prayers. May he rest in peace.”

Brunson, called the Godfather of Poker and also known as “Texas Dolly,” won 10 World Series of Poker tournaments — second only to Phil Hellmuth’s 16. He also captured world championships in 1976 and 1977 and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.

He wrote a book called “Super System” in 1979, which was one of the first books to delve into poker strategy and created a lasting impact that helped bring many others to the game.

Five-time WSOP winner Scotty Nguyen tweeted that he “can’t believe this day has come —you will always be held high in our hearts, the man, the myth, the legend & THE GODFATHER of poker baby! Mr Brunson, you made poker what it is baby! thank you for what you give to all of us baby! RIP Mr Doyle Brunson THE GODFATHER OF POKER.”

His influence carried beyond poker.

“This one is a heartbreaker,” actor James Woods tweeted. “Doyle Brunson, the greatest poker player who ever lived, has cashed in his chips.

“Doyle was so kind and helpful to me. He was gracious to my late dear brother and every friend I introduced him to. A gentleman and a genuine legend.”

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