To Top

Doyle Brunson, Known As The ‘Godfather Of Poker,’ Dies At 89

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on May 15, 2023
Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Dies At 89

Those in the poker community are mourning the loss of 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, who passed away at 89.

Known as “Texas Dolly” and the “Godfather of Poker,” Brunson was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, inducted in 1988 when he was 54.

Brunson’s accolades include 10 WSOP bracelet wins, 26 WSOP final tables and a victory on the World Poker Tour. Additionally, he and his son, Todd Brunson, became the first father-son duo to both win WSOP gold. Todd won his bracelet in 2005. 

Brunson’s 10 bracelets are tied for second all-time with Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan.

Loss of a legend

A statement from the family was posted on Twitter by Brunson’s agent Brian Balsbaugh:

“It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our father, Doyle Brunson. 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 won the WSOP main event back-to-back in 1976 and 1977 with the starting hand 10-2. The 10-2 starting hand is now known as the Doyle Brunson, according to media reports.

Remembering a Las Vegas staple

A staple of the Las Vegas poker scene, Brunson was rarely seen without a cowboy hat and charismatic grin. A Texas native, Brunson was born in Longworth, Texas, and attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

After his passing, five-time WSOP winner Scotty Nguyen commented on Twitter:

“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.”

There has been an outpouring of fans and fellow poker players sharing their fondest memories of Brunson.

Actor James Woods said on Twitter, “this one is a heartbreaker.”

“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.”

Brunson is survived by his wife, Louise; his son, Todd; and his daughter, Pam.

Photo by Isaac Brekken / AP photo
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

View all posts by Nicholaus Garcia
Privacy Policy