GGPoker joins the worldwide poker community in mourning the passing of Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson, who passed away yesterday at the age of 89. 

Widely known as ‘The Godfather of Poker’, Brunson was a two-time World Series of Poker Main Event champion and one of the most-recognizable figures in the poker world. He held eight other WSOP gold bracelets in addition to his Main Event championships and recorded more than $6 million in lifetime tournament cashes. 

As the author of Doyle Brunson’s Super System poker strategy book – referred to as the poker bible, a highly-regarded sequel Super System/2, and Poker Wisdom of a Champion, Brunson also had a huge impact on the growth of poker, facilitating the emergence of a new type of poker player – more studious and analytical than the ‘play-by-feel’ enthusiasts of the past.

A legend in his lifetime, loved and respected by millions of players, poker has lost one of its true champions this week – thank you Doyle, for everything you’ve done to promote our beloved game.


Born in Longworth, Texas, on August 10th, 1933, Doyle Brunson was one of three children. He grew up as a talented athlete excelling in basketball and track, where he won the one-mile event in the 1950 Texas Interscholastic Track Meet. Doyle earned a scholarship to Hardin-Simmons University for basketball, where he was scouted by the Minneapolis Lakes (before they moved to Los Angeles). Sadly, a knee injury would end his prospects for a pro basketball career, preventing him from achieving his dream of joining the NBA. He did, however, graduate with a Master’s degree in Education Administration.

Despite being forced to reconsider a career in athletics, his competitive spirit remained strong and a desire to seek challenge helped bring him into the world of poker. Upon graduation, he took a job as a salesman. During his time at this position, he got invited to play poker with his workmates. There, he earned more money in a few hours than he would in a month doing sales. Thus his career as a professional poker player began.

Over the course of five decades, Doyle has won ten World Series of Poker gold bracelets, tying him for the second-most bracelets with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey. He cashed in the WSOP Main Event nine times – also tied for second-most – and has cashed 37 times in other WSOP events. He is also one of just three players in history to win the World Series of Poker Main Event consecutively, in 1976 and 1977.

‘The Godfather of Poker’ spent much of his time at some of the highest-stake poker games in the world until he announced his retirement in 2018. 

In addition to his multitude of accomplishments at the tables, he was also one of the most influential people in the game’s development and respected, both on and off the felt, for his accomplishments. He was a true legend of the sport, a father figure to some, and a favorite player to many, many others.
He is survived by his wife, Louise, and two children, Todd and Pamela.

Today we Lost a Legend

Life can be strange sometimes. We are all out there, living our lives, not thinking much about anything. We meet friends and strangers, some affect us more than others, but they all leave a mark, changing us in one way or another. Whether it’s a decades-long friendship or marriage, where we slowly teach each other and grow together, or a single serving friend where the conversation grows and is still on your mind years later, everyone we interact with changes us. Some of these people have greater impact than others, as you would expect, and sometimes the people you do not expect to influence you, have a significant impact. You never know what you’ll find as we traverse through the years, but life is strange.

Doyle Brunson was one of those people. Whether you knew him personally or just from stories that had been shared, he had an impact on peoples lives. Playing with him I was honored to be able to know the man and watch as he touched the lives of those around him. He authored changes in the world of poker.

His passing has greatly affected me and all who knew him. He was more than a great poker player, he was a great man and he will be missed by everyone.

Today we lost a legend.

-Daniel Negreanu