Everyone’s favorite poker player, Doyle Brunson, retires from the felt.
There’s no more legendary name in poker than Doyle Brunson. Everything about him is iconic in some way, from his archetypal 10-gallon hat, to his contagious smile, to his favorite poker hand—the one that won him the WSOP Main Event not once, but twice—the unlikely 10-2.
Doyle is more than a poker player. More than a legend. He is the essence of the game. If it weren’t for Doyle ‘Texas Dolly‘ Brunson, and a few equally talented friends of his heyday—the overwhelming dominance of Texas Hold’em may not even exist today.
And now, devout members of the poker community must do one of the hardest things of all. We must say a fond farewell to the ‘Godfather of Poker‘. On June 11, 2018, the 84 year old poker phenom announced his retirement—where else, but on Twitter.
Going to the Rio to play in 2-7 lowball tournament. Probably the last one I’ll ever play.
That Tweet got a great deal of attention as everyone questioned whether this meant he was retiring. Some even thought he was eluding to his own impending death—that being the only thing that could possibly keep him from the felt, right? One follower even cited one of Dolly’s famous quotes of the past:
“We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing”
But the poker legend immediately cleared the air in an interview with PokerCentral. Yes, he is retiring. No, he is not dying. However, his beloved wife Louise—who he met in 1959, married in 1962, and has spent the last 57 years devoted to—is in poor health.
“I’m planning on retiring after the summer,” says Doyle. “My wife is not in very good health, and I will stay with her for the duration of either her life or mine.”
Asking if he might ever come back, he responds, “I’m going to stop playing completely.” Doyle tentatively adds, “I might change my mind, 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.”
He then proceeded to compete in the 2018 WSOP $10,000 2-7 Lowball Draw event, where he finished in 6th place for $43,963. Brian Rast would go on to win the event for $259,670 and his 4th WSOP bracelet.
Poker Legend Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson
Brunson has long been a fierce competitor on the felt, playing professionally for the last 62 years. He has 10 WSOP bracelets under his belt, including back-to-back WSOP Main Event Championships in 1976 and 1977. He also holds a WPT Title for winning the 2004 Legends of Poker tournament, making him the first of just six poker pros in the world to win a WSOP Main Event and WPT Title.
Brunson’s armamentaria on the felt is invariably unique. He is sly and cunning, witty and provocative, a master of inward calculations and psychological debriefings. He is everyone’s favorite poker player, and his presence will be sorely missed.
To you, Doyle Brunson, I say congratulations on your immense success. I respect your decision 100%, and pray with all sincerity that you and your lovely wife Louise continue to have a long, happy and healthy life together!
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