Born in Longworth, Texas, in 1933, Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson was, alongside Thomas Austin ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston, Jr. and Brian ‘Sailor’ Roberts, one of the original ‘Texas Rounders’. The pioneering group travelled throughout the Southern and Midwestern United States in the Fifties and Sixties in search of high-stakes, ‘underground’ poker games. Indeed, despite dubious beginnings, Brunson is considered the patriach of modern poker and was instrumental in increasing the popularity of the game, through his book ‘Super System’, published in 1979, and regular television appearances.
At the time of his retirement from World Series of Poker (WSOP) events in 2018, Brunson had won ten WSOP bracelets, including the WSOP Main Event twice, in 1976 and 1977. Amazingly, on both occasions, Brunson was dealt an uninspiring 10-2 in the final hand but, having moved all-in, on the flop in 1976 and on the turn in 1977, drew a runner-runner full house to win the WSOP Main Event two years running. The WSOP was still in its early years but, along with the unofficial title of ‘World Champion’, Brunson earned $220,000 and $340,000, respectively, in first-place prize money. Furthermore, the 10-2 hand was immortalised as the ‘Doyle Brunson’ hand. Brunson was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988 and, in a poker career that spanned more than six decades, amassed $6.18 million in live tournament earnings.