Some of the world’s best players just seem to be naturally good at poker for no particular reason. While others have doctorates in various mathematics disciplines and other talents which provide them with the ability to work out odds, some players such as Doyle Brunson appear to just have an instinct for the game.
Brunson has an almost unequalled record in the WSOP tournaments and more bracelets than he can’t barely lift his arm but more of that later.
Born in the tiny Texas town of Longworth in August 1933, he was more of a promising athlete in his younger days. He says that running between the local towns enabled him to improve and maintain his fitness and if it hadn’t been for a serious leg-break he may well have been a serious basketball player.
After completing University (a Masters in Administrative Education), he began working as a salesman but on the first day was invited to a game of Five Card Stud at which he won the equivalent of a months salary. He had already been a keen poker player and soon after he turned professional. He became something of a rounder and travelled the Southern states, playing in illegal games where the risk of being robbed of your winnings afterwards was something of an occupational hazard.
With a group of fellow rounders, they headed to Las Vegas, pooled their money and managed to lose all of it, subsequently deciding to continue their respective careers alone. Brunson stayed in Las Vegas and was among the first group to play in the inaugural first World Series of Poker in 1970.
From this point Brunson’s career went from strength to strength and he won his first bracelet in 1976, winning the WSOP Main Event and winning it again in 1977 – the first player to do this. He actually has 10 WSOP bracelets and 34 money finishes, not to mention a WPT title and six WPT money finishes.
Like other poker pros, Brunson is a published author on the subject, releasing Super System – A Course in Power Poker in 1978, and then a tweaked version again in 2004.
In 2006 Bluff Magazine voted him the #1 most influential force in poker and not many would argue with that.