Doyle Brunson, also known as Texas Dolly, is one of the true poker greats. Born in Longworth, Texas, in 1933, his playing career started in underground poker games in his home state - at a time when poker was a dangerous game. Having played through (and survived!) "Bloodthirsty Highway", he then moved on to Las vegas and was one of the big names that helped make poker respectable.
A nine-time winner of World Series of Poker bracelets and two-time WSOP champion, Doyle Brunson is also famous for writing and publishing the book "Super/System" - the poker bible of its time. Originally published as "How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker", he became an instant public poker legend when his book hit the shelves in 1979.
Why the legendary status? Well, the book outlined poker strategies for all types of games, giving any level of enthusiast an insight into how to play different types of game, what made master poker players tick and how they played the game themselves.
Although Doyle Brunson was the primary author, he also drafted in other major names such as Mike Caro and David Sklansky to write chapters on their specialist games. These included all the major games such as 7 card stud, hold 'em, draw poker and lowball. Full of theory, strategy, statistics, tactics and ways to win, the book really was something special - and, although some of its original contents are a little outdated now, it still has tons of great info.
There was a downside for Doyle Brunson though - he estimates that the runaway success of his book has potentially cost him a fortune over the years! The whole aim of "Super/System" was to show average players how the greats did what they did. Problem was, he did it a little too well and the standard of playing in the game improved a lot. Ask him now how he feels and he'll probably say that he'd have made more money if he hadn't written it!
The poker community really does consider Doyle Brunson to be a major - if not the master - of the game. He was one of the first players to be inaugurated into the WPT Poker Walk of Fame and even has a hand named after him in the 'Doyle Brunson'. He won his WSOP titles in 1976 and 1977 - with the same hand each time! Guess who could tell you the odds of that happening – why, who else but Doyle Brunson!
Visit Doyle Brunson's very own poker room:
Read our review of Doyles Room