May 28, 2023

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Poker icon Doyle Bronson has passed away at the age of 89

Poker icon Doyle Bronson has passed away at the age of 89

Doyle Bronson was a poker legend. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, file)

Doyle Bronson, legendary poker player and author, died Sunday in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

Bronson agent Brian Balspaugh shared the news With a statement from the Bronson family.

The statement read: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our father Doyle Bronson. He was a beloved Christian man, husband, father and grandfather. We will have more to say over the coming days as we honor his legacy. Please keep Doyle and our family in your prayers. May he rest in peace.”

Brunson, also known as Texas Dolly, was a giant on the poker scene who helped popularize the game widely. He won 10 bracelets at the World Series of Poker from 1976 to 2005, including back-to-back wins in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold ’em event in 1976 and 1977.

Bronson’s first prize for the WSOP Main Event in 1976 was $220,000 from a 22-player pot. He won $340,000 in 1977. By 2022, the main event field has swelled to 8,663 worldwide entrants competing for an $80.7 million prize pool. First place awarded $10 million.

Doyle Brunson, shown here with his $340,000 cash prize after winning the 1977 World Series of Poker Main Event. (Tony Corody/Sigma/Sigma via Getty Images)

Doyle Brunson, shown here with his $340,000 cash prize after winning the 1977 World Series of Poker Main Event. (Tony Corody/Sigma/Sigma via Getty Images)

Bronson’s “Super System” changed the game

Brunson’s influence on poker played a major role in the rapid growth of the game from his rise as a world-class player in the 1970s to the end of the last century. The TV boom of 2003 And beyond. He parlayed his early wins in the WSOP and found success as an author with the 1978 “Super System” strategy guide. The 600-page book was pioneered as one of the first to share in-depth poker insights from a professional to anyone willing to read it. Bronson published a follow-up, “Super System 2”, in 2005.

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Countless recreational and aspiring professional poker players have used the knowledge from The Super System as the foundation of their games. Poker has since evolved into the realm of advanced analytics with top professionals using high powered computer solutions to develop their games. While the information on the “Super System” is outdated, its place in poker history is not.

The face of the TV boom

Poker exploded into popular culture in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event. The hobbyist, an accountant from Tennessee, defeated veteran professional Sami Farha in a one-on-one battle for the $2.5 million jackpot. The victory broadcast on ESPN inspired amateurs around the world to tune in to the game in an effort to replicate his success. It also led to the popularization of poker on television, with Brunson becoming a star.

Bronson was a regular on WSOP broadcasts and high-stakes cash games, where his fame, aggressive play, and social personality made him a fan favorite. The legend of Bronson’s rise as a player grew.

Bronson won each of his WSOP main event while holding a 10-2, a poor starting hand that has become his signature. Complete full houses with a contract on every win. The hand inspired players to try to win – largely unsuccessfully – while holding it. Pro Scott Seiver told a story upon the news of Bronson’s death with his famous attempt and failure to con him with his hand.

Brunson continued to play high stakes games into his late 80s as televised poker shifted to online broadcasts.

“We don’t stop playing because we get old, and we get old because we stop playing,” Bronson often repeated.

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Bronson was fondly remembered by members of the poker community upon news of his death.

Brunson was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988. He was survived by his wife, Louise, and children, Todd and Pamela.