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After celebrity DJ Steve Aoki and poker vlogger’s Andrew Neeme & Brad Owen, World Poker Tour (WPT) has added another name to its growing team of brand ambassadors, this one is the most illustrious among them all – Doyle Brunson.
The legendary poker pro, aptly called the “Godfather of Poker,” is a ten-time bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Famer. Arguably, there is no one better to represent a poker brand or even the mind sport.
The WPT tweeted the announcement less than 24 hours ago.
We are proud and honored to welcome The Godfather of Poker, @TexDolly to the WPT family!
He brings his legendary legacy as a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and the WPT Champions Club to the WPT ambassador roster.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) June 21, 2022
“Doyle has been a part of the World Poker Tour from the very beginning,” said Adam Pliska, World Poker Tour CEO. “I was there for his WPT Legends of Poker victory in 2004 when he joined the WPT Champions Club, and to also be here to welcome him to the WPT family after all this time feels surreal.”
Last week, 88-year-old Brunson had announced that with COVID-19 affecting many players at the ongoing 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP), he would be skipping this year’s series. But days before the announcement of him becoming the latest WPT Brand Ambassador, Brunson had alluded to the possibility of playing the WSOP Main Event that will kick off on July 3.
I probably am going to play the main event, hoping the covid has died down a little.
— Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly) June 21, 2022
Doyle Brunson’s Poker Career
Brunson’s poker career has spanned over five decades. Brunson has been a regular at the WSOP for years and is one of the all-time greats at the mega-series. He has 10 WSOP bracelets to his name, tying him at second place alongside Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan, behind only Phil Hellmuth. More prominently, Brunson has two WSOP Main Event titles on his resume.
Though Brunson announced his retirement from poker a few years ago, he has not entirely given up on the game. Given such a long and cherished poker legacy, it’s unsurprising to hear that in 2019, Brunson was ranked among the top four most important players in poker history. The other three players were Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Chris Moneymaker.
Brunson also faced adversity at the poker tables and some severe challenges in his personal life. He has battled cancer several times, coming out stronger with each battle, including once at a miracle crusade by Kathryn Kuhlman.
Before becoming a poker player, Brunson was part of the All-State Texas basketball team. In the 1950 Texas Interscholastic Track Meet, he won the one-mile event with a time of 4:43. Despite receiving offers from many colleges, he attended Hardin–Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.
The Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA showed interest in Brunson, but a knee injury ended his hopes of becoming a professional basketball player. He still occasionally requires a crutch because of the injury and has said that breaking his leg ruined his lifetime dream of playing in the NBA.
In 1979, Brunson had authored an immensely popular book on poker strategy titled “Doyle Brunson’s Super System: A Course in Power Poker.” He published a follow-on edition of the book in 2005, “Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker.”
In his 2009 autobiography, “The Godfather of Poker: The Doyle Brunson Story,” Brunson encapsulated a part of his long and cherished poker legacy.
There have been many discussions and announcements on making a documentary or even a movie on Brunson’s life. Last September, Brunson had tweeted that a documentary about his life was in the works. He had also said that the creators of ‘The Last Dance,’ the 10-part Netflix series around the 1990’s Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan were involved with his documentary.
Last month, news came that Radar Pictures had secured the rights to an upcoming movie on Brunson’s life. The former high-stakes poker pro Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, a producer, and partner at the entertainment company, will be adapting the script from Brunson’s life story, covering his more than a half-century-long journey as a professional poker player.
It is truly amazing that even after living such a fulfilling life, Brunson continues to keep his passion for poker going.
In his own words, Brunson had revealed the mantra of his success, “I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: we don’t stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.”