|Doyle F. Brunson was born August 10, 1933 in Longworth Texas in
Fisher County where he was an All Star Athlete in high school
basketball and track but it was his skills at the poker table that
made him famous. Brunson was the first player to earn $1 million in
Brunson was born in the tiny community of
Longworth in Fisher County, Texas. In high school he 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. Brunson obtained a bachelor's degree in 1954 and a master's
degree in administrative education the following year. He would go
on to work as a school principal.
Brunson had begun playing poker before his injury, playing
five-card draw. He played more often after being injured and his
winnings paid for his expenses. After graduating, he took a job as a
business machines salesman. On his first day, he was invited to play
in a seven-card stud game and won more than a month's salary. He
soon left the company and became a professional poker player, a
career he would follow professionally for over 50 years.
Brunson was the first player to earn $1 million in poker
tournaments and has won ten WSOP bracelets throughout his career,
tied with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey for second all-time, behind Phil
Hellmuth's fifteen bracelets. He is also one of only four players to
have won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker multiple times,
which he did in 1976 and 1977. He is also one of only three players,
along with Bill Boyd and Loren Klein, to have won WSOP tournaments
in four consecutive years. In addition, he is the first of six
players to win both the WSOP Main Event and a World Poker Tour
title. In January 2006, Bluff Magazine voted Brunson the most
influential force in the world of poker.
On June 11, 2018, at age 85, Brunson announced he was retiring
from tournament poker.