Doyle F. Brunson (born August 10, 1933) is an American professional poker player who has played professionally for over 50 years. He is the first two-time World Series of Poker main event champion to win consecutively, a Poker Hall of Fame inductee, and the author of several books on poker.
Brunson is the first player to earn $1 million in poker tournaments and has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets throughout his career, tied with Johnny Chan for second all-time, one behind Phil Hellmuth's eleven. 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 two players, along with Bill Boyd, to have won bracelets at the WSOP in four consecutive years. In addition, he is the first of five players to win both the WSOP Main Event and a World Poker Tour title. In January 2006, Bluff Magazine voted Brunson the #1 most influential force in the world of poker.
Other than his poker success, his greatest achievement is probably his book, Super/System, which is widely considered to be one of the most authoritative books on poker. Originally self-published in 1978, Super/System was the book that transformed poker by giving ordinary players insight into the way that professionals such as Brunson played and won, so much so that Brunson believes that it cost him a lot of money. An updated revision, Super/System 2, was published in 2004. Besides Brunson, several top poker players contributed chapters to Super/System including Bobby Baldwin, Mike Caro, David Sklansky, Chip Reese and Joey Hawthorne. The book is subtitled "How I made one million dollars playing poker," by Doyle Brunson. Brunson is also the author of Poker Wisdom of a Champion, originally published as According to Doyle by Lyle Stuart in 1984.
Brunson continues to play in the biggest poker games in the world, including a $4000/$8000 limit mixed poker game in "Bobby's Room" at the Bellagio. He also plays in many of the biggest poker tournaments around the world. He won his ninth gold bracelet in a mixed games event in 2003, and in 2004, he finished 53rd (in a field of 2,576) in the No Limit Texas hold 'em Championship event. He won the Legends of Poker World Poker Tour event in 2004 (garnering him a $1.1 million prize) and finished fourth in the WPT's first championship event. Early in the morning on July 1, 2005, less than a week after Chan had won his 10th gold bracelet - setting a new record - Brunson tied the record at the 2005 WSOP. He is currently one bracelet behind Phil Hellmuth, who earned his 11th bracelet at the WSOP on June 11, 2007.
Brunson's nickname, "Texas Dolly," came from a mistake by Jimmy Snyder. Snyder was supposed to announce Brunson as "Texas Doyle," but incorrectly pronounced the first name as Dolly. It stuck and many of Brunson's fellow top pros now simply refer to Brunson as "Dolly."
Brunson has the honor of having two Texas hold'em hands named after him. One hand, a ten and a two of any suit, bears his name because he won the No Limit Hold 'Em event at the World Series of Poker two years in a row with them (1976 and 1977), in both cases completing a full house. In both 1976 and 1977, he was an underdog in the final hand. Another hand known as a "Doyle Brunson," especially in Texas, is the ace and queen of any suit because, as he says on page 519 of Super/System, he "never plays this hand." He changes his wording in Super/System 2, however, noting that he "tries to never play this hand." However, it has been seen on episodes of High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark, the Professional Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour that he does play it.
Brunson endorses the online poker room Doyles Room.
Brunson mentions in his book My Fifty Most Memorable Hands that he has seen three people die at the poker table. One man, shot in the head at point blank range in a domestic dispute, sat next to Brunson. Two others died of heart attacks, one seemingly from a mixture of drugs and alcohol; the other appears to have died from the shock of losing a massive pot to him.
As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceeded $5,800,000. He has totaled $2,892,536 in earnings at the WSOP.