Doyle Brunson was an outstanding cager at Hardin-Simmons

Anything and everything NOT related to the P, the B, or the R in "APBR"

Doyle Brunson was an outstanding cager at Hardin-Simmons

Postby rlee » Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:37 am

Doyle Brunson, The Ace Of Cards
Investor's Business Daily delivered by Newstex

Poker champ Doyle Brunson is testimony to the adage that in life you should play the cards you're dealt.

He has done that throughout his life -- better than anyone else.

By the time he was 30, Brunson had overcome a leg injury that thwarted a potential basketball career and beaten cancer after doctors told him he had a few months to live.

After that, what are some hands of poker to worry about?

Not much if you're Doyle Brunson. To call him a poker legend is an understatement. He is the legend.

"Frankly, without a guy like Doyle, there would be no poker tour today," Daniel Negranu, one of the top performers on the World Poker Tour, said in an e-mail to IBD.

Nolan Dalla, a columnist for Card Player magazine, called and raised: "He is Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky all wrapped up in a legend of a man who is every bit as competitive now as he was when he first started to play in the 1950s."

Known for his trademark cowboy hat, Brunson -- who goes by the nickname Texas Dolly -- was one of the pioneers who brought poker to popularity. He and other colorful players like Amarillo Slim garnered attention for such events as the World Series of Poker's championship in Las Vegas.

That led to the World Series of Poker's organization landing a network TV contract in the 1990s, followed by the 2002 debut of the World Poker Tour, also featured on big-money TV.

"Poker has really boomed because of the media," Brunson told IBD. "The television and the writers have made it happen. But there had to be interest in it to make the media want to get involved. People from my generation made that happen."

The oldest of three children, Brunson grew up in Longworth, Texas, a town that had just 100 people.

He was a star athlete in his youth. In addition to being selected for the high school All-State basketball team, the 6-foot-3 Brunson finished first in the mile run in the Texas Interscholastic Track Meet.

"Anything I do, I have a real desire to win at it," said Brunson, 74. "I love to compete. I always have."

He was good enough in basketball to receive numerous college scholarship offers. He chose Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, because it was close to his home.

After a stellar college career, the National Basketball Association's Minneapolis Lakers were interested in Brunson. "I always had aspired to play professional basketball," he said. "It looked like I was going to get my chance. I felt I had a real chance to make it."

But fate, in the form of a freak injury, intervened. During a summer job at a gypsum plant, a pile of Sheetrock landed on his right leg, breaking it in two places. He was in a cast for two years, and the injury ended his hopes of playing pro ball.

So he changed his focus from athletics to finishing his education and obtaining a master's degree.

Brunson began playing poker before his injury, finding that he had a knack for the game. He played more often after the injury, and his winnings covered his college expenses.

After graduating, he took a job as a business machine salesman. During his first day on the job, he was invited to play in a seven-card stud game and won more than a month's salary in less than three hours. He soon left the company and became a professional poker player.

Brunson started off by playing in illegal games on rough-and-tumble Exchange Street in Fort Worth, Texas, with a friend named Dwayne Hamilton. They traveled through Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, playing -- and winning -- in bigger games, and met fellow poker pros Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts.

The games tested Brunson's guts. He had a gun pulled on him several times, plus was robbed and beaten.

At age 29, he was threatened by another dangerous foe.

A few months after his wife, Louise, became pregnant with their first child, Brunson was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his neck that doctors said had spread to the point 15f becoming incurable.

After the physicians operated, they couldn't find the rest of the cancer. It was gone. The doctors called the recovery a miracle.

"Before the surgery, I would have classified myself as a slightly better- than-average player," Brunson wrote in his book "Super System." "However, after that ordeal something happened. Everything seemed to click and I was playing better than I had ever played in my life. My brush with death had apparently triggered innate abilities that had never surfaced before."

By the mid-1970s, Brunson was recognized as one of the best poker players in the world.

In 1976-77, he solidified his standing, winning two straight world poker championships in Las Vegas.

Then came his World Poker Tour championship in 2003, making him the first to win three world titles.

On top of that, he has won 10 gold bracelets, signifying first-place finishes in World Series of Poker events. That number stands second to Phil Hellmuth's 11.

Many experts laud Brunson -- known for his gentlemanly approach to the game -- for moving poker out of back rooms and into the public's front parlor.

"He opened the door for people like myself and others to create a name for ourselves, " Negranu said. "As a young player coming out to Vegas, the goal was always to get into the big game and have a chance to play with Doyle. I feel honored to have had that chance."

In 2006, Bluff magazine voted Brunson the most influential force in the world of poker.

According to Brunson, success in poker requires many of the skills that are key in sports.

"You have to have a competitive nature, a will to win," he said. "You have to have a certain amount of stamina to stay sharp in long games. You have to practice a lot. You have to know some moves. You have to develop a strategy.

"And," he added, pausing perhaps to stress the importance, "you have to know your opponents. You have to know their strengths, their weaknesses and their tendencies under certain situations. You have to respect every opponent -- anyone that antes up their money you should respect -- but you don't want to be afraid of anyone."
Posts: 7707
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:42 pm
Location: sacramento

Postby HistoryofWomensBasketball » Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:29 pm

And I believe is was his sister or 1st cousin that played first for Ole Olson's farm team, the ozark hillbillies before going on to play for the All American Red Heads before WWII. She is still alive and living in Mo last I heard.
John Molina

Preservationist of History of Womens Basketball

Co-Author of upcoming book on the All American Red Heads

2007 inductee CT Womens Basketball HOF
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: CT

Re: Doyle Brunson was an outstanding cager at Hardin-Simmons

Postby rlee » Sun May 07, 2017 4:08 pm

Posts: 7707
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:42 pm
Location: sacramento

Return to Off-Topic Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests