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Doyle Brunson, the 'Godfather of Poker,' has died at 89

Doyle Brunson is pictured prior to play at the final table of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas on Nov. 8, 2011.
Isaac Brekken
/
AP
Doyle Brunson is pictured prior to play at the final table of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas on Nov. 8, 2011.

Doyle Brunson, nicknamed the "Godfather of Poker," has died. He was 89.

"He was a beloved Christian man, husband, father and grandfather," Brunson's family said in a statement shared by agent Brian Balsbaugh. "We'll 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." The family did not announce a cause of death.

His son, Todd Brunson, also confirmed his father's death Sunday evening. "Yes I'm sorry. It's true," he said. "RIP Doyle."

Also known as "Texas Dolly," Brunson got his start as part of a traveling poker team that played games in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, according to his agency.

Brunson won back-to-back World Series of Poker championships in 1976 and 1977 and took home a total of 10 bracelets throughout his career for winning individual events at the tournament.

The cowboy hat-clad card player was also known for writing Super System, his popular book on the game.

Professional poker player Phil Hellmuth said Sunday that the poker world lost a legend in Brunson.

"He inspired 3 generations of poker players w his play, his award winning book 'Super System,' and his fabulous style and grit," Hellmuth said in a tweet. "Doyle always played hard: the man absolutely hated losing!! Doyle ruled the high stakes cash games in Las Vegas for 50 years!!"

"Doyle was married to the love of his life, Louise, for 62 years. Goodbye—and rest in peace—to the most beloved poker player in history," he added.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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