One of the most influential poker players, 2-time world champion Doyle Brunson, died on Sunday at the age of 89, CBS News reported.
Brunson’s agent Brian Balsbaugh posted a statement from the family on Twitter announcing Brunson’s death.
The family described Brunson as a “beloved Christian” and a husband, father, and grandfather. It asked that his family be remembered in prayers, and said the family would say more “in the coming days” to honor Brunson’s legacy.
Called the “Godfather of Poker” and “Texas Dolly,” Brunson won ten World Series of Poker tournaments, making him the second-highest tournament winner after Phil Hellmuth who won 16.
Brunson also won world championship tournaments in 1976 and 1977 and was later inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.
In 1979, Brunson published the book “Super System.” One of the first books to tackle poker strategy, “Super System” created a lasting impact that introduced so many others to the game of poker.
In a tweet honoring Brunson, the World Series of Poker described him as a “consummate player and gentleman” and “the Biggest Legend of Them All.”
Brunson’s long-time opponent Daniel Negreanu also described him as a “legend,” tweeting that there would never be another like “the Godfather of Poker.”
Conservative actor James Woods, himself a tournament poker player, said on Twitter that Brunson’s death “is a real heartbreaker,” describing him as “the greatest poker player who ever lived.”
Doyle Brunson was born in August 1933 to a cotton gin manager and a homemaker in Longworth, Texas. When he was twenty, Brunson discovered that his father put his first two children through college on winnings he earned playing poker, according to the New York Times.
Brunson was a basketball star at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas where he first started playing poker. He faced the school disciplinary board five separate times for gambling, only to avoid suspension because of his success on the basketball court.