The long hours required to compete in tournament play had caused Doyle Brunson to say last month that he would likely take a pass on this year’s WSOP action and stick to the cash games that allow him to leave the table at any time he so desires.
But successful marathon high-stakes cash game sessions of late have swayed the 79-year-old poker legend into a change of heart. “Played cash games for 11 hours today,” the poker hall-of-famer tweeted earlier in the week. “Maybe I could sit the long tournament hours.”
Brunson is considering making an appearance at the WSOP for at least two of the scheduled events. His legion of followers and fans were overjoyed upon reading on Twitter that Texas Dolly had said, “I possibly could play the 2-7 event and the 50k Horse in this years WSOP. I haven’t set foot in the Rio yet.”
While Father Time may be catching up on Brunson, both his skill and love for the game have not waned. Brunson has captured a total of 10 WSOP gold bracelets in a span of 30 years. His first was won in 1976 and his 10th in 2005. Since that last WSOP victory, the legendary gambler has cashed 10 times at WSOP events.
Since the advent of the Internet, pro players appear to be getting younger and younger. It is not uncommon for 20-something pros to have played an unfathomable number of hands in a short time through online multi-tabling that would have taken Brunson years to play during his heyday while on the road with fellow hall-of-famers Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts.
The game of poker has certainly evolved since those early days when a dead man’s hand was more fact than fiction. But Brunson has evolved right along with it, even operating Doyle’s Room for a time until it was clear that unregulated online poker sites operating in the U.S. were perhaps not a good bet.
This summer’s WSOP action is slightly past the halfway mark. There is still plenty of action left. The type of action that can woo one of the legends of the game to take a seat and compete with players less than one-third his age. But age is just a number when the mind is still sharp and a love for the game still runs deep inside.