The announcement of poker legend Doyle Brunson’s retirement from the World Series of Poker was sudden but expected. The 85-year-old played in one more WSOP event this week and gave fans a great sweat when he made the final table of the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Single Draw event.
Brunson’s last stand aired on PokerGO and the whole night turned into a celebration of the man and his career. Regardless of where he finished in the event, Brunson won the night.
Players took to social media to share their congratulations toward Brunson on his career and for the work he did to build poker toward what it is today.
Super System is considered by some to be ‘poker’s bible’ and before play started last night, final table competitor Dario Sammartino made sure to get his copy signed by the man who wrote it.
As you might expect, Brunson took his last chance to claim his 11th bracelet in stride. The man who has literally seen it all stated before Day 3, “It was just a lot of fun yesterday, but it’s still just a poker game. It’s nothing magical to me, and everyone here wants to win, they are all good players, and whatever happens, happens.”
Todd Brunson joined his father in Day 3 action looking to pick up another bracelet for the family collection. The elder Brunson joined the $10,000 2-7 field on Day 2 and his son captured the moment with his familiar slogan.
History and the support of the masses sided with Brunson but sixth-place would end up being his final World Series of Poker finish. When Brunson was eliminated, the whole Amazon Room stopped to offer their congratulations for the icon.
Never one to promote himself, Brunson patiently said his farewells to well-wishing fans as he rolled out of the Rio for the last time on his trademark scooter. As captured by Drew Amato of Poker Central, Brunson made his exit as a solo venture. The admiration of Brunson by his fans allowed him final moments of peace before his career sealed behind him.
Poker pros let Brunson know their appreciation of where the game is today by thanking him over social media. WPT Champions Club member Jonathan Little paid tribute in a succinct tweet.
Fellow Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker offered his congratulations and encouraged others to do the same. Moneymaker’s win in 2003 ignited the poker boom that was built on the foundation of what Brunson’s generation started decades before.
The photo of Brunson lifting his cowboy hat to say ‘thanks’ is already iconic. Brunson’s previous eternal WSOP memory before last night was a cash in the 2013 Main Event. He now is officially off to his next venture of tending to his ill wife, Louise.
Although the initial message of Brunson’s retirement alluded to him stepping away from the cash games in Bobby’s Room, he left the door open for a possible return. The World Series of Poker may never see him again but the odds of Brunson returning to the poker table at some point are high. It’s who he is and all he’s known for 60 years.
The cross-section of generations met when Phil Galfond sat in the booth to commentate on the final table. Galfond and Brunson played together sparingly in Bobby’s Room during their career. Brian Rast wound up the winner and the high stakes pro now owns four bracelets. If Brunson was rooting for anyone outside of himself to win, it would probably be the player most likely to carry on the legacy he built in the most famous room in all of poker.