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.
Work until your idols become your rivals.
Dario Sammartino gets @TexDolly's autograph before the @WSOP $10K NL 2-7 Championship final table.
Watch on @PokerGO: https://t.co/KNvPQ1muzl
📸: @Drew_amato pic.twitter.com/rfRNhSqwat
— Poker Central (@PokerCentral) June 13, 2018
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.
— Todd Brunson (@ToddBrunson) June 11, 2018
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.
A tip of his cap and a standing ovation for @TexDolly.
Living legend ends @WSOP career with a final table run in the $10K NL 2-7 Lowball Championship.
Watch LIVE: https://t.co/wtwTU6NmGw pic.twitter.com/4C734OQgIG
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 13, 2018
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.
— Jonathan Little (@JonathanLittle) June 13, 2018
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.
Thanks for what you have done for the game @TexDolly and congrats on the last cash before wsop retirement. Lets flood twitter with farewell messages for this legend. #ggDoyle @RealKidPoker I’m sure you got a story or two to share pic.twitter.com/gv2APiBZr9
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) June 13, 2018
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.
I didn't mean to make such a fuss over my "retirement". I meant probably no more WSOP tournaments. That isn't written in stone however. When they start the mixed games on high stakes poker, I'll be there. Probably not so much cash games but I appreciate all the nice thoughts.
— Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly) June 13, 2018
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.
Thanks to those who watched!
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) June 13, 2018