Poker fans may have witnessed poker history on Thursday without realizing it.
The legendary Doyle Brunson may have played his final live tournament.
The 77-year-old has been a ghost at the 2011 WSOP, playing only a handful of events, with very little success at the tables.
Even so, Brunson surprised many poker fans when he wrote on Twitter that if he didn’t perform up to his standards in the $50k Players Championship he might be finished with the WSOP altogether.
Brunson busted out of the $50k Players Championship on Day 2 and, despite making several claims to the contrary, decided to make an appearance in the 2011 WSOP Main Event.
Unfortunately he also busted out of that earlier today.
It seems that Brunson may not have the desire or the mental or physical endurance to play poker for 12 hours at the Rio anymore.
He’s also mentioned that he’s lost a lot of motivation for poker since Black Friday and even took a shot at the Department of Justice, asking them to buy him into the Main Event.
Brunsons results over the last while have also declined considerably and he has zero cashes at the WSOP over the last two years.
It’s hard to put into words how much Brunson has meant to the game of poker. Brunson literally wrote the book on poker with his renowned Super System 1 & 2.
Despite being known more as a cash-game player Brunson’s results speak for themselves with 10 WSOP bracelets and over $6 million in lifetime live tournament earnings.
On a deeper level, Brunson is perhaps the last, best, link to the game’s underground, back-room beginnings.
It’s hard to picture a WSOP without Brunson. Although Phil Hellmuth has more bracelets and Johnny Chan is tied with Brunson, the Texas Dolly is really in a league of his own when it comes to the amount of respect he has in this industry.
Poker fans can take heart that Brunson could very well return to the WSOP, however.
He’s mentioned several times that he’s had a lot of personal problems in the last eight months but that might just be temporary.
He’s still playing cash games and if he had one change of heart about playing the WSOP, he can definitely have another.
If Brunson does decide to take a permanent leave of absence from live tournaments, at least those that were at the 2011 WSOP can say they saw one of the greatest in his final WSOP appearance.