Most poker players agree that Doyle’s book Super/System, first published in 1979, is the poker bible. This book is the first legitimate handbook of how to play poker.
Doyle wrote the part of the book dealing with no-limit hold’em and asked some young compatriots to write other sections, including Bobby Baldwin (limit hold’em), David Sklansky (high-low stud), Mike Caro (draw poker), Chip Reese (seven-card stud), and Joey Hawthorne (lowball). Doyle explained that they all wrote for free, and that writing those sections was their first step in becoming famous in their own right.
Sklansky had a slightly different take on it: “Doyle was the first of the old-school, seat-of-the-pants, instinctive players to recognize that most future stars would be coming from a more analytical academic type of environment. Players who would use technical tools and mathematical reasoning were likely to predominate most forms of Pengeluaran Hkpoker except perhaps no-limit. Doyle realized that even though he was not really one of them at the time. One need only look at the unproven youngsters he chose to co-author his epic book. His foresight is pretty amazing, as none of those youngsters exactly faded off into the sunset.”
Doyle’s next book, According to Doyle, is a series of reflections about what it takes to be a successful gambler. The book has soul and is borne out of Doyle’s own sweat. It was out of print for about a decade, and has been reprinted and renamed Poker Wisdom of a Champion. Both of Doyle’s books can be purchased at CardPlayer.com.
Finally, Doyle has come out with Super/System 2, available only at his new website, DoylesRoom.com. It is sure to be a classic. One of the co-authors, Daniel Negreanu, had this to say about Doyle: “In no other sport/game have we seen anything similar to what Doyle Brunson is still accomplishing at his age. Over 70 years old and yet he is still a competitive force in the toughest cash games in the world. He is the undisputed legend of our game.”
With a twinkle in his eye, Doyle recalled some exciting moments from the past. When we first met, I thought the topic would be only poker, but much to my delight, we spoke of many different subjects, beginning with golf. Doyle said, “Golf is a different kind of win. Nothing is as exhilarating as golf, because of the physical challenge.”
I had heard that in his heyday, Doyle was a fabulous golfer and made huge golf bets. He said that he sometimes played for half a million dollars, explaining, “The guys on the pro golf tour don’t compete for the amount of money we bet on a single round.”
I had read a story about a golf match that was famous amongst poker players. I never really understood the story, as I know nothing more than the meaning of a “birdie.” As the story goes, Doyle hadn’t played golf in many years because of his knee injury, which caused him increasing problems as the years went on. However, being a betting gentleman, there were some wagers he simply could not resist. Howard Lederer bet him half a million on a golf game. It went like this: Doyle and his golf partner Mike Sexton were permitted to tee off from the “red tees.” I apologized when I asked Doyle what that meant. With a devilish, endearing, and mischievous grin, he answered: “The ladies tees; we teed off from the red (ladies) tees, which are much closer to the hole, while Howard (Lederer) and Huck (Seed) teed off from the blue tees, further back. I’m a much better golfer than all of them. They didn’t have a chance!”
As it turned out, Doyle and Mike won the match, but only by one stroke. If you could have seen that playful look on Doyle’s face when he told the story, you instantly would have found his personality irresistible. It must have been one heck of a bluff to get his opponents to allow this big man to tee off from the girlie tees!
Linda Johnson told me that golf match was her favorite story about Doyle, and that I should hear Mike Sexton’s rendition of it. When I contacted Mike, he promised to write an entire column about the match. He told me, “Doyle Brunson is a living legend in the poker world, golf world, sports-betting world, and any other type of gambling world. He not only has played in the biggest games virtually his entire life, he wrote what most people, including me, consider ‘the Bible’ on poker. High-stakes gamblers love to be around him, because he is a true ‘action man.'”