Doyle Brunson, a champion poker player who, in a long, lucrative and colorful career with a deck of cards, won 10 World Series of Poker events, including two back-to-back titles, and influenced countless players with his definitive guide to Texas hold ’em and other games, died on Sunday in Las Vegas. He was 89.
His death was confirmed by his daughter-in-law, Anjela Brunson.
On his website, Mr. Brunson was once immodestly described as “the Babe Ruth, the Michael Jordan, and the Arnold Palmer of poker.”
The comparisons were apt. The first person to win $1 million in tournament play, Mr. Brunson — nicknamed Texas Dolly — became a star to a new generation when poker became a fixture on television in the 1990s, his cowboy hat and no-nonsense drawl a gentlemanly foil to brash, talkative younger players.
“The testosterone that floods most of today’s games owes its existence to Brunson’s philosophy of attack, the outlaw whiff of his style, the cowboy jingle-jangle of his prose,” Sports Illustrated wrote in 2005.
Mr. Brunson, whose career in poker began in illegal games in the back rooms of Texas bars, won the World Series of Poker main event, the sport’s most coveted prize, in 1976 and 1977. His total tournament winnings exceeded $6 million.
Since the 1960s, he had presided over a high-stakes private cash game in Las Vegas known as “The Big Game,” reserved for the most fearless and well-financed poker players as well as wealthy amateurs.
Mr. Brunson “bridges the span between the dangerous road games of the 1950s and the safely legitimate mountains of money in the 21st century,” the poker journalist James McManus wrote in “Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker” (2009).
When Mr. Brunson won the World Series of Poker main event, he wrote that people thought of him more as a professional gambler than a poker player. He acknowledged that he had made millions and lost much of it early on betting on other sports, especially golf.
But he became famous for winning at poker and then teaching it, especially no-limit Texas hold ’em, a variation of the game that he first played in 1958, when it was becoming popular in his home state.
Doyle Frank Brunson was born on Aug. 10, 1933, and grew up in Longworth, in north central Texas, the youngest of three children of John and Mealia Brunson. His father was a farmer and cotton gin manager, his mother a homemaker. Doyle did not learn until his mid-20s that his father had secretly put his first two children through college by playing poker.
Initially an undersize basketball player, Doyle grew about six inches in a year and helped lead Sweetwater High School, in nearby Sweetwater, to the state tournament in Austin. The night before the semifinal game (which his team lost), schoolmates introduced him to poker, which he had seen played only in movies.
He also excelled at baseball and track. After missing the deadline to accept a full scholarship to the University of Texas, he attended the Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and started playing poker there. Five times he faced a school disciplinary board for gambling but avoided suspension because of his success as an athlete.
After almost leading Hardin-Simmons to the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament, Mr. Brunson landed a summer job at the local gypsum plant. His athletic career was ended when a stack of Sheetrock fell on him, mangling his right leg.
He earned a master’s degree in education while playing poker for income. But shocked at how little school administrators were paid, he decided against an educator’s career and took a job selling business equipment. While making a sales call on a pool hall in Fort Worth, he stumbled on a poker game, joined it and in three hours equaled his month’s salary. He quit his job and started a life of illegal poker in Texas.
Mr. Brunson soon joined a betting partnership with Thomas Preston Jr., better known as Amarillo Slim, and Brian Roberts, known as Sailor, in which they shared bankrolls until they lost all their money in Las Vegas in 1970. Each of them would eventually win the World Series of Poker main event.
In 1962, Mr. Brunson married Louise Carter, a Fort Worth pharmacist. She survives him, along with their son, Todd; their daughter, Pamela Brunson; a stepdaughter, Cheryl Carter; a grandson; a step-grandson; four step-great-grandchildren; and one step-great-great-grandson. His first child, Doyla Brunson, died in 1982. Mr. Brunson died at a hospital in Las Vegas and had lived in the city for several decades.
Mr. Brunson was among the three dozen players invited in 1970 to the inaugural World Series of Poker, a name that belied its modest beginnings. The tournament was the brainchild of the casino owner Benny Binion and Jimmy Snyder, then a public relations agent better known as Jimmy the Greek.
The World Series expanded its roster of poker contests to include several variants of the game, but Texas hold ’em remained the most publicized and lucrative event. Mr. Snyder called Mr. Brunson “Texas Doy-lee,” which reporters mistook for Dolly, and the nickname Texas Dolly stuck, though it seemed incongruous for someone who stood 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed well over 250 pounds.
After moving to Las Vegas in 1973 for steadier gambling opportunities, Mr. Brunson won the tournament’s main event in 1976 and 1977, widely viewed as the world championship, earning $560,000 in a winner-take-all format. His 10 World Series bracelets are tied for second behind Phil Hellmuth’s 16.
In 1978, he self-published his book “How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker,” which included chapters by other top pros. Later renamed “Super System: A Course in Power Poker” when it was picked up by B & G Publishing in 2002, the book and its follow-up, “Super System 2,” remain top-selling poker manuals.
“As a postgraduate guide to the intricacies of high-level, high-stakes poker the work has no equal,” wrote the English poet Al Alvarez, who covered the 1981 World Series of Poker for The New Yorker. “The grammar may be shaky in places, the punctuation baroque, but the voice is distinct and the message is clear: aggression, constant aggression.”
Mr. Brunson was inducted into the World Series of Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.
After steady growth, poker had its cultural moment in 1998 with the release of the film “Rounders,” in which Matt Damon’s poker-playing character recites Brunson maxims while wielding a copy of “Super System.” That same year, poker became a late-night and cable television staple, and Mr. Brunson became a familiar figure.
Competitive into his later years, Mr. Brunson won a 2004 legends event on the World Poker Tour and $1.2 million. In 2005, he won a hold ’em event for his 10th World Series title.
A few days earlier, his son Todd, also a professional player, had captured an event, making them the first father and son to each win at the World Series. Mr. Brunson reached the fourth day of the 2013 Poker Players Championship, though he confessed that the game was taking its toll.
“Sometimes, when I’ve been playing for a couple of days, I get into a position where I’m uncomfortable,” he said. “My leg, say, starts hurting a little bit. But I don’t change position. I’ll sit there and let it hurt, just as a reminder to make myself play good.”
He was still playing poker in Las Vegas in 2022. “Watching Doyle Brunson play poker at the Bellagio is like watching Tiger Woods play Augusta,” Joe Levin wrote in a profile in Texas Monthly last July.
Mr. Brunson thought that his legacy would be “the fact that I’ve played longer at the high levels than anybody else ever did,” he said in 2003. “I mean, I’ve been playing at the high levels — the biggest games I could find — ever since I was 23 years old.”
But he would not milk his age for sympathy.
“Would I like to win the World Series again for the old guys?” he said in 2002. “Nah, I’d like to win it for ol’ Doyle.”
Alex Traub contributed reporting.
By: Kathleen McElroy
Title: Doyle Brunson, Poker Champion Known as ‘Texas Dolly,’ Dies at 89
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2023/05/15/sports/doyle-brunson-dead.html
Published Date: Mon, 15 May 2023 21:48:39 +0000
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Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’ – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Here is everything you need to know about the single hardest puncher in boxing and the former world heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder. This includes his net worth, career earnings and endorsement deals.
Deontay Wilder Net Worth
Deontay Wilder has been a professional boxer since his debut back in November 2008. He has been boxing consistently for over 15 years straight now in the pro ranks, earning more and more money as his career has progressed up to world level.
The 1985-born boxing superstar is one of the most fearsome punchers the sport of boxing has ever seen. Deontay Wilder’s boxing record consists of 43 wins – 42 of which have come via knockout. The only man to go the distance with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ was Bermane Stiverne, who Wilder then knocked out in a round in their rematch.
As of December 2023, it is reported that Deontay Wilder’s net worth is somewhere in the region of $30 million (source: Celebrity Net Worth).
Of course, given the fact the Alabama man is supremely wealthy, he likes his fair share of luxury items too. Wilder has acquired real estate, expensive jewelry, flashy cars and various other assets that have contributed to his riches.
Wilder reportedly has eight kids in total from various relationships, including one with his current girlfriend Telli Swift. Evidently a fair amount of Wilder’s earnings in the ring is used on providing for his big family and loved ones. Be sure to see Deontay Wilder’s net worth continue to grow for the remainder of his career, as long as that lasts.
Deontay Wilder Career Earnings
After 46 professional boxing fights, Deontay Wilder’s biggest fight purse is reported to have been around $28 million (source: Forbes). This was reportedly how much ‘The Bronze Bomber’ earned for his rematch bout with Tyson Fury back in February 2020.
Wilder went into the fight as the marginal favorite with the best offshore sportsbooks, given that he was still the reigning champion following his draw with Fury 14 months prior. Despite getting conclusively knocked out in Round 7 of the fight, this still remains the biggest purse of Wilder’s career to date.
Deontay Wilder has reportedly earned a total sum of around $95 million in his professional boxing career from his debut up to now. This is right up there with the likes of heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and is more than the likes of Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis and Terence Crawford.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Bronze Medallist has been earnings even figure purses ever since he became world heavyweight champion back in January 2015. Of his last 10 fights, just one has been less than seven figures (Washington – $900k). In fact, Wilder has earned around $80 million just from his last five fights.
See the full table below for a detailed breakdown of the purses Deontay Wilder has received for his last 10 fights. All in all, it is fair to say that the 38-year-old isn’t short of a dollar or two. His net worth, salary and fight purses will continue to rise as his career rolls on at world level.
Deontay Wilder Fight Purses (Last 10):
|Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius
|Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3
|Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2
|Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2
|Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale
|Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury
|Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz
|Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne 2
|Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington
|Deontay Wilder vs Chris Arreola
Deontay Wilder purse info per Sports Payouts & Sporting News
Deontay Wilder Endorsements & Sponsorship
Although the vast majority of Deontay Wilder’s earnings comes from prize fighting, he also earns an extremely lucrative sum of money outside of the ring. These vast endorsement deals from outside of the ring are a big player in boosting Wilder’s net worth and salary.
The 1985-born boxing phenom’s biggest endorsement deal as of today is his partnership with Everlast. Wilder has shown great loyalty to Everlast for several years during his boxing career, and still sports their boxing gear to this day. He also regularly uses Everlast boxing gloves in the ring for his world title fights, as well as during training camps.
Some of Deontay Wilder’s other endorsements include his partnerships with PureKana CBD, Raising Cane’s and IHC Crypto. There is not much else known about Wilder’s endorsements and sponsors outside of his career as a boxer.
All in all, Deontay Wilder’s various sponsorships certainly help boost his net worth. Per Forbes, he reportedly earns an estimated $500,000 per annum through endorsements. Ultimately though it is punching people in the face for a living that pays ‘The Bronze Bomber’ the most money.
Be sure to claim the various sports betting apps bonuses and boxing free bets available on the SportsLens site ahead of Deontay Wilder’s next fight.
From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks
By: Paul Kelly
Title: Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/deontay-wilder-net-worth-career-earnings-endorsements/
Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:59:17 +0000
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