Doyle Brunson virtually invented the phenomenon that is Texas Hold'em. He paved the way for a sport once viewed to be played by only roughnecks and criminals, but is now played by today's world leaders and top executives.
Brunson has won an unprecedented and record ten World Series of Poker events, including the two back-to-back world championships.
Considered the patriarch of modern poker and the person most responsible for its rise from smoky backrooms to the pop-culture spotlight, Brunson was the leader of the Texas Rounders, a group of men who, in the words of The History Channel, "cleaned Texas dry" playing high-stakes poker in the 1950s and '60s. Outrunning both the law and the hijackers who preyed on winners of illegal big-money card games, he eventually landed in Las Vegas where he became one of the city's earliest tourist attractions: audiences would gather in awe to watch him play.
In 1978, Brunson changed the game of poker forever with his book Super System, a complete guide to Texas Hold'em and other games of poker. This book remains the bible of poker, the top-selling poker book of all time, still selling 14,000 copies a month. Following the books success, Brunson recently published a sequel, Super System 2, which includes new games, new strategies and insight from not only Brunson himself but also some of the other biggest names in poker today.
Doyle still continues to play at the elite level. In 2005, he won both his record 10th WSOP bracelet, and hundreds of thousands more in tournament play. In January 2006, ahead of ESPN, the World Poker Tour, and the rest of the world, BLUFF magazine voted Brunson the #1 most influential force in the world of poker.