The World Poker Tour has announced that it has signed legendary poker player – THE legendary poker play – Doyle Brunson as an ambassador. Brunson, who will turn 89 this summer, will attend WPT events and promote the Tour online.

“Doyle has been a part of the World Poker Tour from the very beginning,” said World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska in Tuesday’s press release. “I was there for his WPT Legends of Poker victory in 2004 when he joined the WPT Champions Club, and to also be here to welcome him to the WPT family after all this time feels surreal.”

Brunson has two other World Poker Tour final tables in addition to the victory Pliska mentioned. He is one of just four people with double-digit World Series of Poker bracelets. He is tied with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey with ten; Phil Hellmuth is the runaway leader right now with 16.

Doyle Brunson has more than $6.1 million in live tournament earnings, about a third of which is from the World Poker Tour. He has earned countless millions more, however, in high stakes cash games dating back decades.

Though others have far surpassed him in tournament winnings at this point, that is mainly because there are so many high roller events nowadays that it has become easier (in a relative sense – winning tournaments is not easy) to amass millions of dollars in earnings at a younger age. Brunson has been a trailblazer, one of the few that took poker from the shady backrooms to the forefront of entertainment. His books Super System and Super System II are still widely regarded as two of the best poker books ever written.

Brunson’s tournament schedule has slowed down in recent years, as is understandable. It was thought that his last WSOP in 2018 (a final table at that) would also be his last World Series of Poker appearance, but he played in the $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em event last year, to the joy of many.

And it sounded like he planned on playing in some events this year, but Brunson announced a week and a half ago that he was going to sit out the festivities. It has been widely reported that COVID-19 is running through the WSOP; many notable players, including Phil Hellmuth, have caught it and have had to sit out for a while. Brunson decided he would play it safe, particularly with two unvaccinated family members in his house, and not risk exposing himself to the virus.

Word is, however, that despite Brunson’s live tournament schedule slowing down, he is still active in cash games. And in his words in the WPT’s announcement, “I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: we don’t stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.”

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