In a recent blog posted by industry legend Doyle Brunson on the website of Doyle’s Room, it was revealed that “Texas Dolly” has signed with Poker Royalty, one of the world’s largest management agencies.
Brunson explained his decision to be represented by Poker Royalty: “I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. I’m a terrible businessman and dealmaker, so I’m glad to be able to turn over all that stuff to them.” Brunson also added that Poker Royalty will have a suite at the Rio in close proximity to the Amazon Room, providing easy access to a restroom during breaks. Brunson officially signed with Poker Royalty on May 24th. At the time of writing, the website of Poker Royalty did not yet have Brunson listed as a client. The company works with 30 of the game’s top names and is based in Las Vegas.
With the signing of Brunson, Poker Royalty now represents the top three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winners of all-time. Brunson is tied with Johnny Chan for the second highest tally with 10. Both are back-to-back Main Event Champions, as Brunson won it all in 1976 and 1977. Chan won the Main Event in 1987 and 1988 before finishing as the runner up to Phil Hellmuth in 1989. Hellmuth is also represented by Poker Royalty and leads the poker world with 11 bracelets. His most recent came in a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament in 2007 that attracted a field of 2,628 runners. In the end, Hellmuth bested Andy Philachack heads-up and banked $637,000.
Poker Royalty represents Gavin Griffin, who is the only player ever to have won tournaments on the World Poker Tour (WPT), European Poker Tour (EPT), and WSOP. His bracelet win came in 2004 in a $3,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event. The final table of that tournament was no cakewalk, as his adversaries included Gabriel Thaler, Ram Vaswani, Phi Nguyen, and Hellmuth. Three years later, Griffin won the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final for nearly $2.5 million. He qualified through PokerStars for the end-of-season EPT tournament, which is held at the storied Monaco casino. Griffin won the WPT Borgata Winter Open in 2008 for $1.4 million, rounding out poker’s first Triple Crown, a feat that remains unmatched.
Three recent WSOP Main Event runner-ups are also represented by the Las Vegas based company: Ivan Demidov, Paul Wasicka and David Williams. Demidov battled against fellow Team PokerStars Pro member Peter Eastgate in the 2008 Main Event, with Eastgate ultimately emerging as the champion of the feature tournament. It marked the first year that the WSOP Main Event final table was delayed in order to coincide with television coverage on ESPN, a trend that will continue this year. Wasicka fell to Jamie Gold in the finale of the 2006 WSOP Main Event, banking a healthy $6.1 million. In addition, Poker Royalty serves as the agent for Bodog’s David Williams, who was the runner-up to Greg Raymer in the 2004 Main Event. Others at the talented final table included Josh Arieh (also represented by Poker Royalty) and 1995 Main Event winner Dan Harrington.
Companies aspiring to work with Daniel Negreanu must go through Poker Royalty. “Kid Poker” owns four WSOP bracelets and was a recent guest on CBC’s “The Hour,” hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. Negreanu is arguably one of the most popular players on the circuit today. His last bracelet win came in 2008 by virtue of taking down a $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em event, pocketing $204,000 in the process. Fellow Canadian Gavin Smith, the WPT Player of the Year during Season IV, joins him on the Poker Royalty team. Smith recorded three top four finishes during Season IV, including a win at the Mirage Poker Showdown for $1.1 million.
In addition to the “Kings of Poker,” Poker Royalty represents Evelyn Ng and Cyndy Violette. It also manages four celebrities of the game: model Cindy Margolis, L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss, former Major League Baseball pitcher Orel Hershiser, and “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander.