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Throwback Win: Doyle Brunson Earns His Tenth World Series of Poker Bracelet

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Nov 07, 2018


Doyle BrunsonBack in the summer of 2005, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth entered the World Series of Poker tied with nine bracelets each. About halfway through the series, Brunson was able to celebrate his son Todd’s first bracelet win, only to have it soured somewhat just one day later when Chan became the first player to bracelet no. 10.

Undeterred, the then 72-year-old Brunson entered the $5,000 six-handed no-limit hold’em event, and set his sights on tying Chan’s record. The tournament attracted a strong field of 301 players, 48 of which made the money. Notables who cashed included players such as David “The Dragon Pham, Lee Watkinson, Patrik Antonius, Daniel Alaei, Chip Reese, Allen Cunningham, Andy Black, John Duthie, John Juanda, John Hennigan, Brad Booth, Chris Ferguson, and Men “The Master” Nguyen.

The final table also proved to be a tough one for 2005, featuring bracelet winners Jason Lester and Ayaz Mahmood, Bobby’s Room high-stakes regular Minh Ly, five-time winner Scotty Nguyen, and six-time winner Layne Flack.

In the end, the title and the bracelet went to Brunson, who tied Chan with ten, total. (Both players have since been tied and surpassed by Phil Hellmuth, who has 15 bracelets. Brunson and Chan still have 10.) Brunson earned $367,800 for the win, which is the largest WSOP payout of his career, and $27,800 more than the $340,000 he pocketed for the second of his back-to-back WSOP main event titles in 1977.

“It’s hard to substitute for experience, and let’s just face it, nobody has more experience than me,” Brunson said. “Nobody is as old as I am either,” he added, getting a laugh from the crowd that had stayed until 4 a.m. to watch his win. 
Here are five key hands that propelled Brunson to victory.

Tournament: 2005 WSOP Six-Max NLHE

Buy-In: $5,000
No. of Entries: 301
Prize Pool: $1,414,700
1st Place Prize: $367,800

The Action

Brunson was sitting as one of the short stacks with 12 players remaining in the tournament, and moved all-in holding A-8 suited. Booth made the call with pocket sixes for a coinflip situation, but the flop gave Brunson two pair and a strong hold on the pot. Booth needed a two-outer to take out Brunson, but the turn and river were bricks, leaving him as the tournament’s short stack. He was eliminated just a couple hands later by Paul Kraus.

The Action

When there were 11 players left, Brunson was all-in holding pocket queens on a 9-4-3 flop against the 9-7 of Kraus. Brunson managed to avoid a bad beat on the turn and river, and he doubled up. A short while later, the two players tangled again, this time with Brunson flopping two pair. Kraus needed a diamond to make a flush and stay alive, but it never came. Instead, Brunson picked up a massive pot while Kraus collected $31,125 for tenth place.

The Action

With four players remaining, Flack raised to 50,000 on the button and was met with a three-bet to 150,000 by Brunson. Flack moved all-in, and Brunson made the call for his tournament life with pocket kings. Flack held AClub Suit QDiamond Suit, and needed to get lucky to avoid being left with less than two big blinds. The flop came down KClub Suit JDiamond Suit 6Diamond Suit, giving Brunson top set. Flack needed a 10 to make a straight, but the turn and river came 2Club Suit JSpade Suit, and Brunson doubled up to the chip lead.

The Action

Brunson raised to 40,000 on the button and was called by Ly in the small blind, and Flack in the big blind, who had mounted a small comeback after earlier giving up the double. The flop came down 10Club Suit 9Heart Suit 3Spade Suit and Ly checked. Flack moved all in for his last 62,000, and Brunson called. Ly folded, and Brunson showed KDiamond Suit 9Club Suit for second pair. Flack held KClub Suit 10Diamond Suit, for top pair, making him a 90-percent favorite to win the hand. The turn was the 9Diamond Suit, however, leaving Flack with just two outs to stay alive. The river was the 5Club Suit and Flack exited in fourth place, taking home $99,030.

The Action

Facing a big chip disadvantage, Ly limped in on the button, inducing Brunson to move all in from the big blind. Ly quickly called off the last of his stack with KSpade Suit QDiamond Suit, and was a favorite over Brunson’s 10Club Suit 3Diamond Suit. The flop of 9Spade Suit 8Diamond Suit 3Heart Suit, however, shifted the advantage to Brunson. The turn was the 4Heart Suit, leaving Ly with just six outs, and he failed to connect with any of them as the 5Club Suit hit the river. Ly earned $203,715 for his runner-up finish, the closest he has come to a WSOP bracelet in eight final-table appearances. Brunson picked up his then record-tying tenth bracelet, and the $367,800 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Doyle Brunson — $367,800
2. Minh Ly — $203,715
3. Scotty Nguyen — $106,105
4. Layne Flack — $99,030
5. Ayaz Mahmood — $82,055
6. Jason Lester — $67,905