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Do as I say…not as I do!

by Doyle Brunson |  Published: Dec 21, '07

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I've heard these words many times from poker authors and players. I've written many times poker players shouldn't play when there are problems in their life. I've only had four major losing streaks in my life and each one followed something bad happening.

The first time was right after I was married in 1962. My wife wanted me to quit poker and get a job coaching and teaching at a local school. I wouldn't do it and continued to play but it seemed as though I couldn't win a pot until we got our difficulties resolved.

Then, twenty years later, when my first born daughter died unexpectedly, I attempted to play but I had to quit because I couldn't concentrate. I didn't play again for a year but I lost a lot of money when I should have been home mourning my daughter with my family.

In 1998, I had gastric bypass surgery and tried to play immediately afterward. I lost six million dollars at the WSOP and made terrible decisions at the table. That was by far the worst performance of my career. I finally turned my play around but all that money was gone again.

Then my best friend, Chip Reese died in his sleep and after his funeral I tried to play because the WPT tournament that has my name on it, The Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic was going on, and I felt obligated to play.
Again, everything I did was wrong and now I realize I shouldn't have been playing.

Poker, especially at the upper levels, requires extreme concentration and you have to be focused. So, if you have any major problems, wait until you solve them before you play. Take some time and get your priorities straight before you sit down to play any serious poker. -DB

Doyle "Tex Dolly" Brunson is a 10-time WSOP bracelet winner, best-selling author, and is known worldwide as the father of modern poker. His list of poker accomplishments and awards are endless.

 
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