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DOYLISM OF THE DAY: “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!”

by Doyle Brunson |  Published: Jul 17, '09


The 2009 WSOP is history except for the November 9. Each player at the final table gets over a million, all the way to the 1st place 9 million. Jeff Shulman and Phil Ivey are the only names I recognize and I’m going to be there to cheer them on. I’m a fan of the Shulman family. Jeff and Barry are both fine poker players (Jeff is the best :) ) and Barry’s wife is a respected attorney. I’m a little unsure how I feel about Jeff’s remark that he would throw the bracelet in the garbage can if he won it. I understand his concerns and agree with most of them, but to throw away the bracelet? Pretty strong statement!

The poker games are out of control at the Bellagio. I’ve never seen games where so much money is won and lost each night. I’ve only played in the game twice because it is PLO, which I consider my worst game. I won both times but have been content to play in the “baby games”, 2-4k and 4-8k mixed games. The Chinese Poker has been even bigger. We played $15,000 a point last night, 4 handed and 2 waiting. I had a 2.1 million dollar swing in less than an hour. Now that is gambling!

I get asked how in the world do you handle the ups and downs. The first thing you have to learn is how to endure disappointments. Sometimes I feel like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn. I always try to remember what my personal hero, Jim Valvano, said.

Valvano was the coach when North Carolina State beat Houston for the NCAA Championship. A few years later he contracted terminal cancer and gave an unforgettable speech on national TV. I remember he said, “This cancer can kill my body, but it can’t kill my spirit. Always remember, don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

I try to do just that.


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.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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