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It Appears Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Has Played His Last WSOP Main Event

Poker Legend Says 'Hours Are Just Too Damn Long'

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Card Player’s 2014 WSOP coverage is sponsored by CarbonPoker.

It appears 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson is done playing in poker’s most prestigious tournament—an event he won in 1976 and 1977.

The 80-year-old poker legend Tweeted yesterday that he won’t be playing the 2014 World Series of Poker main event due to his age. Last year, Doyle made a deep run, finishing 408th, and there was speculation that it could be his last main event. He originally said that he was going to skip the entire 2013 WSOP. The tournament is known for its grueling nature, demanding players to grind for 12 hours a day for longer than a week straight in order to make the final table.

After a long day of action last year, Brunson said that he felt “like a truck ran over me.”

Brunson did play in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship earlier this summer, an event that drew around 100 players, instead of the 6,000+ in the main event.


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Comments

Herbie1
over 4 years ago

This Kid may be only 24 but I have all the respect in the world for him. Kids that think they are going to make a living playing poker need to wake up as it will rip your heart out and deplete your pockets. I have close to a half million I tournament winnings but I assure you overall I am a loser. Thankfully, I have had a great career and made a lot of money and can afford to be a loser. But to those that have not been as fortunate as me in business and others like me don't depend on poker to give you a secure future. Most of you will lose...this kid, well man-kid, has a great head on his shoulder and I cannot respect him any more than I do...

 
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PokerPong
over 4 years ago

Thank God for Doyle Brunson and all the times I have enjoyed and benefited from watching him on TV.

This is as clear an illustration as it gets that some change is needed to make the playing field more level and make poker more accessible to the less fortunate in terms of basic physical health and ability/disability that has nothing at all to do with actual poker skill.

Many people who are much younger than Doyle Brunson cannot handle 12 hours a day, either. The plain physical demand is extremely excessive for anyone with any significant or even moderate degree of relevant health issues or effective disability or partial disability. Even the normal work week in America is limited to 8 hours a day as a standard shift. In my opinion, 12 hours is simply too much and time requirements like that shut too many people out of too many opportunities in the world of poker. Whether it is intended or not, in effect it even has the consequence of amounting to a kind of discrimination.

Do we really want the best opportunities in live poker to be effectively restricted to only those who are the most fortunate in ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with actual poker skill, e.g. the most physically strong and hence as a general rule favoring the most young?

Do we really want final tables to be dominated or virtually monopolized by twenty-somethings in their prime who are fortunate enough to have the kind of physical health that does not interfere with full participation?

Do we really want poker TV announcer's to as a consequence of the above not uncommonly drop remarks like "clearly poker has now become a young man's game" in large part not because of superior skill, but really more relevantly because of superior fortune in terms of physical attributes and gifts that have nothing whatsoever to do with poker skill?

Wouldn't it be far better to consider these types of issues in such a way as to not only promote greater equality in terms of people of differing levels of such health related concerns being able to more fully and equally participate in the best opportunities in poker - but also to promote a more diverse poker scene in general?

 
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Phil15
over 4 years ago

They are sitting on padded chairs in an air conditioned building playing a card game.... how much less physically demanding can you make that? I have played 12+ hour stretches and it wears on you mentally more so than physically. The constant calculations, trying to remain aware of everything, etc. It is not super easy but this is why it is the WSOP, it is supposed to be the best of the best. Part of that is being able to handle the marathon style structure. WSOP is not about being easy, it is supposed to be the best of the best. Brunson is a legend in the poker world, but at 80 years old you cannot expect him to be as spry as a 22 year old pro. Its like expecting Terry Bradshaw to play with the same ability of Aaron Rodgers.

 
 

PokerPong
over 4 years ago

>>"They are sitting on padded chairs in an air conditioned building playing a card game.... how much less physically demanding can you make that?"

>>"I have played 12+ hour stretches and it wears on you mentally more so than physically."

That's because you obviously have the kind of physical health attributes that enable you to completely take for granted being able to do that and not even have to think about it or be distracted or hindered by a physical condition or weakness that has nothing to do with the mental part. I know many people like that, and most people are like that until or unless they experience something that changes that.

The simple act of sitting down produces more pressure on the lower spine than standing or lying down. Many people of varying ages far younger by years or decades than Doyle Brunson have various kinds of back conditions or have had back injuries, surgery, etc., for example, that make it impossible or practically impossible to engage in merely sitting for extremely prolonged periods of time. That includes when they have padded or ergonomic chairs. They may even appear quite "normal" and it's even unlikely you do not know people like that or even have relatives like that. This has absolutely nothing to do with poker skill, and people with such circumstances and conditions may even be better or have better potential than some of the twenty-somethings you see at final tables or even winning the marathon sessions.

And don't just glibly say they can just stand up, for instance, because actions like that can be a problem for many people too especially if it's a massive 12 hour session or similar.

>>"it is supposed to be the best of the best. Part of that is being able to handle the marathon style structure. WSOP is not about being easy, it is supposed to be the best of the best."

It is supposed to be the best of the best in terms of poker skill, not in terms of extra physical attributes only some, generally those who are younger, are more fortunate than others to have. Poker is not baseball, basketball, football, soccer or gymnastics. I like seeing it on ESPN as much as anyone, but let's get real it is not a sport. Ergo,

"Its like expecting Terry Bradshaw to play with the same ability of Aaron Rodgers."

Exactly the kind of analogy that is completely off the mark here.

12 hour sessions, longer than a week straight? Who decided tournaments should be about "being able to handle the marathon style structure" which favors those who are younger or merely stronger in some ways mostly irrelevant to poker and more relevant to youth or physical strength or constitution? Shouldn't such ideas and decisions be open-minded to revision? I would suggest that the status quo in this regard is not only stacked unfavorably toward too many people in society, but frankly and plainly even very contrary to the interests and potential growth of the industry and world of poker in general.

So I definitely want the best of the best. But the best of the best in poker really means a more level and more interestingly diverse playing field so that many of the best are not simply effectively shut out or excluded due to attributes required of athletes like ball players and gymnasts, not of poker players.

 
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Phil15
over 4 years ago

Then don't forget the people that are broke. Give them all a free roll because they don't have the financial ability to play despite they might be very talented.
You are one of those "bubble wrap the world" make every one have equality no matter how ridiculous the situation.
If they cannot stand the structure provided, then find another tournament with a structure that favors their physical, mental or financial situation. This is WSOP, not the special Olympic's

 
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PokerPong
over 4 years ago

No, on the contrary, you are simply an example of a completely clueless, nasty, selfish, shortsighted, spoiled brat; completely uninterested in any reasonable semblance of fair competition and perfectly content to maintain a virtually one-dimensional texture-less status quo that extremely unfairly favors the demographic which your CP profile pic would indicate you yourself are a member of. You also grossly misrepresent my own position as being one of an unrealistic and idealistic extreme when the truth is that I'm only advocating a moderation of an already extreme and lopsided status quo. Furthermore, your example of "people that are broke" doesn't even hold water either, as there are already numerous examples of situations in which tournament seats can be won for little or no financial input, as well as a whole established practice of staking available to many. People like you with attitudes like yours are simply a glaring example of nothing less than the degradation and deterioration of American society going on for decades now. Let there be a more level playing field in terms of the issues I've raised above and which are so plainly illustrated in the news about Doyle Brunson here, and not only would more people with attitudes like yours find yourselves getting your butt kicked more often on the final tables, but the national poker scene would be more democratized, colorful and diverse, and more people would likely become even more turned on to poker for the increasing benefit and expansion of the industry.

 
 

Phil15
over 4 years ago

And not to mention, how many months would you like these tournaments to last? you want to run a turbo structure on all of them? That would greatly reduce the skill factor, might as wall be a slot machine tournament!

 
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Phil15
over 4 years ago

You are prime example of the pussification of America. "oh poor babies cannot handle the structure or playing long stretches... lets play in 2 hour bursts to accommodate EVERYONE."
BooWhoo cry me a river. If you do not like the structure or physically unable to sit in a chair for 8,12 or more hours then maybe those people need a different sport or hobby. You are one of those that believe everyone deserves a metal just because they participated and no one fails... this is real life, this is poker. There are winners, there are losers. I am unable to play football with 400lb linemen, I am too small and cannot compete... Should the NFL tell the guys to slim down a bit... Phil15 needs a fair shot at a superbowl too ya know.... Just die in a grease fire.

 
 

PokerPong
over 4 years ago

"Just die in a grease fire" - how sportsmanlike.

Does anyone else notice how some folks like this Phil here come up with such false extremes when they're trying to refute you? Once again there is no comparison here re this guy's NFL tirade. A moderate change from let's say 12 hours more than 7 days straight to something more like 6 to 8 hours with a one day break on weekends is not exactly an outrageous or unreasonable extreme.

Note that I'm not replying directly to this raving squirt here, btw, just in general re the topic itself if I consider it good for the subject matter...

 
 

VoiceOfReason
over 4 years ago

Pompous windbag.

 
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PokerPong
over 4 years ago

Pompous screen name.

 
 

AceupmySlv
over 4 years ago

Poker Pong - No offense, but give it a rest. You sound absolutely ridiculous in what you are saying and asking. You just sound old and bitter. Also, who is to say that it is better to turn more people onto to poker and for it to be more diverse, as if that is a good thing. Just what we need in America right now, more people losing money at poker that cannot afford it. Stop treating poker as if it is such a great thing and even comparing it to real life/society in general.

 
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PokerPong
over 4 years ago

Really? What about a change from 12 hours to 6 or 8, with at least a one day break on the weekend? Completely unreasonable? Totally extreme? You think a change like that which would make it a more level playing field physically would be "absolutely ridiculous"?

And what about the issue of a shot clock which has been written about recently? Out of the question? Gotta let those 20-somethings have their fair chance to take as long as they want to wear down older and less healthy players?

 
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VoiceOfReason
over 4 years ago

More gas from the windbag. Question is what are you actually going to do about all the points you have banged on and on about?

 
 

PokerPong
over 4 years ago

More gas from a troll. At the moment I'm already doing it, as some people say words alone can go a long way in a society like ours, but if you have some good ideas on more steps to take I'm all ears. A troll may wish to remain a troll but even a troll can transmit something valuable sometimes. You can also join the cause of attempting to instil reason yourself in those who are confused and think poker is a sport requiring physical fitness like football, soccer or gymnastics, and advocate for a more balanced and reasonable format and administration of events that encourages inclusion and promotes the industry especially now that the US market is finally opening up online and the pseudo "prohibition" is being corrected.

 
 

texasroadgambler
over 4 years ago

There can be no dispute that as all males age that their levels of androgens decrease. With that indisputable fact in mind, their energy levels also decrease. This comes to all of us. Doyle has recognized it.

 
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PokerPong
over 4 years ago

I seriously doubt Doyle Brunson is only thinking about normal aging when he says the hours are too long. It's been very clear for a long time to anyone who has watched him on TV these past years that he has been dealing with some health issues for a long time now. He even uses a cane which fell down recently and another player picked it up on TV.

 
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maxima191
over 4 years ago

Pam Brunson was whining on facebook days ago about her brother todd not having a bracelet now he does have a gold bracelet Doyle's legacy lives on at the WSOP.

 
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ksyaddle
over 4 years ago

Todd Brunson won his first bracelet in 2005 so he already had a bracelet before he finished 2nd this past week in the stud event. The 2005 bracelet is his only bracelet. I think she was commiserating with her brother, not whining?

 
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TheFly
over 4 years ago

I think nothing is wrong with the demands of the Main Event. It wasn't too long ago that the Days ended at ~2:30am, at lest now they end around 12:30am which is 5 levels of play with breaks. Are we really supposed to alter the schedule because an 80-year old man in possibly declining health decides he doesn't want to play it anymore? I think Doyle just doesn't much like the long tournament grind anymore and would much rather have a 12-hour cash session than three 12-hour tourny days which could end up in no payout at all.

 
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PokerPong
over 4 years ago

Let me guess - you are in perfect shape and can sit around doing poker for hours and hours and hours without even thinking about any kind of physical health issue?

I don't know if you've read the discussion here or not, but doesn't seem so.

As I've indicated above, a lot of young people can't even handle this kind of physical demand for various reasons.

So is that what tournament poker should be - poker skill plus perfect health? Would it be unreasonable to simply make an adjustment, such as to 6 or 8 hours a day and at least one day off among 7? Not just the Main Event, either, but I've heard tournament days are 12 hours in general.

 
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TheFly
over 4 years ago

Pong, the way you talk makes me wonder if you've ever even played in a large buy-in, multi-day tournament in your life. The Main Event, for example, is structured so that you do have days off. You could play Day 1A, have 2 days off, play Day 2A, have another day off, then play Day 3. After Day 3 there are no days off.

Also, I don't consider sitting in a chair from Noon to Midnight, with regular breaks and a dinner break, to be any kind of "physical demand". In fact, if you spent any time at all at a large poker tournament and saw the number of fat whales motoring around in their scooters because they are too fat to handle the rigors of walking anymore, you could hardly come to the conclusion that sitting in a chair playing poker is any kind of physical demand.