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Poker Legend Doyle Brunson’s Wife Louise Passes Away

Brunsons’ Marriage Lasted Over Six Decades


Doyle and LouiseJust five months after the death of poker legend Doyle Brunson, his wife Louise has also passed away. The 91-year-old died on Sunday in Las Vegas. The couple was married for 62 years and her death was revealed by the couple’s daughter Pamela on social media.

“My mom passed away, peacefully in her sleep,” she said. “I’m sure she is so excited to be in heaven with my dad. Please keep us in your prayers. It’s been a crazy five months.”

The Brunsons were deeply devoted to each other, and family was important to the couple. The couple is survived by son Todd Brunson, also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, as well as daughter Pamela. Their second daughter, Doyla, died at age 18 in 1982.

Marriage and Poker

Louise grew up in Florida and attended the University of Georgia. She earned a degree to become a pharmacist, accepting a job in San Angelo, Texas, where the two met at a performance by a country and western band. The couple kept dating and were soon married.

At one point while Louise was pregnant with their first child, Doyle was stricken with melanoma cancer and given only three months to live. Louise began working long hours to keep the family afloat while he underwent three surgeries and healed.

Louise always supported her husband’s chosen profession despite some of the dangers that came with traveling the poker road in the 1960s and ‘70s. In 1998, the couple was even beaten and robbed inside their Las Vegas home.

“It was terrible, just terrible,” Louise told PokerNews. “They would come after them with guns and everything else. It was a lot different back then.”

Supporting His Wife

Despite playing poker well into his 80s, Doyle gave up playing in tournaments in later years to spend more time with Louise. She’d been in poor health and he wanted to be home with her.

“She can’t go to sleep until I come home,” Doyle told Card Player in 2018. “So I play in cash games just about every day when there is one running, and I can get home at 9:00 or 10:00 at night. But if you play in a tournament and you do well, you can’t get home until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, so that’s what keeps me from playing.

“I think I could still do it, I am physically able to handle the hours. I’ve always had great endurance, which is a blessing, but I feel guilty if I leave the house with my wife in poor health. I feel like I should be there with her, so I think I plan on retiring after this summer and spending all my time with her.”

Despite numerous ups and downs in a marriage that spanned more than six decades, Louise credited an enduring love and willingness to compromise in forging a happy relationship.

“We went through a lot in our lifetime,” she said. “But what doesn’t kill you, keeps you together and closer. I knew that I loved him, and I knew that he loved me.”

The poker community recently celebrated the first-ever Doyle Brunson day, choosing Oct. 2 in honor of the 10-time bracelet winner’s back-to-back main event titles holding 10-2.