Doyle Brunson Book Dazzles

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

Forget Sarah Palin going rogue.

The hottest new autobiography out this month is from poker legend Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson.

Titled "The Godfather of Poker" and ghost-written by Mike Cochran, the

384-page book tells the life story of one of America's--and the world's--greatest professional poker players.

From his early days in Texas, playing in illegal poker games and keeping one step ahead of bandits and the law, through his arrival in Las Vegas and his back-to-back wins at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, to his current status as a poker media star and TV icon, Brunson, through Cochran, chronicles his career, both professionally and personally.

Professionally, he's won 10 WSOP championship gold bracelets, including two in the 1970s for Main Events.

Personally, he's broken a leg, recovered from cancer and seen a daughter predecease him.

Brunson, nearly 80, has had a long life so there are plenty of stories to tell and plenty of anecdotes to recall.

And lots of names to drop.

In addition to the requisite slew of poker names that are liberally

sprinkled throughout the book's 52 chapters, Brunson mentions a host of other big-time names.

Among those mentioned in the book: James Caan, Jack Nicklaus, Pamela Anderson, Gary Austin, John F.Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, George W. Bush, Big Bird, Gabe Kaplan, Ken Griffey, LeBron James, Arnold Palmer, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Lee Trevino, Paula Abdul, Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, Tony "The Ant" Spilotro and Oral Roberts.

Even's own Jenny Woo is mentioned in the book, on page 337.

So how did Brunson become a poker player?

And how did he end up in Vegas?

Is it true he was a good enough college basketball player to consider a pro career, until an accident snapped his leg in half?

And, most importantly, how did he get that strange nickname "Texas Dolly?"

It's all in the book, along with much, much more.

The autobiography also contains more than a dozen pages of fascinating photos of Brunson, his family, his friends and his poker foes.

Brunson's first book, "Super System," written some 30 years ago, was strictly a poker primer, a how-to in the game of poker without much personal revelation.

His second tome, "The Godfather of Poker," is the complete opposite--lots of personal info and not too much about the nuts and bolts of poker.

It's a fascinating read--not just for fans of Brunson but for fans of poker.

(E-mail Tom Somach at