Doyle Brunson Discusses Sister’s Suicide During Punta Cana Classic

Written by:
Patrick Flanigan
Published on:
Doyle Brunson

Though Gambling911.com was aware of the “Godfather of Poker” Doyle Brunson’s sister’s suicide the moment it happened, the website did not report the sad news out of respect for his family. 

Doyle received the news just as our own Jenny Woo was set to interview him the final day of the Punta Cana Poker Classic.  He and his family, daughter Pam and son Todd, caught the next available flight out of the Dominican Republic that evening.  Doyle briefly touched on the death of his sister on his popular Twitter page, while providing few details. 

Only the organizers and those who were part of Team DoylesRoom.com seemed to know what had transpired. 

“Obviously we (at Gambling911.com) were all saddened by the news and our prayers went out to the family,” said Jenny Woo, Gambling911.com Senior Correspondent, who covered the 2010 Punta Cana Classic.  “In this age of the Internet, the Brunson family required some quiet time and we made the wise decision not to leak this news out.”

This week, Doyle Brunson himself discussed the sudden death of his only sister.

“It is hard to get back in the swing of thing after the death of my only sister, Lavada Hale. Lavada was 79 years old and had lost her eyesight due to glaucoma and related eye diseases. She couldn’t stand the thought of living out her years in a world of darkness so she took her own life. “She was such a strong person all her life and I never dreamed she was so depressed she could commit suicide. It was a tough time for our family but we are a tough family and I was proud of everybody the way they handled this tragedy. Thanks to everyone for their calls, tweets and prayers. RIP Lavada.”

Brunson also elaborated a bit more on the success of the first ever Punta Cana Classic.

“We were having a great time in a great resort. What a big place, over 130 acres of 2,800 rooms, 13 swimming pools, eight restaurants and 10 or 12 bars. It was an all inclusive resort and there were lots of poker players there including Hoyt Corkins and five members of the Brunson 10. The tournament had 200 entries and should be a major tournament next year.”

- Patrick Flanagan, Gambling911.com

Poker News

Poker Pro Sam Grizzle Dies of Stroke

Poker Pro Sam Grizzle Dies of Stroke

"At least he went out on top," poker pro Mike "The Mouth" Matusow commented upon hearing that fellow pro Sam Grizzle died from a “massive stroke and brain aneurysm" Monday afternoon.

Midway Poker Tour Founder Daniel Bekavac in Hiding?

Midway Poker Tour Founder Daniel Bekavac in Hiding?

PokerTube.com reported this weekend that Midway Poker Tour founder Daniel Bekavac appears to have gone to ground and nobody has any idea where he is.

$5 Million Venom PKO Venom Fever

Americas Cardroom's $5 Million GTD Venom PKO Main Event is the biggest progressive knock out tournament in the history of poker and the tourney is set to kick of October 23rd to November 4th.

Fallout From Midway Poker Tour Fiasco Continues

Fallout From Midway Poker Tour Fiasco Continues

Daniel Bekavac, the founder of the Illinois-based Midway Poker Tour, has been booted from the PokerBros app after it was revealed that players were forced to sign up under Bekavac’s Poker Bros. affiliate code.

Accused Poker Cheat Mike Postle Files $330 Million Slander Suit

Accused Poker Cheat Mike Postle Files $330 Million Slander Suit

A poker player widely accused of cheating during a 2019 live-streamed game at a Sacramento casino is fighting back against his accusers with a $330 million slander suit.