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Poker legend says he will not play in WSOP Main Event

Doyle Brunson will not play in the World Series of Poker this summer.

The 10-time WSOP winner announced Thursday on his verified Twitter account he was skipping the series because of health concerns.

Brunson, 88, said on Twitter last week he hoped to play the $10,000 buy-in Main Event No-limit Hold’em World Championship that begins Sunday at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas.

But with multiple players stating they tested positive for COVID-19 after playing at the WSOP, Brunson has opted to sit out on the advice of his doctor.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Brunson has rarely left his Las Vegas home except to play cash games at Bellagio.

The remainder of the WSOP schedule features seven online events that Brunson can enter.

Brunson, nicknamed “Texas Dolly,” is a two-time winner of the WSOP Main Event in 1976 and 1977 and is tied with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey for second all time with his 10 bracelets that come with tournament victories.

Brunson announced his retirement from tournament poker in 2018 after he finished sixth in the WSOP $10,000 buy-in No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship.

But he returned in 2021 to play the $1,000 buy-in Super Seniors No-limit Hold’em event and also participated in the Main Event after not playing in the tournament for several years because of the grueling schedule that is required to reach the final table. Brunson was eliminated on Day 2 of the Main Event last year.

Last year’s series had a COVID-19 vaccination mandate in place.

With his 10-gallon hat and Texas twang, Brunson is one of the most recognizable poker players. He played in the first WSOP in 1970 and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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