Doyle Brunson is once again cancer free following surgery at a Phoenix hospital to remove melanoma from the top of his scalp. In early February, the poker legend revealed cancerous growths had developed on his head that required an operation, marking his third battle with the disease.
The 81-year-old revealed the successful outcome of the procedure to his Twitter followers saying, “Got through surgery at hospital in Phoenix today. All clear. #praisetheLord”
One Lucky Guy
Though he claims his World Series of Poker days are likely over, Brunson still regularly plays live cash games. The 10-time bracelet winner and two-time Main Event champ has made a career out of playing the odds, but his ability to overcome serious health issues has been perhaps his greatest feat to date.
Last month Brunson said the operation would be the 12th major surgery he’s undergone. The melanoma, which was in its early stages and is considered a rather routine procedure in the medical community, can quickly spread and become deadly after metastasizing. Brunson has long believed in the power of prayer, dating back to his marriage to Kathryn Kuhlman, a self-proclaimed Christian healer.
“Simple or not, this will be my 12th major operation. Gonna play poker now because I always heard u get lucky right before u die. #justsaying” Brunson said to his fans after the diagnosis. Luck was apparently on his side for the 12th time, a blessing he credits to his faith.
To prove the simple medical procedure was more intense than most probably thought, Brunson included a picture of his incisions to show his “folks” that it was more than “just a scratch.”
Poker Needs Its Legends
Brunson’s last WSOP Main Event was in 2013 where he cashed in 409th place for a prize of $28,063. In 2014, he said he would be unable to continue participating in WSOP tournaments due to his age and inability to play poker for continuous hours. But still, Brunson admitted he would continue playing poker as long as he possibly can.
Though we can only hope Brunson will take another swing at the $10,000 Main Event WSOP title, the reality is Brunson is poker’s latest legend to exit the stage. The days of the iconic personalities of Stu Unger, Bobby Baldwin, Johnny Moss, and now Doyle Brunson that helped create the appeal of poker are over. Sure, the game still has its noteworthy pros, some with the charisma and power to attract new players, but not in the way the legends of the game did.
Not that Twitter is the end-all statistic to popularity, but it certainly shows how well liked and interesting a celebrity he is. At 81-years-old, Brunson has more social media fans than the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker, Phil Hellmuth, and Martin Jacobson.
With 414,000 followers, Brunson’s reach in the poker community is still felt, acknowledged, and cherished, which is why we’re so thrilled to learn he’s once again cancer free. Now, if he’d only be able to give the Main Event one more run…