Know the story of poker player Doyle Brunson

As a popular saying goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Children are taught from early on that they have control of their life. This may be true to a certain extent. Sometimes though, events and circumstances conspire to move things around and allow, or not allow, some things to happen such that you may find yourself in a place completely different from what you initially envisioned.

Such seems to be the case with a very famous poker player, Doyle Brunson. Born last August 10, 1933 in Longworth, Fisher County, Texas, he was a promising athlete in a small town. He trained in both track and basketball, and even won a Texas state track competition. He was also a proficient enough basketball player to attract the attention of the Minneapolis Lakers, one of the teams of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) which would be the precursor of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He seemed to be destined for this sport until an accident in a summer job led to a broken leg.

He had his legs in a cast for two years. During this time, he began playing more poker, to which he had been previously introduced, and winning such that he was able to pay for his expenses from the pot money. He also managed to get both a bachelor's and master's degree, and was hired to be a salesman. On his first day on the job, he played in a poker game and ended up taking in under three hours more than a month's worth of salary. This soon led to his career as a professional poker player.

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Doyle Brunson has managed to collect one World Poker Tour (WPT) Title and ten World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, the latter only a place behind the current record of 13 bracelets. Of his ten WSOP bracelets, he won four consecutively, another record he shares with just one other person. He also won the Main Event of WSOP more than once, still another record he shares with just three others. He has been inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame and was once tagged in 2006 by Bluff Magazine as the most influential in the poker world. He has likewise written several books on poker. It has also become pretty much a family business, with his children Todd and Pamela also making their own names.

Could Doyle Brunson have achieved as much greatness and fame in basketball as he has in poker? We may never know. All we can say is that basketball's loss was poker's gain.