The World Poker Tour has named Poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson as its newest brand ambassador. As the first player to walk away with $1 million in poker tournaments, signing Brunson as a WPT ambassador will no doubt help the poker tournament to stand out among all others.
As the newest brand ambassador in WPT’s extensive list of brand representatives, the now 88-year-old will work alongside his fellow representatives to promote the WPT brand. With thus brand deal, a few WPT customers and fans will also have exclusive opportunities to interact with the poker legend in person as the WPT live schedule continues to unfold.
Doyle Brunson has been a part of the WPT growth since its inception and this partnership will not only pay homage to the poker legend, but it will also give novice and professional poker players a chance to learn from the poker great. Brunson may be the latest brand ambassador to join WPT, but the brand has some of the best poker players as partners.
So far, WPT has signed Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen and Steve Aoki as brand ambassadors. Phil Hellmuth, who is by far the most accomplished poker player in the world, is also a WPT ambassador.
Although Branson does not participate in many competitive poker tournaments anymore, his participation as the new WPT brand ambassador will definitely help to elevate the WPT brand among both experienced and new poker players. Indeed, Doyle is perceived by many, especially younger poker players as one of the Greatest of All Time.
Branson is one of the most recognized names in competitive poker history.
Last year, Branson announced that he was ending his retirement to take part in the 2021 WSOP. When WSOP announced its fall schedule, the appeal and magnetism of the WSOP proved too much for the poker legend to ignore. This is what prompted Branson to tweet that he intended to play several select tournaments in last year’s edition.
Branson had already officially retired from tournament poker after taking part in the 2018 WSOP for the last time. His final tournament was during that year’s $10,000 no-limit 2-7 single draw competition. As you can expect, Branson ended his prestigious tournament career in 6th place, managing to go home with approximately $43,963.
Before he announced his retirement, Branson had been a regular WSOP participant since he first attended in 1970. He also won 2 Main Events not long after that in 1976 and 1977. When he announced his retirement, the poker world was sad to see his exit because it meant the loss of one of competitive poker’s most recognizable personalities.
The good news is that he only really missed one iteration in 2020 when the poker tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic. Not many poker players are as accomplished as Branson is. The only other poker players that have amassed as many wins and accolades as he has are Johhny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, and Phil Ivey.
Doyle and Johnny Chan had remained tied in bracelet count for years until Chan overtook him for the top position in the bracelet race. 20 years after his first bracelet, Chan had finally surpassed Brunson in the number of bracelets won. However, Chan’s position as the record holder did not last long.
Branson would soon earn yet another bracelet when he sat down for Event #31, the $5,000 No-Limit tournament. In the years since, the 2 poker legends have stagnated in bracelet count owing as both prefer cash tables. Meanwhile, Phile Hellmuth remains the undeniable king of bracelets, boasting 15 WSOP bracelets and counting.
World Poker Tour returning to Bellagio in October
The WPT also announced that it would be making a comeback to the Vegas Strip in October during this year’s Five Diamond Poker Classic. This event is scheduled to take place between October 7th and October 23rd where it has been held since it was debuted in 2002. The Five Diamond poker classic, therefore, stands as the longest running stop in the World Poker Tour to date.
As one of the most prestigious online poker tournaments, this is going to be a highly anticipated event that will see all the greatest poker minds gather under one roof. Although there will be plenty of events for poker players to sink their teeth into, the highlight of the festivities will be the $10,400 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. This tournament will have a guaranteed cash prize of $5,000,000 and is going to be one of the most competitive yet.
The Five Diamond tournament has seen numerous legends taje part including Hall of Fame legend Daniel Negreanu and Gus Hansen. Some other names that have passed through the Five Diamond Poker Classic include the latest World Series of Poker bracelet winner Dan Smith, Antonio Esfandiari, Alex Foxen, as well as the 2005 WSOP main event champion Joe Hachem.
Last year, the WPT Main Event of the Five Diamond World Poker Classic attracted a large pool of 716 participants. The $104,400 buy-in would end up building a final prize pool of $6,945,200 that was then distributed among the top 90 finishers. The largest payday of last year’s tournament went to Taylor Black, who took home $1,241,430 and added his name in the Mike Sexton WPT Championship Cup.
Last year’s Five Diamond participation was Taylor Black’s second 7 figure tournament finish, which also surpassed the $1,092,000 he earned during The Partypoker Live Millions event which was held in 2018. Taylor now boasts more than $4 million in lifetime tournament earnings under his belt.
In June WPT also announced that it was organizing the 2022 WPT World Championship in conjunction with Wynn Las Vegas. This tournament will feature a $10,400 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event that is offering a guarantee of $15,000,000. If everything goes according to plan, the newly appointed brand ambassadors including Doyle Brunson, should be in attendance.