Inarguably, “The Last Dance” miniseries was one of the best documentary productions from 2020. A 10-part series that first premiered on ESPN, then ABC, until finally landing on streaming giant Netflix, “The Last Dance” covered basketball legend Michael Jordan and his last season with the Chicago Bulls. A hotly received hit, the docu-series saw many fans anticipating which sports personality would get “The Last Dance” spotlight next. After months of speculation, it was revealed late last year that the next documentary subject will be none other than poker’s own Doyle Brunson.

Who is Doyle Brunson?

Affectionately known as Texas Dolly by those in poker circles, Doyle Brunson is one of the most influential players to ever play the tables. Despite being well into his 80s, Brunson remains a popular poker player with a career spanning over 50 years. Also nicknamed the “Godfather of Poker”, Brunson started professionally playing poker in the 70s after a knee injury caused him to pivot away from his NBA aspirations. As a matter of fact, Brunson was among the first players who participated in the inaugural World Series of Poker (WSOP). By the time the 1980s rolled in, Brunson was already considered one of the best cash game poker players globally.

Aside from being a top poker player, Brunson is also known for authoring one of the best poker books called “Super/System”. In 2004, an updated version was released to similar acclaim. To date, Brunson has accomplished several feats that are hard to beat. This includes 10 WSOP bracelets, a World Poker Tour title, and a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame. Today, his long poker career has amassed him a fortune estimated at around $75 million.

Just like most compelling celebrities, though, Texas Dolly has proved a polarizing figure for many. Away from poker rooms, Brunson has been a vocal extreme right personality. Understandably, this often causes him to get into controversial situations.

What will the documentary cover?

While the exact topic that the reported documentary series will cover remains under wraps, it’s likely that the director and writer Jason Heir will dissect his early days in basketball and his dominance in the poker scene. That said, if the plotline of “The Last Dance” is to be any indicator (the main premise of the Jordan revolves around the final “great” Bulls season and coach Phil Jackson’s playbook of the same name), then the Brunson documentary will probably focus on his latest career highlight. This is likely to be his impressive 2018 WSOP performance, which saw fans flock to see Brunson’s alleged last poker match ever.

Currently, there is yet to be an update on the state of the Brunson docu-series. Some speculate that it will have some overlap with the in-production Phil Ivey documentary, which is why it is yet to be finished. That being said, the production team has remained mum on just how far along their documentary is. On the off chance that the series could be shelved, though, it seems Brunson fans won’t be left out. Earlier this year, Radar Pictures announced that they had secured the life rights to develop a Brunson biopic. To be written and produced by Justin Smith, the film will similarly retell Brunson’s rollercoaster life.

Hollywood has long had a fascination with poker and poker players. From onscreen gems like “Molly’s Game” starring Jessica Chastain to real-life celebrity poker games that include A-listers like Ben Affleck, Tinseltown has always bet big on the luster of card games. Considering that Brunson brings over half a century’s worth of poker glamor, intrigue, and excitement, whatever documentary he stars in is sure to be worth binging.

About The Author

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle