Doyle Brunson won his tenth World Series of Poker bracelet this year, at the age of seventy-one. He holds two Series championship titles and is tied for most-decorated player in the tournament's history. In the nineteen-fifties and sixties, he roamed the Southwest playing illegal games and fending off bandits, before settling in Las Vegas. His 1978 book, Super System: A Course in Power Poker, along with Super System 2, are game classics.
Phil Hellmuth, Jr., is a nine-time winner at the World Series of Poker, and ranks fifth on the all-time prize-money list, with five million dollars. At the age of twenty-four, he became the youngest player to win the Series championship. He is the author of the best-selling Play Poker Like the Pros and Bad Beats and Lucky Draws, and is at work on an autobiography, Poker Brat.
Howard Lederer, known as the Professor, is a former chess prodigy who discovered poker in the back room of his favorite chess club. He has won two World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour tournaments. He has provided poker commentary for Fox Sports Net and is the president of TiltWare, the developer of FullTiltPoker.com.
David Williams won more than four million dollars playing poker while he was still in college. He briefly attended Princeton before returning to his native Texas to study economics at Southern Methodist University. He finished second in the 2004 World Series of Poker championship after qualifying in an online tournament.
Kevin Conley has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003.
© and (P)2005 The New Yorker
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