LAS VEGAS -- It was a moment nobody wanted to experience on Day 4, and yet it seemed inevitable. Fans and players alike rose to their feet during Level 18 of the 2013 World Series of Poker main event as the living legend of the game, Doyle Brunson, had been eliminated. A round of applause unlike any other filled the massive Amazon Room in the Rio Convention Center as the icon walked away from the felt. And for those who were able to watch him in action over the past week, it truly has been something special.
The 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner found himself on the wrong end of a K-10 versus 10-10 confrontation midway through the latest level. Tim Ulrich opened the action and Sergei Stazhkov called. Brunson three-bet from the button, and after a fold by Ulrich, Stazhkov moved all-in. With only 200,000 left, Brunson reluctantly called and watched as his main event run ended with the board reading 7-3-2-9-A. Brunson finished in 409th out of 6,352, earning $28,063.
Instantly, the fans at the feature table stood and cheered. News quickly spread throughout the massive convention room, and the whispers of "Doyle's eliminated" was spread from player to player. The applause continued, and Doyle's former competitors joined in. Now next to a vacant seat at the feature table, Rob Salaburu stood and clapped. The production team did the same and players strained to get a glimpse of the man who probably wanted nothing more than to get out of there as quickly as possible. More and more players joined in, and tournament director Jack Effel made an announcement which prompted yet another extended celebration of Brunson's effort. Brunson waved, smiled and looked like he truly appreciated such a touching moment in a game that he built.
Brunson spent a moment with ESPN reporter Kara Scott after the ovation, saying that now was when the tournament was just starting to become fun.
For all of us watching him compete, it was already fun. Thanks again, Doyle. See you next year.