I have to rank the hand that won my second World Championship very high in my book. It was in 1977 in the main event. I became the chip leader early in the first day and never relinquished that top spot. I was at the absolute peak of my game, and this was one of the few times the first day leader won the tournament. I had made all the right decisions and had 80 percent of the chips when it got down to the final two players. Bones Berland was my opponent. He was a promising young pro who had a rare blood disorder and died a few years after this tournament. We were sparring around when this hand came up. I had a 10-2 offsuit and Bones had 8-5. I was in the big blind and nobody raised. The flop was 10♦ 8♠ 5♥. I checked. Bones, trying to trap me, also checked his two pair. The fourth card was the 2♣, giving me the bigger two pair hand. I bet and Bones moved in on me. I called and the fifth card was another 10 making my full house, tens over twos, the winning hand two years in a row.
So now the 10-2 became the “Doyle Brunson” for all time and the most famous hand in poker. I never liked my nickname, “Texas Dolly,” nor do I especially like the 10-2 being my official hand, but there isn’t anything I can do about it. What most people don’t know is that the 10-2 almost won a third WSOP Championship in 1981. Perry Green had the 10-2 of clubs and had Stu Unger all in. Perry had an open-end straight draw and a flush draw but missed his hand. Had he made it, the 10-2 would be even more famous.
Excerpted from Doyle Brunson’s new book My 50 Most Memorable Hands.