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Doyle Brunson

Poker legend Doyle Brunson announced on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with cancer. However, he emphasized that his condition is thought to be treatable.

The ten time World Series of Poker bracelet winner wrote:

“It was malignant. 4 times I have heard that in my life. Chilling way to start the day. Squamas cell cancer, nothing to worry about.#yeahright”

Before adding:

“Tx 4 the support about the cancer. It’s a slow growth type that is usually ok But it’s something you had rather not hear. #beentheredonethat”

Squamous-cell cancer can develop in various part of the body but is commonly found on the skin, being the second most common form of skin cancer. Fortunately, of the 200,000 cases reported each year, the vast majority of patients have a good prognosis.

Remarkably Brunson has been diagnosed with cancer four times in his life, detailed in his book Super System 2.

In 1962, months after his marriage to his wife Louise, Brunson had a benign tumour removed from his neck, only for surgeons to discover that cancer had spread throughout his body. Their prognosis was that he had just months to live.

With his wife pregnant, Brunson underwent radical surgery with the hope that it would prolong his life long enough to hold his first child. But during the surgery doctors were unable to find any trace of cancer in his body.

As Brunson wrote:

“The odds against merely surviving the operation itself were very high. A month earlier the black corruption of melanoma had been visible to the naked eye. That the cancer had disappeared was incomprehensible to the staff at the hospital. Five doctors had unanimously agreed that it was a medical impossibility for me to live longer than a few more months, with or without the operation.”

Of his ten bracelets two were earned in the main event, which he won in both 1976 and 1977. He missed out on a third main event title in 1980, finishing runner up to Stu Ungar.

Follow Brunson on Twitter at @TexDolly.