Online Poker

Feud Brewing Between Flack and Brunson

by Poker Team

The battle has officially begun. In this corner, we have the living legend of poker, Doyle Brunson. His opponent, 6-time bracelet winner, Layne Flack. So what tournament are they facing off at? The answer is none. The two poker greats are engaged in a war of words through online publications and other media outlets.

It all started in an article published on in which poker pros were asked about the possibility of re-buy events being removed from the 2009 World Series of Poker schedule. When asked about the assertion made by some opponents of re-buy formats being akin to having a player “buying” a bracelet, Flack, winner of this year’s $1,500 buy in Omaha re-buy event testily replied,

“That’s bullsh-. It’s not like there is no play. The field is huge.” To further his argument, Flack tossed the following verbal grenade Doyle’s way, “You want to talk about buying a bracelet? Let’s talk about Doyle’s bracelet when there were eight people in the tournament,” said Flack. “The critics should look back in history and see where a bracelet has been bought.”

Flack was likely referring to a $600 mixed double event in which Doyle captured a bracelet after defeated a field of 14 other entries for a $4,500 payday. Calling Doyle’s credentials into question is a questionable move by Flack as Doyle is among the most respected ambassadors of the game.

Doyle did not take too kindly to Flack’s verbal assault and responded in kind on his blog at online poker site

“As a rule, I don’t say anything about things people say in interviews. But I can’t help being deeply offended by the article in CardPlayer where Layne Flack says, ‘“You want to talk about buying a bracelet? Let’s talk about Doyle’s bracelet when there were 8 people in the tournament. The critics should look back in history and see where a bracelet has been bought.’”

What hurt Doyle the most about Flack’s comments was that up until now, he viewed Flack as a friend and the comments caught him off guard. Doyle went on to explain that back when he began competing at the World Series, he never thought winning a bracelet or winning a certain number of bracelet’s would be a defining trait of a poker player and that he only played in a couple events per year. Well before poker took off in popularity after 2003, the first four main events of the WSOP in 1971-1974 attracted 6, 8, 13, and 16 players. These days, the main event attracts several thousands of players per year and even preliminary events attract large fields making winning a bracelet that much tougher.

Doyle went on to state that “the “bracelet race” has become Harrahs and ESPN’s way of making poker interesting and exciting. It is a form of competition and I love anything that is competitive, but winning bracelets has never been high on my priority list. I still play poker because it energizes me and keeps me thinking young. I like playing real poker for real money and tournament poker for me is a second choice.”

The last thing Doyle says in his blog is the most telling of how he feels about Layne Flack now.

“If I could find that bracelet, I would sent it to Layne and tell him to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.”

It will be interesting to see how this feud continues to develop.

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