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Doyle Brunson is Still Strong at 76

Doyle Brunson may be 76 years old, but he still plays in the highest live cash games in the world. He is also a tournament legend who wrote what many consider the bible for playing poker -- "Super/System," released in 1978. ("Super/System 2" followed up in 2004.) While many sports fans seem to have short memories, and quickly forget about the legends from previous generations, Doyle continues to be a fan favorite -- he received the third-most votes for the WSOP Tournament of Champions, behind only Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu.

Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu Led the TOC Voting

The WSOP Tournament of Champions invites 27 players to participate in an ESPN-televised freeroll with a $1 million prizepool. In addition to two sponsor exemptions (to pay for the prizepool), the last three TOC champions and the reigning WSOP Main Event and WSOP Europe Main Event winners get automatic entry. The remaining 20 seats were given to players based on the votes of poker fans around the world. (To be eligible, players needed to have won a WSOP bracelet.) There was little surprise as to who the top two vote-getters were -- Phil Ivey (16,267 votes) and Daniel Negreanu (16,239 votes). They had nearly 2,500 votes more than anyone else. (Negreanu is pictured here.)

Phil Ivey vs. Jennifer Harman

Phil Ivey and Jennifer Harman often compete against each other in the biggest live cash games in the world, but it's rare that they sit next to each other in a major tournament. They're playing this hand together on Day 1 of the WSOP Tournament of Champions.

ESPN's Main Stage for the TOC

While every table in the WSOP Tournament of Champions is packed with all-stars, it's hard to deny the one that ESPN chose for the main stage would hold the most interest for poker fans. The players, in seat order clockwise from the dealer: (1) Joe Hachem, (2) Doyle Brunson, (3) Howard Lederer, (4) T.J. Cloutier, (5) Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, (6) Scotty Nguyen, (7) Annie Duke, (8) Daniel Negreanu, and (9) Antonio Esfandiari.

Table #3 of the TOC

Another all-star table that couldn't receive full ESPN coverage on the main stage. This table includes fan favorites Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Dan Harrington, Barry Greenstein, Allen Cunningham, and Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, among others.

Who Do You Need At Your Table To Be On ESPN?

With a lineup that includes Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, reigning WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada, and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, this table in the WSOP Tournament of Champions feels like a featured table. But it was assigned one of the outer tables, and another was chosen for full ESPN coverage. In any other event, this table would be legendary.

Hall of Famer Mike Sexton and TD Jack Effel

WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel (standing, right) welcomes everyone to the start of the 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions. Mike Sexton (standing, left), who was voted into the Poker Hall of Fame last year, will be giving the opening announcement to "Shuffle up and deal." Sexton won the most recent WSOP Tournament of Champions, back in 2006. As a former TOC champion, Sexton gained automatic entry into this event.

Sammy Farha and Daniel Negreanu

Sammy Farha wishes good luck to Daniel Negreanu (right) shortly before Day 1 of the WSOP Tournament of Champions begins. Both players were voted into the million-dollar freeroll tournament by poker fans.

The TOC Is Almost Ready to Begin

The WSOP Tournament of Champions begins with 27 players at three tables. There is a featured table on the ESPN stage, along with two outer tables, including this one. Sammy Farha (smiling, left) chats with some of the other players before play begins on Day 1.

Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu

Mike "The Mouth" Matusow chats with Daniel Negreanu before the start of Day 1 of the WSOP Tournament of Champions.

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