The 84-year-old Poker Hall of Famer says the Doyles Room poker site co-owner has ‘recurring nightmares about it.' The two-time WSOP Main Event champ is pretty much doing well for himself, but his poker bankroll could have been boosted up with a nine-figure profit if only he had said ‘yes' to a business offer proposed to him over a decade ago.
In a reply to a Nolan Dolla article entitled "20 Years of Online Poker: Tales of Fast Money, Wicked Beats, and Broken Mice", the American poker legend recently said on Twitter that he turned down an offer worth $230 million for his former poker site DoylesRoom.com, which was founded in 2004. He owned 50% of the online poker site when the offer came up.
The reason he turned it down? He thought that the site was worth much more than that.
Even if the site jumped from network to network throughout the years, the player count was moderately strong on the site, all thanks to Brunson and his ability to attract other poker personalities to the site. During its heyday, the Doyles Room was sponsoring some of the game's best and well-known players called the "Brunson 10" which includes Amit Makhija, Chris Moorman, David Sands and Steve Gross.
Unfortunately, because of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the DoylesRoom exited the U.S. yet returned a year after the law was enacted. From then on, the site and other poker sites operated within a legal grey area.
Even though some poker operators believed that online poker still was definitely legal despite UIGEA, which affected payment processing, the law had surely put on the brakes on the poker boom of the 2000s. UIGEA was the end product of years of failed efforts as federal lawmakers in late 2006 were able to finally sneak it through Congress. The law became part of an entirely unrelated bill at the last legislative minute.
Although Doyles Room did not exit the U.S. online market instantly after Black Friday swooped down in April 2011 when UIGEA was announced, Brunson ended up cutting his ties with the company right after the crackdown on Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker/UV and PokerStars. In May 2011, a federal grand jury in Baltimore returned indictments that resulted in the seizure of a number of different domains, including DoylesRoom.com, so Brunson's site essentially went up in smoke overnight. By October 2011, Doyles Room was sold (most likely for pennies on the dollar) to rival poker website Americas Cardroom.
Brunson's regret on not selling his poker site before UIGEA was sympathized by fellow Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu, "I built up [my website Full Contact Poker] from nothing, all basically with my own money, and within six months I had an offer to sell it for $170 million. Literally three days later, this thing called UIGEA happened, so they pulled the plug on the offer."
Aside from the two poker pros, Hall of Famer Phil Ivey and his poker career was also affected by this law - he once was making over $900,000 per month for his work at Full Tilt Poker before Black Friday was enforced.