When Tight Poker last reported on the line-up for next week’s PartyPoker Premier League IV, there was one seat left to fill and PartyPoker promised the person they had lined up to fill it was a living legend of poker.  They more than lived up to their promise when it was revealed that none other than ten-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Doyle Brunson would be taking part.
Unfortunately, upcoming surgery will be sidelining the poker pro and he has been forced to bow out of the Las Vegas-based event.  According to the latest entry in Brunson’s popular blog, Texas Dolly just doesn’t have the endless supply of energy he did in his youth.  Brunson recently returned from the London Affiliate Conference (LAC) over in Europe and admitted he has spent most of his time in bed since getting back to Nevada.  As if that weren’t reason enough to pass up the Premier League, Brunson will also be undergoing extensive dental surgery on Monday and needs sufficient time to recuperate.
As such, he is backing out of the Premier League and turning down invitations to the NBC Heads-Up Championships and a televised PokerStars event, presumably the $25,000 bu-in High Rollers Invitational Shootout at the upcoming North American Poker Tour (NAPT) stop at the Venetian in Las Vegas.  PartyPoker has yet to announce who will replace Brunson for the invitation-only event, which is scheduled to take place from February 12th-18th at the M Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  The event will be taped for European television and is being produced in tandem with Matchroom Sports.
PartyBets laid odds on each of the Premier League Participants.  Reigning Premier League Champion JC Tran is the site’s pick with 5-1 odds with Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu going off at 6-1.  Other players with favorable odds include Yevgeni “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko, Luke “FullFlush1” Schwartz and Roland de Wolfe, while Brunson’s line was set at 12-1.  The long shot was deemed to be the yet-to-be-named PartyPoker online qualifier, but who knows how Brunson’s withdrawal will affect the oddsmaking in the final days leading up to the tournament.
Fans of Brunson need not fear.  He is not intent on retiring just yet and wrote in his blog that, though he intends to take some time off and relax in the coming months, he plans to be back in fighting shape in time for the 2010 WSOP.

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