– General Information –
Bobby Baldwin is an American professional poker player and casino executive. He was born in 1950.
Baldwin won the WSOP Main Event in 1978. He also won 3 more bracelets during his career.
As a casino exec, he first became a consultant for the Golden Nugget, then was appointed to be the president at the casino in 1984. He also managed such world famous casinos in Las Vegas as The Mirage or the Bellagio.
The world’s most famous super high stakes cash game room, Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio, is named after him.
– Key Career Dates –
- 1970: He makes his first gambling trip to Las Vegas with his college friends. He quickly busts his $5,000 bankroll. However, he gets a $500 credit from the casino that he turns into $180,000 overnight.
- 1977: He wins his first WSOP gold bracelet in the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event for $44,000.
- 1978: He wins the WSOP Main Event for $210,000.
- 1998: Under his oversight, one of Las Vegas’ most prominent casinos, the Bellagio opened. In it, they created a special cash game room for the highest stakes games, called “Bobby’s Room” after Baldwin.
- 2012: He comes in 5th in the $1,000,000 buy-in WSOP Big One for One Drop event for $1.408 million. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
– Bobby Baldwin’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
In 1984, Bobby Baldwin published his autobiography with the title “Tales out of Tulsa”. From that, we can learn a lot about the famous gambler’s life.
The title refers to his home town – Tulsa, OK. Balwin played his first game of poker at the age of 12. He became instantly hooked and his passion for the game followed him throughout his college years. He attended Oklahoma State University.
According to the urban legend, Baldwin and his friends first visited Vegas in 1970. He brought a $5,000 bankroll with him that he collected in campus games. He and his friends busted their bankrolls in hours. However, Baldwin was able to convince the casino to give him a $500 which he turned into $180,000 overnight.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Bobby Baldwin has $2.353 million in live tournament earnings, according to the Hendon poker database. That is a respectable sum by any reasonable standard, it’s even more impressive if we take into account a few things.
Most of Baldwin’s results are from before 1990. His cashes from then aren’t adjusted for inflation. Also, it was a lot harder to keep track of poker tournament scores before private internet availability was widespread. All of the early cashes on Baldwin’s Hendon page are either from the WSOP or Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker, the two biggest and most widely publicized tournament series at the time. His record completely discounts the smaller events in which he cashed.
Having said that, the first recorded cash on his tally is actually his first WSOP bracelet from 1977.
He also won a $5,000 7-Card Stud event at Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker for $26,400 in 1979. He has a runner-up finish for $19,500 in the same event from 3 years later, from 1982.
In November 1984, he finished 2nd in the $10K No Limit Hold’em Championship at the 1984 Grand Prix of Poker for $128,000. He lost the heads-up battle for the first prize to David Baxter. This event was held at Baldwin’s own casino at the time, the Golden Nugget.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Bobby Baldwin is a 4-time WSOP bracelet winner. The first time “the Owl” took down a World Series event was in 1977, when he finished first in the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event for $44,000. The very next day, he won the $5,000 Limit 7-Card Stud event for $80,000 along with his second gold bracelet.
His real claim to fame came a year later, at the 1978 WSOP. He claimed poker’s most coveted title to this day, the WSOP Main Event. 42 people entered that year – evidently, it’s not a field that we’re used to this day and age for the ME. Baldwin outlasted them all, eventually beating Crandall Addington heads-up for the title. He got $210,000 for his famous victory.
Baldwin went on to win one more bracelet. He took down the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball championship again in 1979, that time pocketing $90,000 for his victory.
It’s been over 40 years since his last World Series championship. But that doesn’t mean he has nothing to show for in the latter half of his long career.
In 2012, he made the final table in the $1,000,000 WSOP Big One for One Drop super high roller. He eventually busted in 5th place for $1.408 million. That is his biggest single live tournament score to date.
Overall, Bobby Baldwin has cashed in 20 World Series of Poker events for a total of $2,100,311.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Evidently, Baldwin is a frequent guest at the world’s most famous super high stakes cash game room that is named after him.
At Bobby’s room, the minimum buy-in is $20,000, according to the Bellagio’s website. There is no information about stakes, but since at most casinos the minimum starting stack at the cash tables is 50 BB’s, we can deduce that a standard game there is $200/$400. However, we know from the “testimony” of high rollers playing there that the stakes can often go up to $300/$600.
What’s more, Doyle Brunson even mentioned a mind-boggling $8,000/$16,000 (!) mixed game on Twitter once…
Looks like poker is over for awhile in Vegas. I've never seen so much money on the tables in Bobby's Room. There was a 8k-16k mixed game. Numerous 5k-10k games. the standard game was 3k-6k.
— Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly) July 28, 2019
As for Bobby Baldwin himself at the table, we have an image from August 2017. It shows Baldwin playing in Bobby’s room against, among others, Instagram superstar Dan Bilzerian and online poker legend Tom Dwan.
The image was shared by high stakes cash game pro Jean-Robert Bellande on his Twitter account.
In June 2019, Baldwin played in Triton’s KRW1,000,000/2,000,000/3,000,000 live streamed NLHE cash game in Jeju, South Korea. One American dollar is worth over 1,000 Korean Wons so the stakes weren’t actually as scary as they seem at first glance.
→ Online Poker ←
Baldwin has played exclusively on the live felt during his career. Evidently, he started way before the time of online poker, and he never ventured into internet poker with a publicly known account once it came around.
→ As a Casino Executive ←
Bobby Baldwin became a consultant for the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas in 1982. That casino is known for being the first to offer Omaha games in Vegas – they added the game the same year Baldwin joined their team, 1982.
Two years later, he was appointed as the president of the Golden Nugget. In 1987, he moved to manage The Mirage. A decade later he oversaw the opening of the Bellagio.
He also served as the CFO for the Mirage Resorts from 1999 until the 2000 merger of the Mirage and MGM Resorts. Then, he became the CEO of Mirage Resorts, a subsidiary of MGM Mirage. He left his position in 2018.
Multiple websites estimate Bobby Baldwin’s net worth to be around $15 million.
→ Scandals ←
His alleged involvement in the Tsoukernik vs. Kirk lawsuit
In May 2017, a highly publicized legal battle broke out between Czech casino owner Leon Tsoukernik and Australian poker player “Aussie” Matt Kirk.
Kirk ended up suing Tsoukernik since, as he alleges it, his opponent failed to pay him back the $2.5 million he loaned him while they were playing a high stakes heads-up cash game session at the Aria.
The lawsuit took an unexpected turn when Tsoukernik and his lawyers claimed that Kirk is unwilling to settle because he’s being backed by Bobby Balwin to play against rich recreational players at the Aria.
This lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a judge so none of the claims were formally proven in a court of law.