In 2003, influential industrialist and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
His exceptional poker abilities earned him four WSOP bracelets over the course of his career, for which he is renowned.
Baldwin resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of MGM/ Mirage Resorts. Having achieved a great deal of success in the wagering industry, he is highly regarded in the community.
Bobby Baldwin was born in 1950 to an upper-middle class family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bobby Baldwin participated in his first poker game at the age of twelve, and despite losing, he was immediately captivated. Throughout high school, he played casually and was known as the person to defeat among his peers.
Baldwin attended Oklahoma State University in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it was there that his interest in poker grew significantly. In 1970, Baldwin and a few of his wagering companions traveled to Las Vegas with $5,000 they had won playing poker on campus. Within a few hours of their arrival, their entire bankroll was completely depleted.
This would be the end of the story for most individuals, but not for Baldwin. The casino eventually granted him a $500 credit after he pleaded for one. Baldwin turned the game around and went on a winning sequence that earned him close to $180,000 when he had only a few chips left before losing everything.
Baldwin spent the majority of his undergraduate tenure investing his time and money in sports wagering, thanks to his newly increased budget. He was particularly engaged in the NFL, but he also experimented in other fields.
Baldwin married his high school fiancée shortly after graduating from college, but their marriage did not last, as they divorced the following year.
A Profession in Poker
In 1977, Baldwin won his first and second WSOP bracelets, launching his poker career. In that year, he won a WSOP bracelet in both the Deuce to Seven Draw and Seven-Card Stud tournaments for a total of $124,000.
Bobby Baldwin won three consecutive WSOP championships from 1977 to 1979, a feat only accomplished by a handful of players in the tournament’s history.
Baldwin was only twenty-eight years old when he won the No Limit Holdem World Championship in 1978, making him the youngest victor in history. Nonetheless, several individuals have since surpassed his record.
Instead of becoming a professional poker expert, Baldwin pursued the management side of the business. In 1982, Baldwin began working as a consultant for the Golden Nugget casino, and just two years later, he was named the company’s president.
Baldwin was appointed president of the Bellagio hotel and casino in 1998, continuing his ascent up the corporate hierarchy.
Upon the merger of Mirage Resorts and MGM Grand at the turn of the century, Baldwin became the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Steve Wynn’s Mandalay Resort group with a seven million dollar contract.
Baldwin became the CEO and President of the announced Project City Center five years later while continuing to fulfill his duties at MGM/Mirage resorts. Baldwin has since been responsible for the development of a number of additional successful subsidiary resorts.