One of the earliest celebrity professional poker players, Baldwin was the first youngest every winner of WSOP, which he achieved in 1977. The 1970s were his heyday and he was only in his 20s at the time. He decided to retire playing professionally shortly after this. He was born in 1950 in Oklahoma and during his career, won four gold bracelets in just three years.
He began playing poker aged 12 and despite losing his very first game, was fascinated enough to learn to play and develop his skills; he further developed them through his time at OSU. Most famously, he and a group of friends took $5000 poker winnings to Las Vegas. They lost all their money in a matter of hours but a gesture of goodwill led to a $500 credit by the casino. Baldwin went on to convert that $500 into $180,000.
1970s World Series of Poker Tournaments
Baldwin’s fame came in a three-year period (1977-79). In 1977, he won two gold bracelets at the WSOP; the first as the winner of Deuce to Seven Draw, the second being the Seven Card Stud. Though his winnings were small ($10,000 and $5,000 respectively) it spurred him on and a year later he won the main event at WSOP, in turn becoming the youngest ever winner. He would be succeeded by a number of people through the 1980s and 1990s but he was the first high- profile youngest ever winner of a WSOP main event.
He also won a gold bracelet in 1979, becoming the first person to win games at three consecutive titles. His 1979 title was once again in the Deuce to Seven Draw and later that year, won the same game at Superbowl of Poker.
Baldwin has become famous for things other than professional poker. He has a passion for off-road racing and is considered a superb billiards player. As far as gambling is concerned, he gave up playing in the 1980s to manage casinos. He is currently the president of a casino group so has experience on both sides of the table. He has written books on the subject of poker, most famously “Bobby Baldwin’s Winning Poker Secrets” which he revised in 2004 with the assistance of Mike Caro.
He still plays poker, though not professionally, and is said to have earnt in the region of $2m since retiring from professional gambling.