#17 - Bobby Baldwin
The 40th Annual World Series of Poker is only weeks away. Between now and the start of the Main Event BluffMagazine.com will be presenting the 40 Greatest Champions in WSOP history exclusively on WorldSeriesofPoker.com. 
Finding more success away from the poker table may be difficult for a four-time bracelet winner, but Bobby Baldwin has done exactly that.  He won all of his bracelets over a three year period from 1977 to 1979.  Although he can be seen playing high stakes cash games occasionally, he has concentrated most of his efforts as a casino executive since he left playing poker full time for a position at the Golden Nugget in 1982.

Baldwin won the Main Event in 1978 becoming the youngest Main Event champ, a record he held until Stu Ungar won in 1980.  Baldwin’s first two bracelets in 1977 were won on back-to-back days.  The first was in a $10k No Limit Deuce to Seven event and the other was in a $5k Seven Card Stud event.  Baldwin won the $10k Deuce to Seven event again in 1979.  In fact, Baldwin reached the final table of that particular event five times from 1977 through 1982 and then again in a $5k buy-in in 1986.

Baldwin, a 2003 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee, not only dominated lowball poker he had six Main Event cashes in the top 30 including his win.  Four of those cashes came in 1987, 1991, 1992, and 1994 when he was playing part time and focusing mostly on his casino career.  Baldwin’s expertise in poker was recognized by Doyle Brunson who tapped him to write the Limit Hold’em chapter in the original Super System.Baldwin was named President of the Golden Nugget in 1984, serving under Las Vegas magnate Steve Wynn.  He moved to the Mirage in 1987 fan the hotel and casino for a decade until he became the President of the Bellagio in 1998.  The private high stakes poker room, “Bobby’s Room,” at the Bellagio was named in his honor where the world’s largest cash games are played nightly.  He furthered his executive career when he became CFO of Mirage Resorts for a short time before moving up to CEO in 2000 of Mirage Resorts when the Mirage merged with the MGM Grand.  Most notably, he undertook the CityCenter project in 2005 as the CEO and President of CityCenter; which is rumored to be an $11 billion project.

Baldwin has been a powerful force in Las Vegas for the better part of four decades.  His innovations inside the industry including turning his resorts into poker destinations have helped make Las Vegas the poker capital of the world.