Poker Legend and MGM Exec Bobby Baldwin Fell, But He’ll Get Back Up Soon

Written By Martin Derbyshire on July 13, 2017
Aria Casino in Las Vegas

[toc]Social media sights have been filled with support for poker legend and MGM Resorts International executive Bobby Baldwin over the past week after it was reported he was injured falling down two flights of stairs at MGM’s Aria Resort and Casino.

An MGM spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper Baldwin, who is president and chief operating officer of Aria, had a fallen at work and sustained a number of injuries. The spokesperson also confirmed Baldwin will make a full recovery and be back at work soon.

Friend, fellow poker professional, and former contestant on reality TV’s Survivor, Jean-Robert Bellande confirmed on Twitter that Baldwin underwent successful elbow surgery last week. He also said Baldwin suffered no life-threatening injuries from the fall.

Baldwin was expected to compete in the Poker Central $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl poker tournament held at Aria at the end of May. However, he withdrew from the event, citing a scheduling conflict.

Bobby Baldwin: Poker legend

Baldwin first rose to prominence in poker winning two bracelets at the 1977 World Series of Poker (WSOP). His first win came in a $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw event. He went on to win a $5,000 Seven Card Stud event later that same series.

In 1978, Baldwin won the WSOP Main Event, earning the title of World Champion and a $210,000 first-place prize. Baldwin was just 28 years old, and was the youngest winner in WSOP Main Event history at the time. That record has since been broken several times by younger winners. In fact, 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada now holds the record, having won the event at the age of 21.

In 1979, Baldwin won another $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw event, collecting his fourth WSOP bracelet. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Baldwin cashed in the Big One for One Drop

Baldwin’s most recent live poker score came when he finished seventh in the 2012 WSOP $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Baldwin was one of just nine players cashing in the first-ever $1 million buy-in tournament, collecting $1,408,000.

Becoming a casino executive

His career as a Nevada casino executive began when Steve Wynn hired him to work at the Golden Nugget in 1982. Two years later, he became Golden Nugget president. In 1987 he moved on to become president of the newly built Mirage. Ten years later, the Bellagio was built, and he took the same job there. The poker room at the Bellagio features a glass-encased salon which has long played host to some of the highest-stakes cash games in the world. The space is called Bobby’s Room, named for Baldwin himself.

After Wynn divested, Baldwin became CEO of Mirage Resorts. When Mirage was sold to MGM and the company became MGM Mirage, Baldwin became CEO of the company’s massive City Center project. After construction finished he ultimately became president and CEO of Aria.

Photo by Maks Ershov /

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire is an award-winning journalist, video and film producer with a decade of experience covering the brick and mortar casino, poker and iGaming industries. He has produced content for top media outlets including PokerNews, Bluff Magazine and PokerListings, and has crossed the globe scooping stories and interviewing major players in all corners of the high-stakes gambling world.

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