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The World’s Greatest Gamblers: Cathy Hulbert

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There are plenty of people who will happily tell you that success at the casino is a product of pure, dumb luck, but don’t pay them any attention. While it’s true that luck has a role to play in any successful gambling trip, many games feature an inherent necessity for skill that simply can’t be ignored. To demonstrate this, we’re going to take a look at some of the world’s greatest gamblers in this brand new series. For these intrepid players, winning is second nature, and many have become household names on the backs of their impressive play. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first professional gambler to make the list: Cathy ‘Cat’ Hulbert.


Hulbert is a multi-dimensional casino queen that’s well-known within both the poker and blackjack communities. She honed her card skills in college, where she was able to successfully gamble her way to graduation before getting a job at the New York State Senate. When you’ve got gambling skill like Hulbert, however, you can only stay away from the game for so long. Eventually, she decided that government work wasn’t her calling, so she quit her job and moved to Las Vegas to train in poker.

After securing a position as a blackjack dealer, Hulbert gained new insight into the tips and tricks of successful play. One night, a member of a very famous card counting team sat down at her table, and the rest was history. Shortly after this meeting, she joined a blackjack team led by legendary blackjack figure Ken Uston. Suddenly, her sights were set on new goals that had nothing to do with her original poker objective.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Hulbert earned tons of money through her card counting escapades, but, eventually, her run of good luck came to an end. As a result of her play, she was banned from over 150 casinos around the globe, and she was even arrested 50 times for attempting to circumvent these bans. Hulbert gained such notoriety within the gambling industry, that she was banned from some casinos in Asia that she never even visited.


With her blackjack career all but finished, Hulbert began searching for a new game with which to fund her lifestyle. After a short stint at the slots, she eventually landed on poker, completing the mission for which she originally went to Las Vegas. She realized that playing as a woman was a significant advantage, as men were easily manipulated by her charm, making them easy to read. In 1993, Hulbert cemented her legacy as one of the best ever by winning a coveted World Series of Poker bracelet. By now, it’s probably clear why Game Show Network named Hulbert ‘The Best Female Gambler on Earth’.

Hulbert’s escapades throughout the gambling industry helped her achieve both fame and notoriety. While most recognize her as a champion poker player, her roots in blackjack are yet another qualification for her inclusion as one of the world’s greatest gamblers. Check back next time to learn about another of the casino industry’s most talented players!

Gemma Sykes

Gemma is not only a great game player who enjoys casino halls, she is also a great jazz dancer. She has a very keen interest in the way things work, her curiosity got her a job on online gambling industry as a writer. Always looking for new and fun ways to do things and still have time for the spotlight.