Poker Hall of Famer to lead Drew Las Vegas

Poker Hall of Famer to lead Drew Las Vegas

A man whose face is as much a Las Vegas fixture as the glitter and showgirls has been tapped to lead The Drew Las Vegas when it opens. Bobby Baldwin, a poker phenom and member of the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame, has been appointed the chairman and CEO of the upcoming Strip casino.

Poker Hall of Famer to lead Drew Las VegasAnyone who has been around poker or Vegas, and even many who haven’t, instantly recognize Baldwin’s name. He has been a huge part of the Nevada gaming industry for decades, having served as the president of the Bellagio, the Mirage and the Golden Nugget. His most recent stint was as the Chief Customer Development Officer of MGM Resorts and CEO and President of CityCenter, which he gave up in the fall of last year.

The Drew is the remodeled and rebuilt version of the venue previously known as Fontainebleau, which was never completely launched. It is being restored by the Witkoff Group real estate firm out of New York, along with Florida’s New Valley investment company, and the rebuild, along with the initial purchase, carries a price tag of around $3.1 billion.

The venue will open during the spring of 2022 if it can stay on track. Previously, it was going to open sometime next year, but the project has proved to be immense and has caused delays.

That’s good news for the 69-year-old Baldwin. He was injured in 2017 after falling down two flights of stairs at the Aria in Vegas and was said to have suffered head injuries, a broken pelvis, broken ribs and broken shoulders. The extra time before the launch of the venue will give him ample time to recuperate.

Not only is the 69-year-old Baldwin adept at managing gambling houses, but he’s also adept at managing the cards. He won the WSOP Main Event in 1978 to become the youngest player, at the time, ever to do so at just 28. His record may have been beaten since then, but he will always be the man known for raising the bar on poker.

Because of his work in Vegas, Baldwin can proudly claim to have a poker room named after him. Bobby’s Room is a world-famous poker room at the Bellagio named for him and is a hallmark of high-stakes games. He is also an established billiards player and the author of several poker books, including Bobby Baldwin’s Winning Poker Secrets from 1979 and Tales Out of Tulsa in 1985.