Cathy "Cat" Hulbert is a legend in the gambling community and has been dubbed "the best female gambler on Earth" by the Game Show Network. In 1996, she also had the honor of being the only woman named as one of the world's top seven-card stud poker players by Card Player magazine.
Her blackjack career has stretched over 15 years, and she claims to have played in (and gotten barred from) over 150 casinos around the globe.
Cathy used her card skills to help put herself through college. After graduation, she went to work for the New York State Senate. She soon found herself assigned to edit the New York City fiscal report, but switched job assignments with her former college roommate. Unfortunately for Cathy, her roommate aced the report, and Cat found herself promoted to the press office and completely in over her head.
She eventually quit the job and headed to pursue her dreams of professional poker in Las Vegas. It took her 15 days to get there, and she arrived with her life savings of $1,600. She got a job as a blackjack dealer and soon had a chance encounter which would change her life. While dealing cards one night, she noticed an odd variation in the bets of one of her players.
She asked him, point blank, what type of system he was using. Little did she know that the man was a member of the infamous card-counting team known as "The Czechs."
This meeting led Cathy to learn the art of card counting, and she was soon a member of the legendary Ken Uston's blackjack team.
According to Cathy, "I came to Vegas to be a poker player, and I stumbled on to something I didn't even know existed."
As Uston's team racked up the money, Cathy was banned from over 150 casinos and arrested over 50 times after she attempted to sneak back in (once even donning a wig and beard and taking acting lessons to pass as a man).
She became so notorious that she was once barred from a casino in Asia before she even sat down to gamble.
Ironically, her biggest gambling payoff was $47,000 from a Kentucky Derby bet.
In 1986, she met David Heyden and Rick Greider, two of the best seven-card stud players in the world, and started taking poker lessons. This eventually led to her writing a book, entitled Outplaying the Boys: Poker Tips for Competitive Women. She has also been featured in Richard Munchkin's book Gambling Wizards, as well as a Travel Channel special titled Las Vegas: Gambling with the Pros.
She has competed in the World Series of Blackjack and continues to play competitive poker. Cathy runs a website (Poker 4 Girls) and also teaches classes where women can learn to play poker.
The Torrance, California, resident also enjoys writing fiction and playing $40-$80 Hold 'Em at the Hollywood Casino.
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