Cathy “Cat” Hulbert is one of those gamblers who belongs in the small circle of players that excel in both poker and blackjack. She is one of the first top professional female gamblers and card counters to hit casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Game Show Network dubbed her as the best female gambler on earth. She claimed that playing Blackjack made her rich.
Born in 1950, Cat Hublert is one of six children of a nurse and a truck driver. She manifested determination and fortitude when at the age of 15 she left her home, took a job, and supported herself through college. Working as an assistant to New York State Senate minority leader, she took an interest in gambling while doing investigative work on the gambling industry. To prepare, she enrolled and finished a course in blackjack dealing.
Blackjack Card Counting Pro
Through “Peter”, Hulbert she was exposed to the world of card counting. She was taught the rudiments and eventually became a member of the Czechoslovakia team, and a partner of KenUston, the leader of the team.
Hubert eventually earned a seat to place her own bet in blackjack. The team toured Europe to play at various casinos, but Cat Hulbert admitted that the winnings were shared by the team and that life as a gambler was not all that glamorous.
Card counting is not actually illegal and is not cheating according to Hubert. But casinos thought otherwise and in the short run, Hulbert was branded as “undesirable,” and was escorted out of casinos by security officers. She was a notorious blackjack player and was even jailed several times. Hulbert claimed blackjack made her rich but her numerous bouts with casino pit bosses, and traveling across the world just to play blackjack wore her out.
Cat Hulbert decided to try her hands at poker. For three straight years, she kept on losing until she met David Heyden, then the top 7-card stud player. By 1996, she was considered as one of the top 7-card stud players across the globe, and the lone female in the list, by Card Player magazine. To share the love and empower women, she taught poker classes to those interested. She eventually wrote a book about the subject.
Online Poker Obsession
In the late 1990s, the first of online casinos went live and offered blackjack, poker and other table games. Cat Hulbert found online poker enjoyable, convenient and profitable. However, the discipline she observed when she played in brick and mortar casinos, didn’t apply to her online gaming. Hulbert admitted that she played for 16 hours straight, forgetting family, friends and appointments. Her obsession to online poker was such that she questioned herself if the online poker playing was just her passion, or an addiction.
Pro Poker Player No More
After over 20 years of playing pro poker, Cat Hulbert was no longer psyched to play. She questioned herself on the validity and impact of her pro gambling years. Cat Hulbert admitted she had a gambling problem. In 2010, she played her last poker session at the Borgata in Atlantic City. The month-long stint caused her a great deal of money. She lost not only money, but also heart to play pro poker.
Cat Hulbert Today
Cat is now an online casino consultant. She occasionally piggy-backs bets with one professional bettor. Hulbert is a cancer survivor. She regrets that her treatment caused her to lose her short-term memory, which is a very crucial tool when playing poker.
After her professional years playing poker ended, Cat Hulbert did not end up homeless and jobless. Even when obsessed with gambling, Hulbert kept a tight rein on herself. She has a nice home and a legit job. She still plays poker with close friends.