It’s been a strange journey for Bob Bright, who was so good at Blackjack he kick-started a successful stock trading career that eventually led back to the biggest poker cash games in the world.
Bright began playing poker in high school and later in the Army when he earned a nice addition to his meager paycheck.
He showed an early aptitude for numbers and analysis which translated into success across several fields.
“I played in the 60’s and then didn’t play it again until around 2000,” Bright said.
“When I played it was just draw and lowball in California. It’s one of the games I know the best but I do love Hold’em better.”
Bob Bright: "They Banned Me From Everywhere"
Bright moved away from poker to concentrate on Blackjack. He was a natural at the game and his skills made him one of the best card counters around.
Big money was right around the corner.
“I did Blackjack for a living from ’74 until the mid-80’s,” Bright said, “That went very, very well and gave me the money for the market.”
Bright’s success did create one major issue and forced his retirement from Blackjack.
“They banned me from everywhere,” Bright laughed, “The seven continents.”
Whether the statement is completely accurate or a bit of hyperbole, Bright is no longer welcome to play Blackjack in any casino you might know.
He soon found his considerable skills transitioned well to the stock market.
Bright spent several successful decades trading on different exchanges until the dawn of the day traders. He saw an opportunity to use his math skills to make even more money.
Bright went so far as to recruit skilled counters to join his company, Bright Trading, to gamble on the stock market instead of cards. He opened dozens of offices around the country and made his fortune.
Bright Finds a Home in High-Stakes Cash Games
Bright is now partly retired, while still keeping one eye on his company, and has returned to poker. He was a featured player on the short-lived, televised Ultimate Poker Challenge but found his home in high-stakes cash games.
“I play Aria twice a week in the biggest game in town,” Bright said, “I made my money in the market so I’m used to fluctuations.”
“We usually have three blinds, 300-600-1200,” Bright continued, “The game is over-subscribed but when the Chinese come to town, we always have a really big game.
“They’re due in next week,” Bright finished with a smile.
While Bright prefers the big cash games, he does have some tournament success.
He has yet to win WSOP gold but has three final tables to his credit along with two World Series of Poker Circuit rings from the inaugural season.