Cathy “Cat” Hulbert grew up in Oak Hill, NY, and is the daughter of the late Llewellyn and Helen Hulbert.
She had six siblings, the late Richard Hulbert, Cheryl Cox, the late Mark Hulbert, Bradley Hulbert and Sean Hulbert. She is also survived by countless nieces and nephews. Cat graduated from Siena College and upon graduating eventually settled in Las Vegas, where she was introduced to the gambling world.
Even while living her adult life on the West Coast, she always had love for her hometown, frequently traveling back in the fall to enjoy the leaf-changing season, shopping with her mother, siblings and friends in the area, and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Catskill Mountains.
Cat Hulbert will be remembered by some as a fierce competitor, by some as a trailblazer, and by many others as a bold presence. Cat was intelligent, independent, enthusiastic, strongly opinionated, and as mentioned before, extremely competitive. These traits allowed her to rise to prominence as a pioneer in the predominantly male-dominated gambling industry.
Cat was one of the original female card counters and a successful poker player, eventually becoming a member of the BBC list for top 100 women, and the only woman inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Wanting to share her gambling knowledge with other women, Cat became an established author, writing a book titled “Outplaying the Boys: Poker Tips for Competitive Women’”
In addition to becoming a published author, Cat also became an educator for women who wanted to learn how to outplay the boys, frequently teaching a class for women to learn both the rules and psychology of poker from a woman’s perspective. This paid off bigger than many of her other bets as it led to some of her closest friendships that would last for the rest of her life.
When you sat in a room with Cat there was a presence about her, and it wasn’t just her vibrant hair color, or Uggs that almost always seemed to match either her hair or her outfit. The presence was her attitude towards living life to the fullest. She did that in spades, always having an entertaining, sometimes mischievous story from her travels around the globe.
Another thing that Cat will be remembered for is making others around her feel better, even if she wasn’t trying to do so. She had an uncanny ability to make the best out of a bad situation, even in her last days, often cracking a joke or starting an engaging conversation to lighten the mood.
We would be remiss not to mention Cat’s love for animals and specifically spending time with her own animals, Muckluck, Hachiko, Zoey, Pilgrim and Rebound. In addition to her expressed love for animals, Cat would often give back by volunteering her time for animal rights events and making donations to animal rights charities. Even after a life filled with unique experiences, some of Cat’s most cherished times may have been simply cuddling up next to one of her pets and watching an episode of her favorite TV show, “The Gilmore Girls.”
Everyone who has ever sat across from Cat at a poker table, interviewed her, shared a flight with her, argued with her (yes, she was not afraid to speak her mind), or was lucky enough to call her a close friend or family member, undoubtedly has great story to tell. We encourage anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her in some of those ways to remember and share those stories because that is what she would have wanted.
In addition to being remembered as a trailblazer and a role model for many who knew her, Cathy Hulbert will also be remembered as a beloved daughter, cherished sister, amazing aunt, and close friend. She will be missed dearly by many, but nobody will ever forget their time with her, or her ability to light up a room.