An American poker player who served for the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Bryan W. ‘Sailor’ Roberts had a big presence in the professional game. Before his death on June 23rd, 1995, he was a much feared and respected opponent around the big tables at tournament games and cash contests alike. He had a long history in the game, and an established reputation to match. As the owner of two World Series Of Poker bracelets he had a name that preceded him wherever he went, and to many observers of the game he’s a sadly missed character. He learned to shoot dice at the age of 12, became expert at virtually every card game was a feature of games in Las Vegas from the 1960’s onwards.
Before turning professional, Sailor Roberts was a ‘rounder’, which meant that he’d travel around looking for high stakes games in which to play. In this he had something in common with other great professional poker players like Amarillo Slim and Doyle Brunsen. It’s safe to say that he played in a good number of very interesting games in his time, and that he had a great deal of success throughout his career. During his card-playing career he was also a top-flight player of Contract Bridge. His death came when he lost his battle against cirrhosis, which was caused by hepatitis.
Sailor Roberts won his first bracelet way back in 1974, when won in the $5K No Limit Deuce To Seven Draw event, to take home $35,850 as well as the precious item of jewelry. His second bracelet win came in 1975, when he emerged triumphant in the $10K World Series Of Poker Championship Event, to bank a very cool $210K. While he never earned a third bracelet, he did continue to achieve success in the game.