Dealer School question
by greipr » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:05 pm
I've been stuck in customer service/tech support jobs for a while, I'd rather be close to the action. Dealing at home games is my only experience. Is it one of those things that once you do it for a living instead of a hobby its not fun anymore? I read that working in the pit in some dive is where I'd probably start rather than an actual poker room? My gaming knowledge would need improvement since I'm primarily a hold'em player. Any suggestions on how to "test the waters" to see if its something I'd enjoy?
by txevans » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:14 am
I would LOVE it if anyone answers this that is a dealer in Vegas and knows anything about the Nick Kallos school of gaming?
by psand » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:39 am
But I do know something about the job marketr in vegas for poker dealers. Its a very tough field right now and its not likely to get a lot better with CityCenter opening.
if you are looking for full-time work with benefits forget about it. Most rooms simply aren't hiring more fulltime dealers. They simply fill empty slots with extra-board dealers to keep costs down. One room I work in used to have 5 fulltime suoervisory positions. It now has 1. The other spots are filled by dual rate part-time and extraboard dealers. CityCenter hasn't even opened and I am told they already cut back the number of fulltime slots by 30-50 positions (I have heard different numbers from different sources -- both sources are people hired for the new room)
Those of you who only want a part-time gig to work weekends might think this is ideal for you, but the problem is that few places are going to hire you to work only around your schedule. You might only want to work weekends, but the poker room manager wants people who are available for all sorts of shifts. Some rooms assign extraboard dealers to particular shifts but don't guarantee what days you will be working. Other rooms move you from shift to shift. When i first broke in there were weeks when i worked all three shifts within the same week. You will get assigned to cover vacations and called in to cover for sick calls. And even if they try to accomodate you, you are going to be the lowest in seniority and the last one to be accomodated. In reality if you want to get a dealing job you need to be prepared to work any day and any shift. You might get lucky and only work the days and shifts you want . . . . . but you can't count on it.
Another thing to realize is as an extraboard dealer in many rooms you may find yourself not working full shifts. I know of one room that takes the extraboard dealers out of the line-up when things get slow (so you aren't making any tips) but makes them stay there in case things get busier. Imagine going to work, spending 8 hours there and only getting to deal for a few downs. You make almost nothing.
by HLV Poker Guy » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:47 am
Having said that - psand is right: the outlook ain't great for new dealers. And you aren't going to get into anywhere full-time as a new dealer. Heck, you're likely not going to get full-time anywhere even with experience.
Different rooms have different hiring practices. We tend to hire light, preferring to give more shifts to our existing dealers when it gets busy, rather than having a whole army of extra board dealers sitting around. I personally can't see how folks can make a living working 1 shift a week. But there are some rooms that will hire extra boards and only schedule them 1 shift per week, if that.
As to working in more than one place, we allow it, some don't. But we hired you, so we expect we're first priority. So if you want to work somewhere else, you'll have to work around the schedule we give you. Unfortunately, that's pretty much what you'll hear from everyone.
We actually do auditions every three weeks, whether we need them or not. It gives new dealers the opportunity to get used to auditioning, and we get to see what talent is available. It also builds a list of potential dealers for us, in case we need to hire quickly for some reason. A perfect example happened about a week and a half ago. We had just done one of our audition sessions, and I got a call from O'Sheas. They had some slots to fill, and asked if I had any candidates. I gave them the names of the folks who had just auditioned, who were all good enough to take a look at. Keeping a current list lets me fill positions positions quickly when necessary.
In the past, a location like CityCenter opening would generate some trickle down in terms of positions - more experienced dealers would get premium slots at the new room, leaving slots open in the rooms they left. Those would get filled by others, eventually opening up positions for extra boards. That was then. Now, there are a whole slew of good dealers in town who aren't getting any positions, and they would be the first candidates to jump at positions at CityCenter.
There's also another effect of a new room opening. If the CityCenter room stays true to form for most rooms, they will overhire for the first few months. Once they see what their real traffic is, they'll cut back to what the staff should be. It's fairly predictable. New rooms get real busy because they're new. Once the novelty wears off, they lose some traffic and have too many dealers.
by psand » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:01 am
HLV Poker Guy wrote:It's fairly predictable. New rooms get real busy because they're new. Once the novelty wears off, they lose some traffic and have too many dealers.
Actually this isn't entirely true. I agree it is likely they will overhire. They may lay some off, or they may just reduce staff by attrition. (overstaffed pokerrooms tend fix themselves as dealers who aren't making any money quit).
But I would point out that Both the Wynn and Venetian poker rooms started off very slow. I remember being at the Wynn not long after they opened and seeing the room mostly empty. It took a little bit of time before it got some momentum and took off.
The Venetian started off terribly slow. That room opened up in March or April of 2006 and didn't really start to pick up a whole head of steam until the First Deepstack Extravaganza in February of 2007 (they had a big freeroll which helped . . . but still it was relatively slow). Other rooms go the other way with both Caesars and MGM Grand rooms getting big turnouts as new rooms and then later slowing down.
by txevans » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:08 am
by psand » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:23 am
by txevans » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:55 pm
by psand » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:25 pm
Once I was dealing to a short table, an dealer who was off duty came over and set his chips down and then went to the bathroom (this dealer was going to play only to try to keep the game going . . . he was not one who liked to play a lot . . . he was trying to do us a favor.) While he was away on of the players actually remarked that he would never tip that dealer again, because he felt dealers who play against him are trying to take his money and therefore he should not people who try to take his money.
Once when playing in a room i worked in the manger of the room made a ridiculously bad ruling against me (all my opponents happened to agree with me) . .. The reason the ruling went against was simply because I worked there.
And when you do play where you work (whether on the clock or not) you must be on your best behavior. I know several dealers who have lost their jobs because of things that happened while playing.
by fatb » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:12 pm
people are funny, just don't know what they are thinking sometimes other then they are not thinking
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