In the first segment of a multiple part series, we will be discussing the different aspects of poker. In this section, we will be discussing the poker dealer. Some players overlook his or her misfortunes by accepting the beats and moving forward. Some will blame the dealer for the opposition nailing a fifteen outer on the turn to crack their flopped two pair with J3. A poker dealer can be easily compared to a referee in any sport. The dealer sees the action, makes a ruling, and awards a winner. Thus, just like in pro sports, dealers tend to be the tilt outlet for players. Many players take his or her tilt out on the dealers and the result is always the same… the dealer will smile, ship the pot, and deal the next hand.
“No job is easy or everyone would do it.” Did your mother not teach you anything? Poker dealing is no different than any other job that deals directly with the public. With dealing, you have to be swift with your hands and quick with your mind. For example: Blinds are $1-$3 and Player 1 raises to 16. Player 2 calls with a $25 chip. Player 3 reopens the pot and makes it $39 to go. Everyone folds quickly back to Player 1. Player 1 pulls the initial bet back and tosses in a $100 chip. Player 2 tosses in a second $25 chip. This is only preflop action and you still have to work the flop, turn and river while keeping track of the rake.
As I mentioned above, players will sometimes direct tilt toward the dealer. Most of the time, it is not intentional. Some times, it may be because the player has been beaten by a cold deck. Occasionally, a dealer may encounter tilt (or just pure hatred) over his or her race or sex. In the book, Deal Me In, Scottie Nguyen speaks about how he was treated as a dealer by some guy he had never met. The guy came and sat at Nguyen’s table daily and made many hate filled comments and remarks. Eventually, he had had enough. Scottie threw the deck at him and swore to be back the next day to play against the man. True to his word, he showed up the next day and followed the guy from table to table beating him every chance he got. Today, Nguyen has multiple WSOP bracelets and jokingly credits the guy for breaking him into poker in lieu of dealing.
If you are having cards thrown in your face or card protectors tossed across the room, you might be a poker dealer. Fortunately for you, there are enough interesting people to balance the good and the bad. If you are lucky, more of the latter will sit at your table while the others complain about bad beats to their friends.