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From the Dealer's Box Pt. 4a of 7: WSOP Audition

xxrod17xx On to graduation

When I last updated, I left you guys off at week 3 of dealer's school. Week 4 was basically review of everything we learned so at this point, dealer school was just about over. I graduated the night The Sands was imploded, and it was a pretty eventful evening in Atlantic City.

Link to video of the Sands implosion

Now it was on me. I had to find myself open positions and get an audition after I fill out my application.

”You, there! Can you deal?

I originally moved down to A.C. right away because I wanted to finish dealer's school in time to apply for the WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's. Fortunately for me, a woman from the WSOP decided to stop by the dealer's school and see if they had any dealers to recommend. The owner considered me really good and told anyone that coming in looking for dealers that I am the one. Great right? Later that week I applied for the Series and received a call from Bridget, a really cool lady about what I have to do next.

First, I had to go to the Harrah's offices to get processed. This meant filling out paperwork for a background check and basic working papers like a W4. If the World Series was a permanent position (it's temporary December 8-18) I would have also had to take a drug test on the spot. (I’d have passed :) ) After I left, I was told to expect a call from Bridget in about 10 days to tell me when my audition was. On schedule, 10 days later I got the call and was told my audition was in 3 days. I was pumped and started practicing everyday working on my all-in situations and side pots as well as just keeping everything nice and neat.

Sweaty palms

Basically, the worst thing you can be is nervous going into an audition. First, you are going to over think everything and make a ton of mistakes. Simply prepare yourself, practice a lot, like I did and you should feel very confident in your abilities. Guess what? If the audition goes terrible, you still get to know what you need to work on and you can ask as many questions as you like.

The best that can happen is that you get the job. There are a lot of rooms in A.C. so I will get a job eventually. Second, if you are nervous you sweat. If your palms are sweaty the card will stick to your hand and you will expose cards on your pitch. The best thing to calm your nerves is to talk to the other dealers. They are nervous, too, and it will help everyone relax a bit. Lastly, have fun, it's poker!

I always leave early so I have time to walk around the casino a bit and make sure I know where I am going. This is also an obvious precaution to prevent tardiness. I ended up getting to Harrah's about 30 minutes early and just walked around the floor for a while. When the time came to go to the training room I saw two other guys in white shirts (a tip off that they are auditioning too) and I asked them if they were here for the audition. They said, "Yea, but we have to wait a little while because the people auditioning us want to eat." So we waited a little while and then finally made it to the room.

At the start of the audition, the person in charge showed us what he/she expected of us in our audition. He reviewed their shuffle procedure and showed us where they like their board positioned, as well as the "stub". Every casino is different so you have to pay attention. Next, they told us to relax and just breathe and if we needed any help they’d get you through it.

The audition

Before I talk about the actual audition experience, here’s a brief description of how it’s set up. You’re in a room (or maybe an empty table in the poker room) sitting at a poker table. There will be "play" chips all around the table and you and the other players auditioning will be seated at the table. You basically take turns dealing while everyone else plays. There will also be a person auditioning you at the table maybe two or more (I had five in another audition). They watch you closely and stop you if you make a mistake. If you know how to correct it, you explain what you are going to do to correct the mistake and do it.

A guy came in late and the dealer who was going to judge our skills told him to sit in the box first since he was late. He then realized that this wasn't fair because the person who was late was unable to watch the instructions of what was expected. The dealer looked at me and said, "How old are you?" (jokingly) and I answered, "22." When I am clean shaven, I look like I am 12, so he made a few jokes and told me to get in there and start my audition.

First thing he asked me before I started was do I have any experience? I told him no and I started my shuffle procedure. When I started dealing he said are you sure you have no experienced and I again answered no and he was like well you are doing really well. This made it really easy and I just went with the flow did my thing and was done. When you audition anywhere, you only get 2 maybe 3 hands in the box to show them what you got. Prepare yourself as best you can for those few hands. If you go at a good pace, stay accurate and don't make any stupid mistakes, you'll be fine.

Dog eat dog

If you have gone through the steps I have taken to get to this point, you will encounter many peers that are less skilled than you. Don't help them during their audition. If they put the wrong amount in the side pot, don't tell them how to fix it. The reason for this is not because the person is not your friend and you want to eat his soul so he can't get the job, but because the person in charge will tell them what they did wrong that is their job. Let them do it. So if the other guys make mistakes, just let it happen and let the person in charge do the talking. You just play a little poker and have fun.

Most of the dealers in my audition were terrible, but they said that we were all hired. They then went on to explain how we get paid, when we will get paid (this is a bit of a beat) and about how much we will get paid. We went over shifts and other things like that. I can’t remember a thing from this discussion because I was so pumped that I finally had an opportunity to gain some experience and set myself up for a full time position in a poker room.

Holla at me!

Anyway, if anyone is planning on playing any of the circuit events at Harrah's Dec 8-18 make sure you leave a comment and make sure you say hello if I end up dealing to you.


lakeoffire says

Congratulations! Thanks for letting us know what was involved in becoming a dealer. Good luck to you, xxrodxx.


harlem says

Good post, Always wanted to know what is involved with becoming a dealer. I am glad you were at the right place at the right time and found a gig. Good luck and looking forward to future posts.


EdmondDantes says

Nice post, xxrod. Congrats on the work!


Landlord79 says



Anonymous says


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foxypham says

I plan on playing some Harrah's WSOP circuit events. See you there and good luck!


threads13 (Anonymous) says

Hey man,

Pretty interesting series. It is a fresh breath reading this instead of the normal poker player blog stuff.

Now I know a celebrity........... :)


Corydes1 (Anonymous) says

It was great to read your input on the do's & don't. I feel more relaxed and feel I too can get out there, now that I have an idea of what to expect.
Thanks for sharing......;)


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