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Old 05-15-2011, 10:14 AM   #701
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

I bought the "Dealer's Handbook", practiced for hours everyday and failed 6 auditions then got promoted from chip runner to dealer after 7 weeks.

Now a days the casino has their own in house training but it's free.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:16 PM   #702
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

What went wrong at the auditions?
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:53 PM   #703
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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What went wrong at the auditions?
The only experience I had was dealing for a local casino party company in Dallas I just knew hte basics and not all of them. Also, I was self taught and had a lousy teacher.

Basically, with no formal training available, I would practice and audition whenever there was time to do so. I would get good constructive criticism and work on what was wrong. I did the best job I could as a chip runner, I didn't goof off or complain so I was liked by the manager who did the auditions. She made sure I was ready before she put me in the box.

The best thing I had going for me was timing. It was early 2006, the casino was about to go 24/7 and they were hiring a lot of dealers.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #704
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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The best thing I had going for me was timing. It was early 2006, the casino was about to go 24/7 and they were hiring a lot of dealers.
Honestly, timing and (like in Real Estate) location seem to be the real thing that separates good dealers from full-time employment in good rooms. And allows less-than-good dealers and/or novices opportunities.

I always loved poker and was in an industry that was in bad shape (the music biz). When I got a job in the Philly area I almost decided to live in New Jersey so I would be able to get a gaming license (the first rule to get one is you have to be a NJ resident) but decided the extra commute and tolls would make the possibility of getting Part Time dealer work in an area that was doing more contracting than expanding was not a wise gamble.

I bided my time and did casino parties. I started this before I moved to Philly, actually, but in Ohio everyone was amateurish, whereas I actually worked for people who worked in casinos once I got to Philly.

I still remember the first event I did here. Dude stuck me on roulette which was my least favorite game. I was barely tolerable by Ohio standards but when setting up the 20-year roulette dealer showed me how it is really done and I felt dead inside. I felt lost. When I got home I told my wife I would never be hired again, it was a disaster!

But I did my best and was good with the customers and the guy who hired me realized that in more cases than not, being good with customers (who themselves did not have a lot of real casino experience as players more often than not) was a lot better than being proficient but a stiff. So he gave me more work and I got to learn how to do poker better as well as blackjack and roulette (still my least-favorite game!)

Things were getting strange at my day job - people being let go, my job duties were shrinking, writing was starting to materialize on the wall - when the Pennsylvania budget crisis forced Gov. Rendell to agree on approving table games a lot sooner than he would have preferred. As a result, what was going to be a two-three year wait suddenly happened NOW!

I was lucky in that I already had a background and a love for the game plus some knowledge of casinos. When I went to an open job fair at a casino that was only 25 minutes from my house, they didn't care about my dealing experience (of the fact I took a training class as well the summer before), they wanted to see my personality. Well, for whatever faults I have, I always had personality! And I stood out among literally thousands of people who applied - many of whom had never been in a casino before, believe it or not.

I passed that test, passed a group-setting test (also about personality and customer service) and then went back for math and a written personality test. I was approved to do craps, which meant that I had aced the math part, but I didn't want to!

Being a craps dealer would have meant more job security - a good craps dealer will always have a job - but less pay and a lot more physical work than poker plus poker was my love so I asked the casino if I could do that and they said okay.

I had to take class as per PA state law. The casino provided the classes, free of charge. I was one of the better students because of my background but I also had a lot to learn as well, just less than many of my classmates.

When things finished up I was able to step into a full-time swing position with benefits (paid for by me), something a lot of people with a lot more experience wish they could have in places that are not suddenly adding thoudands of dealers. In that respect, I was very lucky.

My advice for those looking to break in is to be willing to move. Being in Pennsylvania at the right time was what allowed me to change industries. I had the advantage of my previous experiences and my love for the game but none of that mattered for getting a job in Atlantic City even though I had moved just 90 minutes away.

Find areas that are approving table games or are close and go there. That may be easier said than done but you have to go where the jobs are and if it's a lot easier to get a job in Philly than in Vegas, that's what you do.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:05 AM   #705
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I still remember the first event I did here. Dude stuck me on roulette which was my least favorite game. I was barely tolerable by Ohio standards but when setting up the 20-year roulette dealer showed me how it is really done and I felt dead inside. I felt lost. When I got home I told my wife I would never be hired again, it was a disaster!

But I did my best and was good with the customers and the guy who hired me realized that in more cases than not, being good with customers (who themselves did not have a lot of real casino experience as players more often than not) was a lot better than being proficient but a stiff. So he gave me more work and I got to learn how to do poker better as well as blackjack and roulette (still my least-favorite game!)

Things were getting strange at my day job - people being let go, my job duties were shrinking, writing was starting to materialize on the wall - when the Pennsylvania budget crisis forced Gov. Rendell to agree on approving table games a lot sooner than he would have preferred. As a result, what was going to be a two-three year wait suddenly happened NOW!

I was lucky in that I already had a background and a love for the game plus some knowledge of casinos. When I went to an open job fair at a casino that was only 25 minutes from my house, they didn't care about my dealing experience (of the fact I took a training class as well the summer before), they wanted to see my personality. Well, for whatever faults I have, I always had personality! And I stood out among literally thousands of people who applied - many of whom had never been in a casino before, believe it or not.
This is something I will never forget. Back in 1998 when I flew out to interview for a dealing job at Bellagio I was interviewed by Mori Eskandani. At that time Mori was a high limit LHE player Bellagio had hired to do the interviews so they could get a player's perspective of the new dealers.

After my interview Mori gave me a few of his business cards and asked if I knew anyone else interested in dealing at Bellagio. Then he said the line I will never forget.

He says to me Bellagio is looking for good people to deal but they don't have to be good dealers because

"You can make good people good dealers, but you can't make good dealers good people"

Those words are still fresh after 13 years and I don't think I will ever forget them.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:42 AM   #706
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

While in a poker room yesterday, they called a player named "Charlie M" on the PA for his hold'em seat. I spent the next 30 minutes giggling.

[Joe Pesci voice]Charlie M? CHARLIE M??? You make me pop your eye out to protect that POS??? CHARLIE M??? (muttering) Charlie M...[/Joe Pesci voice]


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"You can make good people good dealers, but you can't make good dealers good people"
That's great.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:50 AM   #707
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

i'm callilng in as charlie m from now on. or pen15.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:21 AM   #708
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

Whenever they call Brian for a table, I immediately yell "I can't play now, I'm busy!" Usually good for a laugh or two...
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:46 AM   #709
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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This is something I will never forget. Back in 1998 when I flew out to interview for a dealing job at Bellagio I was interviewed by Mori Eskandani. At that time Mori was a high limit LHE player Bellagio had hired to do the interviews so they could get a player's perspective of the new dealers.

After my interview Mori gave me a few of his business cards and asked if I knew anyone else interested in dealing at Bellagio. Then he said the line I will never forget.

He says to me Bellagio is looking for good people to deal but they don't have to be good dealers because

"You can make good people good dealers, but you can't make good dealers good people"

Those words are still fresh after 13 years and I don't think I will ever forget them.

I think this attitude is alot of what is wrong in poker rooms today.

Want a job at a Harrah's property .... well don;t worry about passing an audition ... they dont care if you can deal. instead you have to pas sthe stupoid panel where they ask you tell them which children's toy best represents you ..... and make sure you can shuck and jive.

This is why the last time I played ta one of their properties i had a dealer who could not do the standard shuffle.

Look i get that personality is factor that should be considered .... but in a poker dealer .... quiet and reserved is preferable (unlike in the pit where outgoiung and frindly is more important). And IU think the poersonality issue sthat are most important are their attitude towards the job ...... and wanting to do a good job. I believe that anyone can learn to deal poker well...... but only if they want to learn ...... many don;t care.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:06 AM   #710
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I think this attitude is alot of what is wrong in poker rooms today.

Want a job at a Harrah's property .... well don;t worry about passing an audition ... they dont care if you can deal. instead you have to pas sthe stupoid panel where they ask you tell them which children's toy best represents you ..... and make sure you can shuck and jive.
Questions I remember from my Harrah's interview years back:

"Why are tennis balls fuzzy?"

"If you were an animal, what animal would you be?" - and of course middle aged fat guy busts up the entire panel with "what do you mean, if?" IIRC, he was hired and lasted a whole 2 months at the casino.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:15 AM   #711
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

I work at a harrahs property, im like one of five that shouldn't be fired immediately.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:56 AM   #712
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I work at a harrahs property, im like one of five that shouldn't be fired immediately.
I don't know which property you are at, but I don't mean to suggest that their aren't good dealers at these places. Its just that if they hire one its purely by accident.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:01 AM   #713
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I don't know which property you are at, but I don't mean to suggest that their aren't good dealers at these places. Its just that if they hire one its purely by accident.
agreed
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:29 PM   #714
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I don't know which property you are at, but I don't mean to suggest that their aren't good dealers at these places. Its just that if they hire one its purely by accident.
Basically if they hire one it has virtually zero to do with their dealing proficiency.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #715
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

I recall the auditions at WinStar back in 2006 when I started. No one asked me any questons, they told me to deal and gave me suggestions like "talk the game", "you need to learn to shuffle" "don't count chips one at a time", you know, constructive criticism.

Some of the dealers hired were less than perfect from a customer service viewpoint but 90% the staff we have now has been there for 4years or longer. The last time they hired dealers was nearly a year ago. Probably will not hire dealers in the next 3 years.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:32 PM   #716
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

I've had auditions like that. "You need work on this, that, and the other. Here's how we do it. Now you know!"

I could probably pass one of those Harrah's auditions. I tend to do pretty well in that kind of environment, especially when everyone else is nervous.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:18 PM   #717
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I've had auditions like that. "You need work on this, that, and the other. Here's how we do it. Now you know!"

I could probably pass one of those Harrah's auditions. I tend to do pretty well in that kind of environment, especially when everyone else is nervous.
That floor would tell people what they needed to work on. As long as you showed improvement the next time you audiitioned, you could keep coming back. For the chip runners, she would hold training sessions early in the morning before the room opened. But that was 5 years ago before the room was 24/7 an they needed to hire about 60 dealers.

I saw her tell a woman she had to find a school to get some training after she failed 3 times and just did not improve, she would not let her audition any more.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #718
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

--I love RR's story about auditioning a guy who claimed to have been dealing for years. RR yanked him out of the box after one hand, and demanded to know why he had been lied to. Turns out the guy had been dealing for years, I think it was at Foxwoods.

--It's not poker, but my old boss from my Race/Sports days, Jay Kornegay (who now runs the Hilton's Superbook and is considered the media's go-to guy when they need a quote from a LV oddsmaker), loves to tell the story about his first job interview for an entry-level Race/Sports position. He's downtown at Binion's Horseshoe, waiting at the appointed time for the R/S manager (I think it was Nick Bogdonovich, another big name LV bookmaker). Jay's waiting HOURS for this guy to interview him. Other employees keep updating Jay, "I'm sorry, he's still on the phone," or, "I'm sorry, he's still in a meeting, he'll be with you as soon as he can."

Finally, after a couple of hours of this, Nick emerges from the back room, and is hastily leaving, heading toward the casino's offices. Someone calls to him, "Hey Nick, how about this kid who's been waiting for you?"

Clearly, Nick had 100 other things on his mind at the moment, and also STILL didn't have time to interview anyone. So he asked Jay, "What's 40% of 40?"

Taken aback for only a moment, Jay stammered, "Um...16."

Nick started walking again, and as he left he said, "Go down to HR, tell them you just got hired to work in the sports book."

For the rest of the time any of us who heard that story worked for Jay, we were always certain to ask every applicant in an interview, "What's 40% of 40?"

(The supervisors I worked with could answer that question. None of the ticket writers could, and none of the applicants I ever interviewed could, either.)
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:00 PM   #719
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

Ha!
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:53 AM   #720
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

Tonight's thought:

For some reason, someone threatening to fill out a comment card about you loses it's muster when the same person has been ejected from the casino for threatening violence towards others.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:55 AM   #721
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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I could probably pass one of those Harrah's auditions. I tend to do pretty well in that kind of environment, especially when everyone else is nervous.
They're a breeze. Smile. Be friendly and outgoing when they ask you something. Smile again. Show enthusiasm when engaging other people.

The whole thing is a guise to weed out grumpy or overly shy people who shouldn't be working in customer service. And it does a pretty good job of that I guess. I'd be shocked if anyone here couldn't pass that opening panel interview.

The main parts I remember from mine were
introducing another member of the interview after talking to them for 5 minutes
"why are tennis balls fuzzy?" question,
"If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?" (answered dolphin and crushed it with my reasoning)
"What's your dream job?"

I remember my fiance telling me that years ago in her panel interview she got asked "What celebrity would you most want to meet" and absolutely wafflecrushed the panel with her answer of Kermit the Frog (caring, a good leader, always has time for his friends.) Interview over. You. Hired. Good game.

Last edited by Quadstriker; 05-25-2011 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:37 AM   #722
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

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They're a breeze. Smile. Be friendly and outgoing when they ask you something. Smile again. Show enthusiasm when engaging other people.

The whole thing is a guise to weed out grumpy or overly shy people who shouldn't be working in customer service. And it does a pretty good job of that I guess. I'd be shocked if anyone here couldn't pass that opening panel interview.

The main parts I remember from mine were
introducing another member of the interview after talking to them for 5 minutes
"why are tennis balls fuzzy?" question,
"If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?" (answered dolphin and crushed it with my reasoning)
"What's your dream job?"

I remember my fiance telling me that years ago in her panel interview she got asked "What celebrity would you most want to meet" and absolutely wafflecrushed the panel with her answer of Kermit the Frog (caring, a good leader, always has time for his friends.) Interview over. You. Hired. Good game.
I could not pass one of these and I have friends who can not pass these.

One friend told me they were directed to impersonate a celebrity they admire.


Well I have some issues with this. One I can't impersonate anybody. two I don't admire celebrities.

And even if asked "what celebrity would you most want to meet?" I can't honestly answer that question with anything other than i don't want to meet any celebrity.

Now I have no problem saying this probably makes me a poor candidate for the job of talk show host.

I will not apply for the talk show host job because I recognize my limitations in that regard.

BTW when i sit down at a poker table ..... if the dealer is doing impersonations of a celebrity ...... I will probably leave.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:20 AM   #723
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

It's more about judging one's level of friendliness and adaptability to unexpected questions and situations. Less about giving a crap about celebrities. They want to see how you react, and perhaps how you handle yourself when you don't have a definitive answer. I'm sure you could pass one if you wanted to.

The group I was in 2 did not pass out of maybe 25
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:47 AM   #724
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

I don't make money because I am efficient, knowledgable about the rules, run a smooth game where everyone knows when action is on them without rushing them and able to spit out the pot size in PLO the second I am asked.

I make money because I can do those things but I am also friendly, I have a schtick that I use which is funny, I know regs by their names and some of their preferences (one guy who plays 2/5 doesn't like me to change up his small blind, prefering to leave the $5 chip out there and he will take it back and give me two white chips if he folds), and I generally act like a guy who really loves what he is doing (which is not an act, I usually do love what I do).

Sure, there are tables/players who want a dealer to shut up and deal. I can do that too and do so at higher stakes. But even at those games I know the players by name and am able to insert some personality into my half hour there.

I am convinced that I do well because of this. I am not the fastest dealer (though I am not slow I hate my pitch), I am not a hot girl who can get redbirds with a wink and a smile, yet my rate compares with anyone I work with.

I don't know what Harrah's property Jeffawesome works at but I can say that at my Harrah's property a lot of dealers fresh out of school were weak when we opened, me included. But most of us have taken the past 10 months we've been open to get better at what we do.

None of us are perfect and all of us have bumps we would like to forget but I play in other casinos and I see some good and some bad dealers even at established areas such as Atlantic City and even in non-Harrah's rooms.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:49 AM   #725
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Re: The Breakroom: low-content gaming employee chatter thread

I just Googled why tennis balls are fuzzy. I'm delighted to report that my wild guess at the question would have to be considered correct.

If they asked me what animal I would be, I would choose grizzly bear, so I could tear out the throat of anyone who subjected me to a job interview full of such dumb questions.
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