What is It Like to Deal on the Circuit?

Some people are too much into poker that they sometimes even forget about dealers being live people who must do their jobs professionally in order to make their game pleasant and interesting. On the other hand, many poker and non-poker players wonder from time to time what is it like to be a dealer on the circuit grind, and we managed to talk to one who opened their heart about being a dealer.

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According to them, a circuit poker dealer is often romanticized as something glamorous and extraordinary. One side of it is true, as some of the dealers have an opportunity to deal the cards to legendary poker players and even be broadcast live on ESPN. Another positive thing about being a circuit dealer is that they get to travel often, and even be a part of many cruise ship crews, enjoying the sun.

But is it really all rainbows and butterflies? According to our interlocutor, who wanted to remain anonymous, there is a dark side of that job. First of all, they have to fill in a lot of official paperwork and keep track of various things. Therefore, when they are not dealing the cards, they are usually just writing things down.

Furthermore, professional dealers don’t always do the circuit grind, and sometimes they must take up gigs which are not so fabulous in nature. In fact, they often deal cards in small hotel rooms filled with angry non-professional poker players who often either start blame their loss on them or break down and cry. Human emotions work in mysterious ways and a dealer must know how to handle every situation.

Our interviewee also talked about the money in this job, which is not always very high. According to them, they are paid five bucks an hour which is the lowest base rate. Some other gigs may offer more, but five is the most common number that they come upon. However, not everything is so dark for them, as they also get the “down rake.” Essentially, a down rake is counted every half an hour and consists of 3% that the dealer takes from the rake. Furthermore, they also add their tips to the down rake. At the end of the day, they can earn much more than their base rate, but they also have to work for it.

The interviewee revealed that every dealer basically wants the players to play as much as they can and rebuy as much as possible. In other words, they want you to play bad so that you can buy more and they can earn. Furthermore, the dealers always have their ways to ask for tips, but tips aren’t as common as people think, and they often end up with a lot less than they expected to earn for the day.

To sum up, it is a great job which may seem underpaid at first, but can also be quite profitable. The circuit dealers may seem to lead a glamorous life, but what happens behind all the glamour may not seem as interesting as we see it on the TV.

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