Last year, I answered an ad in Craigslist looking for a dealer to work a private party. I hooked up with the guy, who wanted to make sure I knew the rules of the game (ha!) and had a great time. Well, he runs these poker tournaments twice a year and this past Saturday was his 7th event. I did well enough last year that he invited me back and there were over 80 guests this time around. They're all banker, lawyer and accountant types and there was a lot of testosterone in the room. The room itself is a huge loft they rent out in SOHO. It's got a fully stocked bar with some hot bartenders, a team of sushi chefs who work all night (the fish was excellent), two massage girls who work the room, and 3 ridiculously hot girls who come out in different outfits to act out skits and announce the new blind levels. One of the girls even did a 15 minute standup comedy routine about having anal sex with her boyfriend (not kidding).
As I had done this before with these guys, I brough my own decks of cards with me to deal with since they only gave out the regular BEE brand playing cards at each table. My own KEM cards were much easier to deal with. The players appreciated my professionalism and I got multiple compliments on my ability to quickly deal the cards, handle sidepots, call the right winner and generally keep the game moving. There were 7 other dealers there, and only one who was as good as me. I'm convinced that any of the players at our own game could successfully deal in a tournament if called upon.
The tournament itself is not particularly well run. The blinds go up at regular intervals, but there isn't a tournament director who collapses tables at the right time. My table started with only 8 players where everyone else had 10. I asked the boss to pull two people off of two different tables, but he refused because he thought it would be anti-social since so many friends were sitting together. Well, two people busted out at my table quickly and we were down to only 6 with most tables still full! Again, I tried to get people pulled off but they wouldn't. Eventually, one of the more learned players at my table complained enough (and rightfully so) that they pulled everyone off of my table and filled in other dead spots. My table got converted to a cash game and I had 7 players immediately. Again, here's where my own experience would have helped. The boss dumped two large bags of chips in front of me and said, "Here's your chips for cash". I looked down and there were only two colors! I asked what denominations they should be but he only said I should do whatever the table wanted. I figured I could make the chips $.50, $1.00 or $5.00. The table rejected .50/1 outright and it would be hard anyway since you really need three chip colors to make that game work (.50, 1 and 5). Someone suggested 5/10 but the table was only looking to buy in for maybe $100 each, so that was definitely out. We settled on 1/2 with $1 and $5 chips and I cut the money. I would have to be in charge of the money too, which made me unsettled, but mostly because I had no singles to pay people out with! This is another thing that experience teaches you. You need to have change! Another issue was people rebuying. We ran out of chips quickly and I had to have people buy chips off of big stacks and then it became a hassle to make sure people kept the cash on the table! They kept trying to pocket the money and I kept having to remind them that this was a table stakes game and the cash represented chips in play, not a cash out! But in the end, it all worked out. I didn't have singles to pay out people so they just gave me the remainders as tips. Then, someone gave me a $20 bill and then a flood of them came! I made $240 in salary for the night ($40/hr) and another $130 in tips! Pretty good for getting good dealing experience, eating all the good free sushi I could handle and eyeballing some T+A. That, and one of the hot dealers wants to play in our game!