Deal Them In: WSOP Raises Dealer Pay After Seeing More Competition in Other States

March 24, 2022
Deal Them In: WSOP Raises Dealer Pay After Seeing More Competition in Other States

Help wanted – ability to pitch cards and sit for long hours. Understanding poker and dealing with occasional outbursts also helps. If that sounds like you, the World Series of Poker may have a job for you.

With just a bit more than two months until the series kicks off, the WSOP is in need of dealers and is reaching out to attract more.

The series recently announced a new pay structure for those willing to work the tables at the annual series. WSOP organizers are promising increased wages for all prospective dealers as well as a bonus for those heading to work in Las Vegas. The growing number of tournament series and poker rooms in other states have made attracting dealers a challenge.

“It has become very difficult because there are many more events these days,” WSOP Vice President Jack Effel told USPoker this week. “Texas and Florida have opened up poker and traveling expenses have increased everywhere. Due to the pandemic a lot of poker rooms shut down and the dealers moved on to other jobs, and just like in every other industry those workers haven’t come back like before.

“We used to have all of these dealers find temporary jobs at the WSOP, but they now have full-time jobs because everyone found work at other properties when everything consolidated. As a result, the temporary WSOP job isn’t as consistent as a year-round opportunity.”

Increased pay for WSOP dealers

The WSOP’s new pay structure is an effort to remedy that situation. Starting pay for all dealers will begin at $12.50 an hour, organizers say. Dealers also receive a $100 bonus after successfully completing the first shift.

Additionally, dealers earn a guaranteed $15 per down (a term used for each dealing session throughout the day’s events) for all Texas Hold’em bracelet tournaments and side events. They can earn a guaranteed $20 per down for all non-Hold’em bracelet events.

Additionally, dealers can earn a share of any additional dealer funds left over at the end of the series. These funds are paid out as a bonus based on the total number of downs worked throughout the entire series.

Growing series, more dealers needed

As any poker player knows, dealers play a massive part of the annual festival. The series runs numerous events with thousands of players daily – and someone has to deal those cards.

The number of events continues to grow each year as well, meaning more dealers are needed. This year’s series features 88 tournaments, beginning May 31 and running through July 20.

The nature of working the WSOP temporarily makes it difficult to attract dealers. The job lasts only about two months and then these temporary workers move on to other jobs or dealing gigs.

“The biggest obstacle is that we can’t offer them year-round employment because WSOP is a temporary gig and we only have two poker rooms in town,” Effel said.

“We just can’t get those dealers that work year-round because of the short time span of the WSOP and the opportunities elsewhere. The biggest thing we can do to attract more dealers is offer higher compensation to try and be competitive and pay more. If we pay higher wages we can then recruit more dealers and service the event properly.”

The WSOP’s new home on the Las Vegas Strip includes all convention space at both the Paris and Bally’s casinos. With over 150,000 square feet and 600 poker tables, organizers promise the largest tournament capacity in the event’s history.

With the need for so many dealers, players may wonder if this shortage might actually affect the tournament schedule. Could some events be altered or canceled? WSOP officials don’t see that as a problem as of now.

Effel notes: “We are optimistic with the newly structured compensation package that we will be able to recruit enough dealers to service the demand for this year’s tournament.”

Looking to work at the WSOP?

Those interested in dealing poker this summer at the WSOP are asked to apply by visiting the Caesars employment portal. Prospective dealers can also email [email protected]. Out of town applicants can also call the WSOP at 702-967-4402 about highly discounted hotel rooms to utilize.

* photo courtesy WSOP

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