Although I'm not an authority on the matter in any way, I couldn't resist the urge to post my two cents.
The issue recently became the center of debate after Brandon Cantu won the 2008 Bay 101 Shooting Star WPT event for more than $1 million and allegedly stiffed the dealers.
To make it worse, this was one of the few WPT events of the year where no percentage of the prize pool was withheld for dealers' tokes.
In the old days (long before I hit the felt, or the planet for that matter), nothing was taken out of the prize pool and it was solely the players' responsibility to tip.
Dealers relied on these tips for the majority of their income. Players were expected to tip when they cashed in a tournament, and they generally did.
Due to the growing size of tournament fields and number of cases where dealers went uncompensated or undercompensated, casinos started withholding 3% of the prize pool to be distributed among the tournament staff. However, this practice is prohibited by law in some places, including Atlantic City.
San Jose, California, the home of Bay 101, does allow it but requires special permission. Organizers of the Bay 101 event submitted the paperwork too late, and were unable to withhold a percentage of the prize pool tips as a result.
After allegations were made that he stiffed the dealers after winning more than a million tip-free dollars, he publicly stated that he assumed the dealers were already taken care of from the prize pool.
Cantu was right in stating that whether or not a percentage was taken from the prize pool should be made clear instead of just being fine print on the structure sheet. He also mentioned that there is a lot of debate about what percentage is the "correct" amount to tip.
However, to my knowledge he has shown no intention of tipping since finding out that nothing was taken from the prize pool. And although there is a lot of debate about what percentage should be tipped, I'm sure that the number is not zero, especially when nothing has been withheld from the prize pool.
Until an industry standard has been reached, it's important for people to make sure our dealers are taken care of. Dealers at Matt Stout
"All In At 420"
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