Training ‘Mandatory’ for New WSOP Dealers This Year

Dealer of the Year Tim Louie
2012 Dealer of the Year Tim Louie

The WSOP is hoping players at this year’s series will benefit from a new mandatory training program for recruited dealers and a refresher program for experienced ones.

Last year there were numerous complaints on Twitter and this infamous thread on TwoPlusTwo Poker forum that called into question the level of dealing at the biggest poker series in the world.

WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel discussed some of this year’s changes in the midst of running this year’s dealer orientation.

“We have mandatory dealer training for all new dealers joining the WSOP for the first time this year,” he said. “All other dealers are encouraged to attend for a refresher and many of them do.”

The sheer number of dealers that come to Las Vegas to work the WSOP is staggering. Effel said the WSOP employs 1,400 dealers over the summer with over half coming from outside of Las Vegas.

WSOP's Effel: 'Twitter Not the Place for This Type of Issue'

Day 7 of the 2012 WSOP Main Event
The 2012 WSOP

Effel doesn’t have a problem with getting feedback on WSOP dealers but he did suggest there is a better platform for delivering suggestions.

“We encourage those that have complaints about dealers to bring them to the attention of the section supervisor on duty to address,” he said.

“Twitter is really not the place for this type of issue.”

Also new for this year is a new Twitter handle for dealers run by Phil Miller, the dealer recruitment manager for the WSOP. Effel clarified, however, that the account is more of a tool for recruiting dealers instead of communicating with players.

It’s worth noting that dealing at the WSOP has changed considerably since the days when there were only a handful of events. Effel related that volume was the single biggest difference for dealers these days.

“Poker has evolved from a back room game where only a few played it, to an international sport played by millions,” he said.

“Over the years, dealing hasn't changed that much with respect to technique, but there have been several rule/procedural changes. Things are much more uniformed now dealing to players from all walks of life versus the relaxed atmosphere of dealing in the old days to players such as Doyle Brunson and Bobby Baldwin. “

Effel maintains that game knowledge, technical skills, neat appearance, and a good attitude are still the most important traits for dealers at the WSOP.

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