Do Poker Dealers Make Good Poker Players?

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Jeffrey | Poker Articles, Poker Pro

Submitted by Markus, this article belongs to the Poker Pro series

I have always wondered why most poker dealers are poor poker players. Nothing seems to make a game better than a dealer who just finished working and then hops into the game. I don’t know if it is because they are tired from work but they always seem to play poorly and immediately start to gamble it up. You would think that a dealer would become a better player simply by watching all that poker while working. They certainly should become better at reading hands from seeing a couple hundred hands a day. Dealers could also imitate things that the winning players do and incorporate it into there own games.

So why do most dealers play poorly? Maybe they see 2 3 off-suit crack aces for a big pot and they figure they can do it too. If approximately 90 percent of poker players are losing players, then your average poker dealer is watching primarily poor play and then do it themselves. It seems that most dealers know how to play good poker but choose not too most of the time. They seem to want to blow off steam and “gamble with the boys” instead of playing good, fundamentally sound poker. Maybe that’s the reason they are dealing in the first place; because they couldn’t make it playing and are now trying to rebuild their bankroll by dealing.

On the other hand, there is a long list of successful professional poker players that started out dealing poker. Mike Matusow, Johnny Chan, Scott Fischman, Ted Forrest, and Scotty Nguyen top the list of dealers that have had success on the other side of the table. Most of them attribute their good card reading sense to the countless hours they spent in the box dealing cards. I think anyone who spends 40 hours a week watching poker should quickly become an expert at reading hands. A dealer should certainly be aware of the pitfalls of playing professional poker such as playing out of your bankroll, gambling in the pit, and going on tilt. They see it ruin poker players every day!

I think that any poker dealer who wants to become a good poker player certainly has the opportunity to become one. It comes down to deciding to play your best poker game all the time and having the discipline to play good solid poker. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more dealers make it “big” and reach professional status as a result of the poker boom. There are certainly more people dealing poker at casinos around the country than ever before and just on strictly a numbers basis, some of them will climb to the top of the poker ladder.

Perhaps they should start by practicing at the online poker sites.

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2 Comments to Do Poker Dealers Make Good Poker Players?

zach
March 2, 2009

You just explained my life for the past few years, I’ve been dealing for the past 4 years and it couldn’t be more true. I try to read every hand possible to work on my game. And it pays off sometimes to know when someone is trying to steal the pots. But not all dealers are donkeys, there is a certain luck in poker that keeps them in the box. And I have to say that 95% of the dealers I’ve talked to in the break room, there main goal is to become full time player.

Mark
March 3, 2009

Hi Zack

I guess if you spend so much time in the poker environment, it’s only natural to want to check out the other side of the felt:-)

Mark’s last blog post..Online poker tournament statistics: player exit percentage

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