But, I Was Chicken!

16 March 2018

I wanted to play poker. But, I remember how intimated I was just passing a poker room filled with “MEN”. The urge to walk in and sit down was my desire, but I didn’t have the nerve. Finally, I bit the bullet, signed up at the desk and took a seat “in the game”.

Here it was my first time… my nerves were in check, and after a bit, I settled in. Not too long after I got the hang of things, a jackpot hand was dealt at my table! High fives and cheers were happening all around me and then the dealer looked at me and said “You won too… you get a table share!” I had no idea what that meant or why I won money… I wasn’t even in the hand! That is how little I knew about poker. But I can tell you, after that day, I was hooked!

My interest in poker was so great, I went to school to become a dealer. Yes I know, a far cry from the scared girl passing up a chance at the poker room, right? Well, after getting my dealers certificate, I decided to audition for a dealers position at the World Series Of Poker. I passed!

It was 2009 when I started dealing the WSOP and I continued every year until 2016. Dealing for the WSOP is not only exciting, but rewarding. I got to deal to many of the Pro’s, celebrities and incredible player I had never heard of. The excitement is overwhelming. I remember in my first year, as I sat dealing the “Main Event” I became very nervous. It was mind blowing that every player paid $10,000.00 for their seat! Then, I heard a player say, “Hey Peggy Sue, how are you?” I looked up and it was Steve Harvey. He smiled at me and all my nervousness went away. Another time, Jason Alexander had the entire table singing the song Peggy Sue! Talk about a THRILL! One fella during one of the Senior events told me that “he was so old, he swam the dead sea before it got sick!” Needless to say, I enjoyed dealing for the WSOP and will miss all of the players and dealers. Why? Because I want to be on the other side of the table now!!!

Being A Dealer:

  • A dealer must know and understand the rules of the game and keep the game moving
  • A dealer must exhibit professionalism and appearance is very important
  • A dealer should know how to handle a player not acting appropriately and when to call floor
  • A dealer is responsible for reading the table correctly and know who won the pot and how to split pots
  • A dealer should call the game and announce it clearly to everyone playing
  • A dealer is in the hospitality and entertainment business and should be personable (Do you think a player wants to see is a frowning “Mad At The World” dealer?)


  • TOURNAMENT: It is customary to tip 1% – 5%… the lower the buy in, the higher the tip. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but if you stay somewhere between 3%-5% in the lower buy ins, you should be just fine.
  • CASH GAMES: Tipping the dealer every time you win a hand. A dealer averages 25 hands an hour, tipping $1.00 or more is customary.

Author – Peggy Carlson, Board Member

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