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RiverCat Journal : The Thunderdome

Posted by on July 13, 2013

Current Venue:  Las Vegas
Campground: Thousand Trails

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I really thought my last day at work would be uneventful.  As more players are eliminated from the Main Event ($10,000 buy-in poker championship), dealers are sent home for the season.  For some, this means only 2-3 hours of work on the last day.  Not for me…

I was selected to deal the feature TV tables!  It’s Day Three of the Main Event.  This is the first day all the remaining players play at the same time.  Out of the hundreds of tables being played, 6 are picked to be features.  This means there are famous pros or chip leaders at these tables.  The players at these tables are all moved to the TV tables.  Two of these are in the “Thunderdome” where the final table will be filmed in October…

The other four are on the perimeter of The Thunderdome.  This is the rotation I was in.  I dealt each of the four tables twice throughout the day.  There were two camera crews — each assigned to two tables each.  They are extremely helpful in explaining procedures for big hands and all-ins.  For instance, for these perimeter tables, the “hole-cams” aren’t available so, after a big hand where the cards aren’t shown, the dealer is responsible for revealing the cards to a cameraman.  When the editing is done, it may appear to be a player peeling the cards to look at them — but it may actually be me!

Cameras everywhere.  One is mounted on the overhead lamps along with two large mics.  Then there are 4-5 more cameramen with different types of video and sound equipment.  I also wore a mic.  The wire was fixed to the floor and, when another dealer replaced me, I sometimes had to be reminded that I was attached to this wire.   Once I backed my chair up so fast I yanked the wire out and nearly knocked over a television camera at the same time.

The camera crew evened the score one time, however.  They dropped a large boom mic on my head!  The players got a good laugh out of that!  I mentioned workman’s comp but I imagine that will be edited out before it airs on ESPN.  In fact, after being filmed for eight hours, you may only see a couple glimpses of me — I have no idea.

Finally, I turned in my vest.  It’s over!

I’m satisfied.  I’m on the radar, now.  I’ve gotten recommendations for my resume when I put in for a promotion.  I got a couple leads for a couple of upcoming events.  I got some feature tables to put on my resume, as well.  Most importantly, this is the most fun I’ve ever had dealing the event.


2 Responses to RiverCat Journal : The Thunderdome

  1. Sandie

    Wahoo – this gig turned out even better than you expected. Too bad we don’t get those TV stations so we won’t see you or your hands. Things are definitely looking up in your world.

  2. Pleinguy

    Congratulations on the recognition! You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Hope it helps down the road.

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