Dear players: Here's how to be good to your dealers

We are just a few days away from the kickoff of Season 11 of the EPT, and I couldn't be more excited to start back up again! Not only is it in Barcelona, which is one of my favourite cities, but it's also the 100th EPT, so you know it will be something special!

More than that though, the EPT is by far my favourite poker tour. Now I know I might seem biased because I am sponsored by PokerStars, but I guarantee you that this is the general consensus amongst the players. There is a wide variety of tournaments and cash games offered with something for every bankroll, the best locations on the circuit, and most importantly in my opinion, they have by far the best staff you will find anywhere in the world. The whole thing is such a well-run machine that I am always amazed as to how they manage to pull it all off, and it all comes down to the job the all of the staff does. From registration personnel to floor staff, the dealers and everyone else involved, they all do a truly amazing job. Today though I just want to talk about the dealers.

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Now I have played a lot of places in the world and I can honestly say no dealer team comes even close to the one the EPT has. They are by far the most professional, effective and friendly dealers you will ever come across. That's no coincidence either. They are all recruited from different countries and carefully handpicked to make sure that the players get the best possible experience.

I know the first thing that most people think about when deciding which tournaments to travel to will be location, spread of tournaments and cash-games, rake structure etc. And while I agree that all of those things are important factors to consider, to me the most important thing is that the event will be well run and have competent dealers, floor and tournament directors.

Now besides just praising the entire EPT Team, the other reason for me writing this blog is a plea to the players, and as a fresh season is just about to start this seems like the perfect time for people to change a couple of bad habits, some that they might not even know they have. The dealers do an excellent and tough job, and there are a couple of really easy things you can do to make their lives a lot easier and also make the game run smoother:

Put your chips and cards so the dealer can reach them

It takes virtually no effort to push or throw cards/chips just a little bit more towards the centre of the table so they are easier for the dealers to reach, and it makes their job so much easier. The game runs faster, too. Like most things on this list, it's just something that people don't give much thought but can easily be fixed. It can give the dealers serious back problems because they have to reach across the table all day. And if your argument against it (and I have actually heard this before!) is that the dealer should just be taller, then I just have no words for you. No words.

Ante up

Once the antes kick in, they never disappear again. As shocking as it seems to some people, every single hand for the rest of the tournament is going to have them! Yet so many people seem to forget to do it over and over and have to constantly be reminded. I don't know how they forget but if you put in an ante last hand, you are absolutely going to have to put it in in next hand as well, guaranteed.

Moving the Button

I know all dealers don't agree on whether it helpful when players move the button or not. Personally I think it tends to make sense if you are in a seat that its tough for the dealer to reach, but not if you are sitting right next to them. Regardless of what your position is there is one thing all dealers do agree on; If you move the button, announce it loud and clearly! I don't care if you say "button's good," "buttons moved," or the "the button has reached its final destination," but please make it clear, because otherwise despite how good your intentions were it always end up being confusing and a lot more trouble than if you had just left it alone to begin with.


This one is as much for the players as it is for the dealers, but few things are more frustrating than when minutes goes by without anyone realising that a player has checked. If you are going to declare it verbally, make sure that you don't whisper it, and if you are doing it with your arm don't make some slight ninja movement that no but eagles and hawks are able to detect.

Don't be that guy

People who constantly put out big chips when they already have accumulated almost all the change at the table and refuse to give out smaller chips unless they absolutely have to: You slow the game down a ton and are making everyones life miserable, especially the dealers. It's such a disrespectful thing to do both to the dealers and your fellow players that I can't imagine I will be able to persuade anyone who is already doing it, but I still feel like I have to put it here. And no you are not fooling anyone, and no one is intimated or impressed by your huge towers of ante chips.

It's not the dealer's fault when you lose

I don't care if the dealer accidentally flipped over an ace that you should have gotten, if it's a misdeal whenever you have got a good hand, if you are card dead, or if you always seem to get coolered when a specific dealer sits in. If you complain, berate or throw cards at a dealer, you are a huge idiot, period. And no, you are not losing because the deck isn't scrambled, washed, or brand new either. All of those things are completely random, and the dealer probably couldn't care less if you win or lose. Learn to take some responsibility for your own actions instead of being a sore loser.

Say hello and smile!

Okay this one isn't obligatory, but I guarantee it will make you feel better! When a new dealer sits down, just give them a smile and say welcome or ask them how they are doing. I am not saying you have to engage in deep conversation, and obviously don't try and smalltalk with them while there is a hand going on. But in my experience a little pleasantry really goes a long way to foster a good environment for both the players and the dealers.

Hopefully you found some of this useful (or even better, you already knew all of it and reading it was a waste of time!) so that we can all help each other making season 11 the best season of the EPT yet, both for the players and the staff.

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Mickey Petersen
@PokerStars in Team PokerStars Online