How the WSOP solved its dealer shortage

Jon Pill
Posted on: May 28, 2022 07:00 PDT

Despite some early struggles, the WSOP has managed to get around 1,000 dealers to commit to dealing in time for the start of the series.

In an interview with Vegas Inc., Jack Effel explained how they persuaded so many dealers to drive and fly in to deal at the 2022 WSOP. Effel is the Vice President of the WSOP.

"We went everywhere we could think of to find dealers,” Effel said. “Some are veterans who have worked for us many times. Others are people who are coming back to deal because they had been driving for Uber and gas got too high. Some dealers from Las Vegas left in recent years for places like Texas or Florida.”

To lure the dealers from all across the country, the WSOP pulled out all the stops for what might be the biggest World Series ever.

The 2022 WSOP will be the best-paid series in years. Last year, dealers received a base pay of $9.75 per hour. This year, that has risen to $12.50 an hour. More importantly, dealers receive $15 per down (the half-hour unit in which dealing shifts are measured) in hold'em tourney's and $20 per down in non-hold'em events.

Even the cashiers are getting a pay bump from $14 to $16 an hour.

Cutting a deal with the dealers

Some people are attracted to the series for non-monetary reasons. For example, Danielle White tweeted about her own excitement at heading to the WSOP.

White wrote: "I'm one of those sickos who loves dealing the WSOP. It's not because I love dealing poker. It's because of the energy, camaraderie, Wolf games, hot tubs, hiking, meow wolf, railing friends, the summer camp reunion vibes and non-stop fun."

As well as pay raises and the series's atmosphere, dealers have also been offered cheap accommodation.

The WSOP has cut a deal with its old host, the Rio, to offer WSOP dealers hotel rooms for $30 per night.

"A lot of dealers are tagging up with someone to share a room. We were able to get a lot of dealers that way," Effel said. "With roommates that people have, we probably have about 300 dealers taking advantage of that."

The cost of living is rising and gas prices in the U.S. are through the roof. So the prospect of cheap room and board in close proximity with Paris and Bally's (where the dealers will be working) is an attractive one.

Not every dealer is thrilled at the prospect of dealing the series. However, the improved pay, cheap accommodation, and the opportunity to pad their CV all seem to have added up. Enough dealers have joined the team for the series to run (relatively) smoothly.

Featured image source: PokerGO