Interview with Gerard Serra Director of Live Poker Tournaments

1. What is your poker background?

I started in 1999 at the Gran Casino in Barcelona. After going through several departments, I ended up working in the Depto. Commercial, where my functions were focused on the casino gaming area. I organized tournaments for American Roulette, Black Jack , Punto y Banca and Videopoker. In 2002, when we organized the first International Poker tournament, I began to learn the rules of poker and to run the tournaments , apart from taking care of the preparation and organization of them. We started with the Open Barcelona Poker, which, after a few years, became the first stop on the European Poker Tour. Until 2005, we continue to organize large international tournaments, among others, the following seasons of the EPT, WPT. World Heads Up Championship … During these years I combined my work in the casino with outings to other tournaments outside of Spain. At the end of 2005 I decided to leave the Casino de Barcelona, ​​to work on different national and international tours and I have continued like this, until today.

2. What is the profile of a good room manager?

It is that, that apart from knowing the rules of poker well, transmits peace of mind to the players when they are at the table. There is a lot of passion and feelings in this game, and a good director must empathize with the players and also try to earn respect for their work, and never, for their position or position.

3. What is your function in the casino, in the poker room and how is it done?

Mainly direct the tournament and ensure that it is developed in a fair manner and with guarantees for the welfare of the players. That both the professional and recreational player, enjoy and feel comfortable in the event. For my part, I always try to transmit confidence in the different decisions that have to be made during the tournament.


4. Who is your team and what does each of them do?

I usually work alone, and my team is the one I find in every casino where I run the tournament. Except in some occasions, where the casino or the event organizer, I am asked to take or send to my own team. In this case, I have a good portfolio of dealers, floors and directors. All the departments directly or indirectly involved in an event have a great importance in their functions … receptionists, cashiers, security, cleaning, maintenance, waiters, bloggers, audiovisual equipment, … But, above all, I value and respect very much the position of dealer . Its function is rarely recognized and its importance is not taken into account by the casino and the players. It is they who make it possible for a tournament to be held. NO DEALER = NO GAME.

5. What is the profile of a good croupier?

He is one who shows seriousness, who is focused on the game at all times, who controls the table, who is kind to the player and who has good technique (although the latter can be learned through practice). But the most important thing, and as with all types of work, is that you enjoy what you do. This facilitates that one can become a good professional in his own.

6. That moment of that tournament that made you cry?

It was in the robbery that we suffered at the EPT in Berlin. The fear we passed. A room with 50 full tables and watch the players running towards one end, pushing, falling, piling up … Minutes before it happened, the tournament director asked me to leave the registration desk to help him in the last 3 tables of the Main Event . Knowing later that the person who replaced me had a gun put on his head was horrible. Living that moment has been the worst.

7. That croupier you will never forget and why?


A dealer who prepared the letters. He was “compinchado” with 2 players in several tournaments where he dealt cards. Along with 1 player who was at the table and the casino, we managed to catch him. It is the worst and the most that can happen in this work. I personally took care that this dealer does not work any more in tournaments where I direct them … and in other casinos where I know he intends to work.

8. How is the triangulation between sponsor, event director and casino? Who requires more dedication?

Everyone has a very important responsibility and it is not comparable. The most important thing is that everyone gives their best and works together for a common good. The sponsor has to attract as many players as possible to a tournament. The tournament director has to ensure the proper development of the game and that players feel calm while playing. The casino, look for comfort for the player.

9. Letting you go for the dreams, where would you like to go in 10 years?

Keep enjoying what I do, but I could be, without traveling so much and being away from my family for so long.

10. What is the best memory you have until today of the world of poker?

Directing renowned international tournaments was a goal that I set myself at the beginning and I have achieved. But, above all, meet great professionals in the sector. People with whom I have worked and who have ended up being great friends. As I currently do with the “family” with which I share the day to day in the CNP888. Do you have any questions about the rules of the tournaments? Do you want to know more about the job of poker tournament director? Gerard will answer you from Twitter to any question you ask him.

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