Interview with Xavier Hernandez Ripoll, live poker tournaments croupier


What is the difference between being a poker dealer or a blackjack dealer? What about Texas holdem or Omaha Hi Lo?

The number of players you have to handle in each type of game are different. In casino games players see you as the rival, since you represent the bank. In the poker modalities let’s say that they fight among themselves. Texas is a game where you can hardly think, compared to the HI where you have to be calculating “POTS” continuously. And the resolution of PLO moves are more complex than those of Hold’em.

Do croupiers make mistakes? If so, how are they corrected?

As power, we can …, we are all human and we commit them daily. Another thing is the type of error. There are errors that occur due to lack of attention (which for me are the most unforgivable) and others due to lack of training and information (those have something more to pass) In general errors should correct the TD but there are croupiers who commit more than a mistake. They are wrong in some decision making and try to solve it and they do it badly, that’s when they get involved. To correct them we must learn from them and not commit them again.

How many croupiers do you need for a National Poker Tour tournament?

It depends on the tournament in question and how many players register.

How many hours do you work? And in total a day?

If in a row you mean to be throwing letters without stopping …. Well, it also depends on the tournament and the organizer. In the poker tournaments where I usually work, it’s usually 3 or 4 tables. Being 30 minutes in each of them. And after 30 minutes of rest. And so on until the end of the day. But unfortunately there are casinos and tours where they work with the casino rotation system and you can throw an hour or more at the same table without stopping. That is an error that casinos make and that they should solve. The working day also varies depending on the stop and the casino. I have done one-hour days and go home for lack of players and days of more than 16 hours.

Why is the croupiers replaced during the game?

One reason is the one I mentioned earlier. That is the main reason for the change to not tire you or the players. 30 minutes on each table until your break.


Can you tip a poker dealer?

As power can, another thing is that the tip actually reaches the employee. The normal thing in the casinos is to collect all the tips of the tournament and share them with your staff. But, there are casinos where the tip is shared with all employees, whether or not they are tournament workers. In others only with the tournament staff. In others, the tip is not accepted or distributed with the employees.

Is it necessary to master English to understand players who do not speak Spanish?

The more languages ​​you know, the better you will communicate with the players. Although the standard in this game is English. The language in the table goes in function of the stop or tour, since each one has its regulations in this respect. The important thing is that the player makes himself understood. Sometimes hands are used to say how much you want to bet.

Are there more women than men in the profession? Why?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Normally I find more men than women, although these are not few. I could not tell you why we are more.

What do you have to do to be a dealer in a tournament like the WSOP?

They ask you to master several types of poker. Many of them are hardly played in Europe and that is a difficulty when it comes to asking for work there. English proficiency is another requirement and finally pass the tests that you request in previous interviews. I was about to go a couple of years ago, after working at the WSOPE in Berlin where I met Jack Eiffel, who invited a few members of the team to work in Las Vegas but now the issue is frozen by issues of work permits In U.S.A.

What does a croupier do when he is not dealing cards at a poker tournament?

Well, anything. Currently in the breaks check your Timeline either from Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc. Eat, drink, smoke, even sleep !! And of course, chat with the rest of the classmates.

How many croupiers attended the Final of CNP888 2017 in Madrid?

Well, I could not attend because I was in the final exam period. But I have good friends working in Gran Casino de Madrid and I know they were between 70 or 80.

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