Tipping in Poker Tournaments – Part I

“Right now, when it comes to tipping, it is a gray area with a capital G,” explained World Series of Poker Media Director Nolan Dalla.

By definition, a suggestion is an optional payment provided along with a compulsory payment, generally to convey appreciation for outstanding support. It’s likewise referred to as gratuity, or, in poker terms, it’s known as a toke. With the increase in popularity of large buy multitable tournaments, the landscape of this sport has changed. Rather than a rotation of five or five traders, events may require tens of thousands of those who rely on hints for the majority of their earnings.

In the last ten years or so, it is now common practice that a particular proportion of the prize pool be withheld for traders in addition to the home cut. It has become a contentious issue among players and traders alike. Tips happen to be considered a “optional payment,” so now they are being automatically taken from their prize pool, it’s contributed to a confusion, disgruntled players, along with stiffed traders.

Huck Seed

“In the old days, they didn’t take everything out to the traders, but every one the players will normally hint 1 percent to 2%. I truly don’t think they should take everything out,” stated 1996 WSOP winner Huck Seed. “The house should obtain paid, and then people should tip what they want to tip. It shouldn’t be a compulsory tip. ”

Seed says that he is an average tipper who always does so when he cashes in a tournament. The amount he gives depends on his experience and the amount of money he wins.

“We have had closing tables at which nobody leaned,” said Dalla. “This can be somewhat demoralizing. You need to get some guarantees. It is possible to ‘t have dealers essentially gambling on whether they will be compensated. ”

Standard Practice?

Most players state they tip anywhere from 1% to 4% of what they win, and generally more toward the base of the range if cash has been allocated to dealer tips. Advice about what percent of the prize pool is withheld for trader tips can typically be located at the base of any tournament arrangement sheet in little print. Nearly all large buy events, including the current Wynn Classic and many WSOP Circuit events, take 3 percent for tournament staff.

At the WSOP, the percent taken out fluctuates with the purchase quantity of the function. Reduced buy-ins, for example, $500 buy events, possess the maximum taken out at 3%. The 1,000-$2,000 paychecks occasions have 2.7 percent removed, although the $2,500-$5,000 paychecks occasions have 2.4 percent removed. All $10,000 buy events, including the major event, subtract 1.8 percentage for championship staff, along with the $50,000 buy H.O.R.S.E. tournament withholds 1.2 percentage.

Jamie Gold

Among the numerous players that concur with withholding cash for traders is 2006 WSOP winner Jamie Gold.

“I think that it is a good thing that they take out a certain percentage, because they (the dealers) deserve to be taken care of. I definitely think they should (take out the money), because there are some people who don’t hint,” said Gold.

Gold is known as one of the most generous tippers in cash games, but he was railed for his main-event tip snub. He said that what people might not know is that he personally tipped the final table dealers. Gold gave a dealer money to evenly distribute medially the five to 10 dealers who sat in the box while he won the biggest first-place prize in live tournament history.

“Back in the old days, it was always anticipated to toke,” said Dalla. “Now we’re in a new era where a few people today state, ‘Well, they are already withholding this amount of money for the dealers, why should I be expected to tip more? ‘ Those are equally valid, legitimate points of view. In the end, the business standard ought to be a compromise medially both. ”

A compromise is exactly what dealers are looking for. Winner of the WSOP dealer’s event Erick Narciso agrees that dealers are just looking for a gratuity that is fair. When he won nearly $105,000 for the event, Narciso tipped four percent on top of the 3 percent that was already taken out.

“There is not any comprehension to hint everything extravagant, but a suggestion is essential, for certain,” said Narciso. “There are a few folks who don’t tip, and the dealers have to obtain paid, so I don’t head around three percent. I don’t think it should go any higher, though. ”

Director of Poker Operations for Harrah’s Entertainment Jack Effel compares traders to other employees who rely on tips to create a living.

“It’s like any other service industry. Yes, you can tip your waiter the regular 15 percent or pay the automatically added 18 percent gratuity for big parties, but if you obtain excellent service, you may want to leave something extra,” Effel explained. “I think our dealers are worth every penny. “

Taking a percent from the championship prize pool is now regular in the U.S., with the exception of a couple areas such as New Jersey. Atlantic City is home to the famed Taj Mahal and Borgata casinos, which sponsor lots of large buy-in occasions, but New Jersey law prohibits the allocation of a proportion of buy-ins for trader tips.

Brandon Cantu together with his Bay 101 Shooting Star winnings

At this season ‘s World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Stars event in San Jose, California, traders were forced to require the players to compensate them. A significant spotlight was set on this issue when allegations were made against the winner of this occasion, Brandon Cantu. He had been accused of intentionally stiffing the traders after winning the greater than $1 million first-place decoration and openly criticized forums.

Cantu reacted to the problem in thickness and stated he supposed that the traders and staff were already cared for from part of the prize pool.
Read Part II of the Guide and more from Cantu.

[Correction: The story was updated to eliminate the erroneous statement that San Jose, California, prohibits championships to withhold a proportion of the prize pool for trader tips. The town does permit that clinic, but it has to be approved beforehand. Coordinators for Bay 101 just didn’t submit a program in time to withhold information for your Shooting Star occasion ]