- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
Would-be dealers see Md. casino job as jackpot
Could win spot through skill, personality — and maybe luck
Question of the Day
William Godwin practices his chip handling under the watchful eyes of his children. Shannon Dadds gets card tips from her son. When Claudia Harbourt has downtime during her nursing shift, she hones her blackjack skills with her patients.
It’s the third week of classes at the Maryland Live casino’s dealer school, and Mr. Godwin, Ms. Dadds and Ms. Harbourt are standing around one of 20 green felt gambling tables in what used to be a store at the Marley Station Mall in Glen Burnie, Md.
Around them, 200 fellow students stand at their own tables, some dealing and some posing as gamblers — placing bets, groaning over a bust and fidgeting with their winnings. Men in pressed suits and name tags lean over, occasionally pointing out a mistake, or nodding approval when a thick deck of cards is correctly shuffled.
For the next nine weeks, these dealers-in-training will learn the rules of the games, the basics of card and chip handling, and the finer points of being a croupier.
“On this side of the table, all you have to do is remember 21,” Mr. Godwin, a 51-year-old Severna Park resident, said as he took a turn as a player. “It’s a very different game from that side of the table. There are so many rules, so many things you have to remember.”
“It’s like doing the backstroke when you’re used to doing the doggy paddle,” Ms. Harbourt, 51, chimed in.
The pair are two of the roughly 9,000 people to apply for the school. Casino officials interviewed more than 5,000 of the applicants, and about 840 of them were invited to attend the class.
Successful completion of the class doesn’t guarantee a spot on the casino floor this spring when table games debut in Maryland, but it does come with better odds of landing a live audition with casino officials.
Casino President Robert Norton explained that the school is step one in a long process. As a former dealer himself — he spent a few minutes dealing out cards to one table of awed students — Mr. Norton said the key to dealing is “all about customer service.”
That’s why, along with chip handling and math tests, students were also screened on their personalities.
“Most of us are extroverts,” Ms. Dadds said. “But you’re also using the analytical side of your brain.”
Table games were approved by voters in November, along with a bill that paved the way for another casino, Maryland’s sixth, to be built at National Harbor in Prince George’s County. Maryland approved the creation of five slots casinos in 2008, but only three are open.
Overseeing the flying dice and crowded craps tables was Albert Foschini. Wearing thick-rimmed black glasses and a checked sport coat, Mr. Foschini, 56, looked every inch the pit boss, which he will be when the table games start at Maryland Live.
In the meantime, he is lending his 20 years of dealing experience to the craps classroom.
“It takes time. It’s a tough game,” he said. “You have to be good with your hands. You have to be fast. You have to move. If you can’t walk and chew gum, you’ve got a problem.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Wal-Mart opening its doors in D.C.
- Agreement in D.C. a tall order
- P.G. police ID man fatally shot after party
- National Zoo's female giant panda cub finally gets a name: Bao Bao
- For zoos with pandas, getting bamboo presents unique challenge
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over 'ill-judged' comments about Sarah Palin
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Allen West warns Obamas backdoor gun control is moving forward
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Issa: FBI impeding inquiry into IRS targeting of conservative groups
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Despite cynicism about the law, it can provide you justice, protection, and ensure your rights.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch