Team Member Spotlight (March): Bhagya

This month I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our awesome dual rates, Bhagya (or “B” as some of us call him.) He is a very well-spoken, friendly, and interesting guy, and I believe you will all agree.

Where are you from? 
I was born in Sri Lanka but grew up in New Orleans. (Are you a Saints fan?) Die hard!

How long have you been in Las Vegas? How about at The Venetian Poker Room?
I moved to Vegas in 2007 and worked as a restaurant operations manager before coming to the Venetian. I have been here for three years now.

What is your favorite part of your job?
When I’m dealing, I honestly don’t feel I’m at work because I love poker: playing, dealing, all of it.

When I’m flooring, I love dressing up, but I also love my coworkers. I get along well with everyone. (I can vouch for that.)

I just really enjoy the variety I’m afforded between my two functions.

Do you have any hobbies?
Oh, I’m an avid Cross-Fitter and poker player. I am also a movie fanatic, especially thrillers and suspense movies.

What is unusual or unique about you?
I have VERY flexible hands (he said while demonstrating the creepy and inhuman ways he can maneuver his hands and fingers.)

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’d like to be a full-time supervisor here in the poker room. I also enjoy sales. I currently work part-time in solar sales as well.

How about ten years?
Of course, I’d like to be financially stable. I would also like to be married. In fact, I’m always taking applications (Laughs.)

So, if you are in our poker room and see Bhagya, take some time to speak to this amazing guy. If you haven’t eaten yet, ask him about his flexible hands. And if you are an eligible lady, feel free to drop off an application.


Team Member Spotlight (February): Art

This month’s team member spotlight belongs to one of our awesome graveyard dealers Art. He may be a man of few words, but he’s certainly one you’d like to know.

How long have you been at the Venetian, where are you originally from, and what brought you to Las Vegas?
I have been here for 11 years now. I’m originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the bright lights and great buffets were what originally brought me to Las Vegas.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy meeting people from all around the world.

Least favorite?
Well, I don’t like watching people drink beer when I’m not able to (laughs.)

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes. I love playing darts and Farmville, but my favorite is fantasy football.

What is the most unique/unusual thing about you?
I look young for my age! (Of course, he wouldn’t share what his age is.)

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully retired.

In ten years?
I would like to travel around the world and just enjoy life.

So, next time you find yourself playing some late night Hold’Em, keep an eye out for Art and get to know this great guy.


Team Member Spotlight (January): Terry

Every regular in The Venetian Poker Room knows Terry. Whether he’s dealing or flooring, once you’ve had the, um, pleasure of interacting with one of our most, um, interesting dual rates, trust me, you will never forget him. I caught up with Terry and asked him a few questions.

How long have you been in Las Vegas? Where are you originally from?
I was born in Greece and came to the states when I was six. I learned English when I was ten and still speak Greek.

 I grew up in Connecticut where I worked at Foxwoods doing what I do here. When I was 21, I applied for and was hired at the Venetian, so I moved to Vegas. I’ve been here for 14 years now.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love the people. They’re fun. Coworkers or guests? Both.

Do you prefer dealing or flooring?
I like them both, honestly.

Least favorite?
Our employee parking. I don’t enjoy sitting in traffic for an hour entering and/or exiting the parking garage especially with the endless construction going on and drivers who don’t know how to drive.

What is unique/unusual about you?
When I was growing up, we were really poor and couldn’t afford spaghetti sauce. To this day, spaghetti noodles and ketchup is my absolute favorite meal. I’m addicted to it.

Do you have any hobbies?
Well, I’m a 35-year-old Pokémon nerd. I play Pokémon Go. Oh, I’m also a dance dad for my eight-year-old daughter who’s pretty amazing. She’s won a lot of competitions. Are you as annoying and catty as the moms on Dance Moms? No. I do flirt with them though.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
A little fatter (from spaghetti and ketchup, undoubtedly), a little older, and maybe missing a tooth (Laughs).

Ten years?
Missing all my teeth (Laughs).

 Do you see yourself still working here?
I’ve been here 14 years. I’m probably going to die here.

TerryG (2).jpg

Team Member Spotlight (December): Kristi

Hey everyone, meet Kristi, one of our awesome full-time supervisors. I was able to catch up with this busy lady and bombard her with questions.

Where are you originally from? What brought you to Las Vegas?
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT. I moved to Las Vegas in 2006 because I was looking for a change.

How long have you worked for The Venetian Poker Room?
Wow, it will be 11 years in January. I began as a dealer and moved up.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love the money and health insurance. (Laughs.) Should I say that? (Laughs.) Seriously, though, I love the people I work with and this is an amazing company that gives back to the community with its corporate social responsibility and efforts to maintain a green facility. I am really behind these efforts and am proud to work for a company that makes these things a priority.

Least favorite?
Angry guests can be difficult, but I do whatever I can to provide excellent guest service so everyone can have a positive experience when they are here. I also am not a fan of the late hours. I would just like a normal schedule for a change.

Do you have any hobbies?
I’d have to say my kids (7, 6, and one) are my main hobby. I am very family-oriented and we do so many things together as a family. I also used to be a hair stylist and sometimes still dabble in that on the side.

What is the most unique or unusual thing about you?
I have mad Ninja skills! No, don’t put that! (Laughs.) Actually, I have a lot of tattoos. Most people don’t think I would. Otherwise, I think I’m pretty boring. My kids’ naps and school consume my life, and I just love being a mom.

Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
I will probably still be here. My kids will be older. I’d like to be rich, but I also love my job. I can see myself staying here for a long time.

Kristi is, indeed, an awesome person both in her personal and professional lives. If you have a chance, say hi and if you have more time, ask to see some of the thousands of videos she has on her phone of her kids.


Team Member Spotlight (November): Lisa

This month’s team member spotlight is on Lisa, one of our awesome daytime dealers. Since she’s a daytime dealer (and I work nights and don’t/can’t do early mornings), I enlisted the help of our equally awesome daytime shift manager, Sue, to assist me.

How long have you been working at the Venetian? Where are you from originally? If not Las Vegas, what brought you here?
I’ve been here for 20 years, since the Venetian opened. I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA and came here in 1994 because I wanted a change and something different. While it was hard to leave my family, there are only four hours away.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I know people don’t see it the way I do, but I love how we are from other states, countries, continents and have different religions and backgrounds, but we can all get along most of the time at the table. This diversity is what makes my job enjoyable.

Least favorite?
My least favorite part of my job is being blamed by guests if they happen to lose a hand. It’s really bad when they take it out on me (like I have control of the cards) instead of saying, “Nice hand” to their opponent or nothing at all.

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I ride a motorcycle. I also go boating on the weekends. Being at the lake is like being in a completely different place, and it’s just so beautiful and relaxing. That’s my rest and relaxation from work. I also water ski, go tubing, and spend time with my family and friends at church. But I really love the outdoors.

What is the most unusual or interesting thing(s) about you?
That I ride a chopper “Big Dog Mastiff” that I have named “Blue Hawaiian.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to win the lottery (laughs). But, really, I want to continue to work here at the Venetian. It is a great company with good benefits, and I’m very happy with my life.

It is very clear that Lisa is an upbeat, positive person in our poker room who brings a smile to everyone’s face (except, of course, those who may lose a hand and blame her, but that’s short-lived.) She is bubbly and definitely an outdoorsy girl who seems to be quite happy. So, if you need a little mood pick-me-up and you happen to see Lisa, go say hi. You won’t be sorry.

Lisa Felix (2)

Team Member Spotlight (October): James

This month’s spotlight goes to one of our awesome daytime supervisors: James (although some of you may know him as Matt. I call him James Matt.) This always well-dressed supervisor is usually spotted hurrying around the poker room providing impeccable guest service and ensuring that our room and tournaments run smoothly. I caught up with James recently and had a little Q&A session with him.

How long have you worked at the Venetian?
I have been here almost nine-and-a-half years.

Where are you originally from? What brought you to Las Vegas?
I grew up in Maryland around Washington, D.C. and lived in San Diego, CA for nine years. I’ve been in Las Vegas for nearly eleven years. It’s a long story as to what brought me to Vegas, but I basically moved for work.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I truly enjoy working in a fun environment where the focus is entertainment and guest services. I also enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

Least favorite?
Least favorite would be dealing with difficult situations and/or guests.

Do you have any hobbies?
My three-year-old son is my only hobby nowadays, with which I’m very happy.

What is something unique or unusual about you?
My left leg is almost an inch longer than my right leg.  (Indeed, that is unique.)

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
I suspect I’ll still be happily working toward retirement and focusing on raising my son. I’d like to be able to retire, or semi-retire, within about ten years and live off investments, but that may be more than ten years away.

So, next time you’re in the room and need some assistance or impeccable guest service, James is one of our many quality team members happy to help. Just don’t be difficult.

James Matt (2)

Team Member Spotlight (September): Joseph

This month’s spotlight belongs to Joseph, one of our energetic and detail-oriented Game Attendants. We sat down for a little one-on-one recently, and I discovered he was a pretty outgoing and interesting guy.

How long have you worked here at the Venetian?
I started August 26th, so, almost a year.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Delivering guest service. I enjoy that and getting to know the locals and regulars. The benefits are great too.

What about your least favorite aspect?
I don’t want to say anything (laughs). Seriously, probably the fact that I can’t wear my headphones and listen to music while I’m working.

Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy hanging out with friends. I love to sleep. I also play paintball and shoot pool.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I enjoy the casino business, so I’d like to be a supervisor, or maybe something in the nightlife industry.

What is the most unusual and/or unique thing about you?
I’d have to say the fact that I get along with pretty much everyone. (I told him that wasn’t very unique or unusual.) OK, how about that my family has been in the circus business. Also, I like to travel throughout the US attending NBA games in different states and arenas. (He also admitted to being born and raised in Las Vegas which I think is pretty unique too.)

Who’s your favorite team?
The Lakers.

So, if you’re visiting our wonderful poker room, Joseph says to stop him and say hi.

Joseph (2)

Team Member Spotlight (August): Maria

This month’s team member spotlight belongs to Maria, one of our super friendly poker coordinators who has quite an infectious positivity. In fact, everyone who has ever met Maria has said the same thing. And it’s true. I had the pleasure of sitting down with her for a few minutes to get to know more about this awesome team member.

How long have you been working at the Venetian?
I have only been here since December 2018 and started off in the poker room.

Where are you from originally?
I am originally from the Philippines. I moved to southern California in 2011, and then my husband and I came to Las Vegas at the end of 2015.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love providing outstanding customer service for all of our guests and having fun with my coworkers. I actually love coming to work everyday and enjoy learning something new every day. It’s such a positive work environment. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to work toward my full potential.

How about the least favorite part?
Sleeping because I’m an on-call team member.

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes! I enjoy organizing and decorating our house, dancing, and doing makeup.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I plan on still working here. I hope to be full-time by then.

In ten years?
I want to be working as a nurse. I graduated nursing school in the Philippines; however, in order to be licensed here I have to go back to school.

So, if you’re a little down or just need to smile, go say hi to Maria and I guarantee that her outgoing positive personality will, indeed, improve your day.


Team Member Spotlight (July): Keith

Meet Keith, one of our room “founders.” Keith has been dealing in The Venetian Poker Room since its inception in 2006. Prior to becoming a poker dealer, Keith dealt craps for seven years as well. I caught up with him during our frenzied DeepStack Championship Poker Series and got to know him a bit better.

So, where are you from?
Originally, I am from Michigan and moved to Las Vegas 20 years ago.

Did you come to Vegas specifically to deal?
Actually, I was a riverboat dealer for several years. We would go out on three-hour cruises (like Gilligan’s Island I had to ask, to which he laughed and said yes.) Yes, I was originally a dice dealer, but when the Venetian opened the poker room, I moved to poker. (Keith also met his wife—also a poker dealer—here.)

What is your favorite part of your job?
The benefits are outstanding, and I’ve gotten to meet and know some great people; I’ve made a lot of friends over the years.

What is your least favorite part of your job?
I really can’t think of anything. I’ve been here 20 years, so if I was unhappy, I wouldn’t still be here. Probably the uniforms.

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I’m an avid golfer and I caddie for my eleven-year-old son who is amazing. He’s got two world events coming up. I probably spend about five days per week on the golf course.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully retired. Otherwise probably here.

Keith (2)

Team Member Spotlight (June): Bill

This month I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our full-time swing-shift dealers, Bill, who is one of the most easy-going and friendly guys I have ever met. I asked him a few questions to get to know him better.

How long have you been at the Venetian?
Since day 1.

How long have you been a dealer and where did you work before?
I’ve been dealing for 20 years. I worked at Harrah’s doing table games, and before that I dealt poker at the Orleans. I’ve worked other places too, but the Venetian is my favorite.

What is your favorite part of your job?
It’s nice and easy, everybody’s cool, and management doesn’t give me a hard time. I’m very happy to be here.

What is your least favorite part of your job?
The not nice players, but that’s only once in a while.

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes. Fishing. Where? Lake Mead. What’s the biggest fish you’ve ever caught? An 18-pound catfish (as he takes out his camera and shows me.)

Do you have any other hobbies?
I used to do a lot: shooting, hunting, shooting pool, and camping, but no more since I got married. She doesn’t like to do them. How long have you been married? 17 years. And I have two kids so there’s not a lot of time for hobbies anymore. Except fishing.

What’s the most unique or unusual thing about you?
I can do a lot of things. I can fix stuff around the house. I went to school to be an auto mechanic so I can fix the cars too.

So, if you’re ever around during swing shift and happen to see the always-smiling Bill, ask him to show you his prized 18-pound catfish picture (which he said was delicious) or maybe he can give you some fix-it pointers.

Bill (2)