|Poker Tournament Tipping|
|Part 1: The Problem|
Poker dealers rely on tips as do other casino dealers. During a live game, it is customary for the winner of the pot to tip the dealer. Usually a player will toke the dealer a dollar a pot. In some low-limit game the player may opt for 50 cents but most players will tip something when they win.
During a tournament this is not possible because you are playing with tournament chips that have no cash value. Poker tournament tipping must take place at the end of the tournament.
Poker players who bust out early do not tipped the dealers this means that poker tournament tipping usually falls to the players who finish and the money. Some players who are new to tournaments are not even aware of the customs of poker tournament tipping. Many ask how much they should tip if they win. After doing some research, I found that it customarily players tip from between two to five percent depending upon the size of the win. This is not a problem in larger tournaments where the top prizes are thousands of dollars or more.
Unfortunately, in many low-limit tournaments the tipping usually falls upon the players finishing in the top three spots. That is because most of the money goes to the top three players. Its not uncommon for a tournament to pay the winner 35 to 40 percent of the prize money. And the percentage of the prizes goes down dramatically from there. In a tournament that is paying only nine places the ninth place finisher may only receive about two percent of the prize pool. In some low limit tournaments this amount may not even cover the price of the buy-in.
Some players refuse to tip at all, even when they win a top prize. I frequently play in card room that holds a small low limit tournament on Saturday mornings. One morning I was talking to a dealer who told me that two weeks in a row the dealers received no tips whatsoever from the winners. This is truly a sad situation but I dont think that it is all that uncommon. Some players just feel that they do not get to the final table to often and that the money they win is just covering their losses that they have accumulated throughout the year.
There is a simple solution to this problem and I recently saw firsthand a way to accomplish it.