Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chess arbiters and poker dealers

IN ANY competitive sport, there is always an official who controls the action. In basketball and boxing, they are called the referees and in baseball and tennis, they are called umpires.

They are also called the marshal, arbiter and dealer in golf, chess and poker, respectively.

Arbiters must have thorough knowledge of the laws of chess, the Fide regulations for competitions and the Swiss pairing systems.

Most local tournaments are organized by the Rose Pharmacy Chess Club and are managed by Marvin Ruelan and NM Roger Abella.

Marvin belongs to a family of chess players. His father is the late NM Loloy Ruelan and his relatives are NM Lincoln Yap and IMs Rico Mascarinas and Kimkim Yap. He attended the seminar under the late Manuel Lara and became Fide arbiter in 2007 together with Roger Abella and Louie Navaja.

Abella managed the Arena (Association of Regional Executives) and GCAA (Government agencies) tournaments in the 1990s and early 2000. He was also chief arbiter of the FEBTC and Shell tournaments for almost 10 years.

Louie Navaja manages corporate games and student organizations.

Felix Poloyapoy is secretary of Cepca and handles its tournaments. He also handles Deep Blue Chess Club and out-of-town NCFP tournaments in Tacloban and Davao.

POKER. A poker dealer distributes cards to players and manages the action at a poker table. This includes prodding players to act, verbally announcing actions of players to the rest of the table, and correcting players who act out of turn.

Dealers also must manage the pot and keep track of the amount of money and remove the appropriate cut (called a “rake”) for the house.

Dealers get good pay and a dealer’s primary source of income is not his or her salary, but tips from players on cash games.

Diamond Poker Club beside the Grand Convention Center is my favorite as it is accessible and affordable and you have a chance to win a million pesos on their jackpot called a ‘’Bad Beat.” This happens when at least a full house of aces and tens gets beaten by quads or better.

The jackpot is now P2.7 million and the losing hand gets 40 percent while the winning hand wins 20 percent.The rest of the table shares the remaining 40 percent.

Here are the dealers. Some of the women have a chance to win a beauty contest!

Manny Ronquillo loves his job because he loves the game itself. Just say “All in” and everything follows.

Katrynna Angela Dollosa says she gained more confidence by becoming a dealer and meeting more friends. The job has helped her managed people with different personalities.

Roslene “Ayen” Fernandez-Longakit says being a dealer is probably the best job in the world—it has no paperwork, quotas and deadlines. She says it is work and play for her.

James Michael Amante is also known as the Bad Beat dealer because he dealt three consecutive jackpots in the Club. He has a lovely daughter, Margaret Jarmaine.

Joy Maris Geyrosaga says you must have patience and always be ready for problems. You should also be neutral and treat all the players fairly no matter who they are.

Sheila Apalisok says you can’t ask for more from this job. You should be flexible at the same time be firm in applying the rules.

Danica Damayo is known as the “Poker Chic” of Diamond and rocks on the table. She used to be the receptionist but management saw her potential as a dealer.

Precy Montebon is known as the “Momo Queen” and has a good heart. She is also pretty as a picture.

Metro Card Club Cebu located along AS Fortuna St in Mandaue has a P300,000 guaranteed tournament starting at 4 p.m. today until Sunday.

Buy-in is P3,000 plus P300 service charge.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 18, 2011.

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