A Look Inside the World of Prop Poker Players

One job within the poker industry that sounds awesome is that of a proposition player. As some people know, prop players earn an hourly wage from casinos to sit down and start games. In theory, this sounds great because you can collect an hourly wage on top of winnings. The only catch is that these grinders must use their own cash to play with – an aspect which makes being a prop player hard when rake and dealer tips are accounted for.

The Colorado Springs Gazette recently covered the surprisingly difficult profession of being a prop player. Brian Pearson, who runs the poker room at the Gold Creek Casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado, was asked his opinion of how difficult this profession is. “You’ve got to wager what you’ll make for the day into the game and try to not lose it,” Pearson said. “I wouldn’t do that job in a million years – I prefer to go to a job where I’m guaranteed to make money.”

Despite Pearson’s reluctance to do a prop player’s job, he is more than happy that they’re willing to accept such a difficult challenge. Without these grinders, casinos would have a very difficult time getting empty cash game tables started.

One thing that the Gazette article stressed is that a prop player is not the same as a shill, who’s a player that uses casino funds. If shills lose money, it’s just the house absorbing the losses; if they win, the money goes to the house. Colorado’s government banned the use of shills in 1996, which has only given rise to more prop players.

When casinos use props, they must put up a sign saying so. And if customers ask who’s a prop grinder, the dealer must identify them. This all goes to prevent ‘regular’ players from feeling like they’re being duped by casinos.

However, the Gazette article stressed that props are not always skilled professionals who reap tons of profits. A Colorado prop player named Tyler made this point clear when he said, “My role is to hep increase the rake. We’re not ringers.” He added, “Everyone has an equal chance when they sit down – and they didn’t walk in to do charity work. They’re there to beat me.”

Seeing as how props could easily be up against a skilled professional, it only makes their job tougher. But if these grinders can improve their game enough, the hourly wage on top of profits is definitely an attractive offer.

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