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Former home loan officer speaks fluent poker

Community Portrait
By: Michael Kirby
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The river, the flop, buy in, small blind, big blind, call, and fold. It might as well be a foreign language to most of us, but to Angie Salveson these words are part of her native tongue. Salveson is a poker dealer working shifts at Deuces Wild Casino and Lounge in Auburn off Bowman Road. Salveson wasn’t born a poker dealer or poker player for that matter, but she did grow up playing hours of poker at home for fun, and it was her grandfather who taught her to play. After leaving her career in real estate, Salveson started dealing cards so she could make a living doing something she really enjoyed. Salveson grew up in Elk Grove and moved to Auburn a year and half ago from the Rocklin area. Salveson deals cards full-time and admits that her schedule varies depending on how busy the card room is. “Right now business is good and I’m working five days a week and that’s great,” Salveson said. In her prior career Salveson was in the real estate game making home loans for a living. We all know what happened with real estate and her job dried up. “I always played a lot of poker in clubs and at home games, and when the real estate market plummeted, I decided that I was going to work at something I enjoyed,” Salveson said. “I played a lot here in Auburn and when Robert Brown took over ownership of the card room he gave me a chance to start dealing.” Besides her years of playing Salveson attended dealer school in Sacramento to learn the finer points of poker dealing. In a couple of months Salveson completed the course and learned the ins and outs of Texas Hold’em and Omaha, two popular poker games. She also learned how to flip the cards and how to read the hands. “At Deuces Wild 99 percent of what we play is Texas Hold’em,” Salveson said. Texas Hold’em is popular in poker card clubs and Nevada casinos, helped in part by national exposure on big stakes televised poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. Texas Hold’em is played with each player being dealt two cards down, and each player being able to use five community cards dealt face up one at a time on the table. The best hand using five of the seven cards wins, with betting after each of the face up cards is dealt. “Poker playing is definitely a lifestyle,” says Salveson. “We have a lot of regulars, but what I like about this card room is that it’s like family here, and when newcomers come in it’s friendly and everyone welcomes them.” There is a lot of joking between players, but Salveson says, “It’s all in good fun, good friendly banter, but you can’t have thin skin.” Salveson works hourly and receives tips for her services. “We have some great players playing here. One of our regular players won a seat to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas,” Salveson said. “He busted out, but he had a great time.” Dealing professionally hasn’t diminished her love of the game. In her off hours Salveson still plays for her own entertainment and likes that with poker you can control your losses. “I can hold my own, win a little bit and play again tomorrow,” she said.