By Scott Long
David Burns is Ante Up’s Most Popular Dealer. Burns, a dealer at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells, ran away from the field of 22 nominated dealers who competed in the online voting and wins an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two for the Nov. 14 sailing out of Tampa, Fla.
“It’s still so surreal to me that I won. This is a wonderful promotion for poker dealers. I, for one, was proud to be nominated,” said Burns, who started as a blackjack dealer in 2000 and switched to poker in 2003. “Our small room has some of the best dealers in the country; we hear it time and time again at every big event we host. I will be taking my wife, Iris, on the cruise. We have never been on a cruise together, so this will definitely be an awesome experience. I will be looking forward to getting out of the cold weather of Wisconsin for a week and seeing new places for the first time.”
Nominations were open dealers, as well as their friends, family and supervisors. The Ante Up staff whittled the nominees to the 22 who competed. Four runners-up, Jaydon Ogden, Natalia Coada, George “Dusty” Ohlman and Barbara Jones, each won a pair of Blue Shark Optics.
Burns’ supervisor, Samantha Thomas, nominated him.
“I was excited for Dave as the contest end was getting closer and closer,” Thomas said. “When I got the confirmation that he won, it made my day. Our room isn’t very big and when we have a bigger event, the staff gets spread pretty thin, but Dave will be one of the first to volunteer to help wherever he can. I appreciate the fact that he’s so helpful and dependable. As far as the players go, Dave is welcoming and has a great sense of humor.”
Burns credited an outpouring of support for getting the votes necessary to win.
“I had a lot of help getting votes from friends and family, especially from Chad Holloway, who did a lot of campaigning for me,” said Burns, who enjoys the interaction with his players the most about his job. “My Ho-Chunk family, as well as, pounding the campaign trail helped. I would not have won this without their support and am so grateful for them to go out of their way and make this possible for me.”
These four runners-up each will receive a pair of Blue Shark Optics
Natalia Coada, Harrah’s Cherokee
Barbara Jones, Aria Las Vegas
Jaydon Ogden, Aria Las Vegas
George “Dusty” Ohlman, Traveling Dealer
Chris Alchenberger, Harrah’s Philadelphia
Genelyn Anderson, Midnight Rose Casino Hotel
Jon Beasley, Nevada Poker League
Mario Deif, Seminole Coconut Creek
Joe DiPietro, Seminole Coconut Creek
Scotty Du Pont, Mohegan Sun
Michael Gragg, Aria Las Vegas
Dan McFate, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel
Natalie Webb Leach, Golden Nugget & MGM
Matthew Melendez, Thunder Valley
Sergio Perez, Hard Rock Hollywood
Chef Rivero, Boulder Station
Ma Rollet Rueda, Boulder Station
Brian Schweikert, Rivers Casino
Mike Sexton, Seminole Coconut Creek
Sally Vernon, Midnight Rose Casino Hotel
Ryan Weatherman, Hard Rock Tampa