Ginger Lee at Hollywood Park Casino
November 01, 2016 3:00 AM
by Patricia Chavira
As I have written about before, women are underrepresented both at the poker tables and on the casino floor, so when I meet a woman who has both played poker and worked in a casino, I know I am talking to a very rare person indeed, and that special woman is Ginger Lee.
Ginger ended up in a card room like many women do – she tagged along with a friend. When she was a college student, she was asked if she would like to go to the Bike. She said yes thinking she was going to a bicycle shop.
Much to her surprise, she ended up at the Bicycle Club in Bell Gardens, California, one of the largest card rooms in the world. Little did she know this fateful decision would change her life.
When she was a waitress at a sushi bar, a customer who worked at Commerce Casino convinced her to apply for a job at the card room. In 1990, she learned to deal and passed her auditioned. She began working as a dealer but would begin playing after work.
Ginger realized to be a better dealer one has to learn to play poker. She met her future husband at the L.A. Poker Classic in 1992. Ginger continued to be promoted at Commerce working tournaments with the legendary tournament directors Jack McClelland and Matt Savage
Ginger began playing tournaments. She tells a funny story about registering another player for a tournament, but he never showed up. She didn’t want to be stuck for the buy-in, so she decided to play herself. It was her first No-Limit tournament. She ended up chopping it. She is also a skilled 7-Card Stud player who has cashed in several stud tournaments.
In 2003, she dealt during the first season of the World Poker Tour to such poker luminaries as Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen. But the best part for her was working with her idol Linda Johnson, “The First Lady of Poker.”
After working at Commerce for 25 years, Ginger now works at Hollywood Park Casino as a shift manager with Director of Casino Operations Ramy Wahba. They worked together at Commerce for over 20 years.
Over her career, Ginger has learned a casino’s success depends on customer service. As she says, “We are here because of the customer; we have to listen.”
With her passion for poker, you can be sure any casino that Ginger Lee works at is a place you want to play.