This month we chatted with Sal Ervolino, the poker room manager at Westgate Las Vegas Resort Casino.
GT: What’s your background story?
SE: “I am 56; born and raised in Brooklyn, (N.Y.) and I moved to Las Vegas in 1991. I started at Nevada Palace as a poker dealer and tournament director for about one year. Then I worked for Sam’s Town for nine years where I started as a poker dealer and was promoted to dayshift supervisor. In 2000 I went to Boulder Station as a poker dealer, where I helped put together the Wildest Omaha game in Las Vegas.
“I later moved to Spokane, (Wash.) in 2005 and worked for Northern Quest Casino as a poker dealer and dual rate supervisor. I came back to Las Vegas in August 2017 to visit some friends and was introduced to Vice President Ray Anzevino at the Westgate through a close mutual friend. I was offered a dealer/dual rate position in the poker room. After a few weeks, I was promoted to poker room manager, and the rest is history.”
How did you get into poker?
“I used to play poker with my friends at a young age, watched my dad and uncle’s play poker at the Italian-American Social Clubs.”
Tell us about your room at the Westgate. How many tables, games you spread, tournaments, amenities, etc.
“We have a beautiful six table room nestled away in the world famous SuperBook. We spread $1-2, $1-3, $2-5 No Limit Texas Hold’em and $2-4 Limit Hold’em. On Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. we have a $400 Free Roll Tournament open to the first 30 players plus alternates. Our poker room and entire race and sportsbook are non-smoking and parking is complimentary with easy access to the poker room through our race and sportsbook entrance.”
What makes your room popular or unique for players? What are their favorite games?
“We have a nice friendly mix of tourist/local and conventioneers. We also have all your favorite sporting events on the biggest and best screens right in front of you. The most popular game is $1-$2 No – Limit.”
Any special events, tournaments or promotions coming up?
“We have a $10,000 Free Roll tournament coming up on Saturday, Aug. 4. The qualifying period is from July 1 to 31. Players need only 40 hours for the month to qualify. We have some awesome daily promotions: $20 to the first 10 players in the room, $50-$100 Hi-Hands every hour from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. That’s 14 Hi Hands a day!”
What’s your view on the future popularity of poker?
“Poker has been around for many years. I see new games in the future and some old ones coming back.”
What are your interests, hobbies, family life like outside of the poker room?
“Some of my interests include working out, playing poker (Omaha), betting horses, listening to music and just relaxing when I can. My family is mostly all back in New York. I recently lost my Dad in September which was very difficult. I have 2 sisters, 2 daughters, 2 sons, 2 dogs, 20 grandchildren and also 2 ex-wives. Guess my favorite number is 2. LOL.”