1. A poker room employee who assists players with seating, buying chips, etc.
2. The brush used to clean felt top poker tables.
Traditionally, “The Brush” is a poker room employee who assists players with seating, chips, and other concerns. They do many odd jobs
around the poker room. They often are responsible for locating players, running the board, and answering the incoming calls to the
poker room. In addition to this, they also assist the dealers and the
floor staff. You may ask the brush for placement on a board, a
color change, or any number of other things. They work for tips, and it is customary to tip them a dollar or two if they do something
for you. A casino tip is also sometimes referred to as a toke.
One of the jobs of the brush it to clean the poker tables. Poker tables have a padded felt top with a leather railing around the edge.
The felt table tops tend to collect dirt and small debris and need to be cleaned regularly. This is especially true in card rooms
which offer tableside dinning. Food debris gets caught on the felt quite easily, and needs to be brushed away. The tables should
always be brushed before the start of a game, and sometimes need to be spot brushed while the game is going, if a player is
particularly messy. It is the job of the brush to clean the tables by brushing them down. This is the origin of the job title.
The brush that is used to clean the tables is a short-handled soft bristle brush. The bristles are thick enough to capture debris
effectively, but soft enough that they do not damage the felt. The best way to brush the table is to remove the rail first. This keeps
the debris from getting caught in the seam between the felt and the rail. Once the rail is removed, it is a quick and easy job to
brush down the table. Sometimes, if the game is in progress, removing the rail is not an option because it would require everyone to
get up from the table. In this case the brush (floor staff) just has to clean the messy spot around the rail. If someone spills a drink on the
table, the brush will use towels or napkins to help clean that up also.
As poker has grown in popularity, so has the size of many card rooms. As the size of the card rooms increased, so did the workload of
the brush. It became more efficient for larger card rooms to subdivide the responsibilities of the brush into several more specialized
positions. The idea is that specializing labor in this manner will have a beneficial effect on customer service and will also result
in greater efficiency, leading to lower labor costs. Because of this, larger poker rooms have phased out the position of poker brush,
and phased in a bevy of board persons, chip runners,
assistant floor staff, porters, and other tipped employees. Because of this, the term “poker brush” is not used as often as it used to be.
Most larger card rooms either don’t have the position of poker brush anymore, or else they call them something different. Some smaller card
room still employ a traditional style poker brush, but it is becoming the exception rather than the rule.
Usage: Brush the Table, Toke For The Brush, Casino Brush
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