There are only good things to say about Luca Vivaldi. I was really looking forward to this interview for several reasons. The first reason is his professional approach to work, personal charisma and good sense of humor. When he first set foot inside a EPT poker tournament room, he was just a dealer. Now, couple of years later, he’s still going strong and he´s one of the most important people on the floor during the biggest events in the world!
Luca is an absolute gentleman, hardworker and powerful vegan, who is in the poker business for many years. Let´s give him a few curious questions!
At the beginning I would like to introduce you to readers of this blog. Would you mind to tell us something more about yourself please?
Hi all! First of all, It’s a pleasure being on this blog as I have heard so many good things about it! My name is Luca Vivaldi, I’m 32 and I’m very passionate about everything rotating around the world of poker. I’m the Head Floor Manager for most Pokerstars Events around the globe (PS Championships and PS Festivals) and I’m heading to the Bahamas right now for the inaugural Pokerstars Championship. Excitement mode is ON :’)
How did you get to poker world? Could you tell us about your begginings?
I first got into poker thanks to Toby Stone (PokerStars Tournament Director) who at the time (almost 12 years ago!) was the head of poker in Casino Brussels. We had our very first poker tournament there on restaurant tables! From there I got hooked and It was all a crescendo for me that led to EPT´s in Season 4 and I never looked back.
You are working at the most prestigious poker festivals in the world including EPT´s. You´re head floor manager. How does it feel?
Working at the most prestigious events in the world is such an important role for me and it´s a beautiful challenge, because I love to push myself to do better everytime I step into the Poker Rooms. I’m really grateful to everybody that make this happen for me and so thankful to all my colleagues that worked so hard and make me look so good eheh!
As a floor person you are responsible for making right ruling at the poker tables. Isn´t this part of the job a bit stressful?
Making the right ruling is the part of my job that everybody sees straight away, but It’s a small and very important part of what I do. I don’t get stressed about it, quite the opposite because even if most situations already happened to me the game is in constant evolution and you can learn something new everyday. I love difficult and tricky rulings as you can confront your opinion with all the bright minds that work alongside me.
What poker destination is personally your favourite one and why?
My favourite poker destination is Prague as there is so many players and you will never find an empty table in the all poker room! The poker atmosphere is absolutely fantastic. I might sound crazy now, but the more I work the better it is for me. I love being really busy! I also usually stop a couple of days before/after Prague because the food is great here and the city is fantastic especially around Christmas time!
Would you mind to expose any interesting story that you have experienced at any major poker festival? Whatever comes to your mind first!
First thing that comes to mind is a Pokerstars Event in the Isle Of Man about three or four years ago, where after a very long shift I got stuck in the Hotel lift for five hours. It was around 2 o´clock in the morning. They couldn’t find a way to get me out!
For a “poker related” one is very hard to say as I’m having fun every single day!
At the end I always ask this question as i believe it gives a deeper look into our specific world of poker freelancing. Can you tell us the biggest advantages and disadvantages of being poker freelance person?
Freelancing gives you a great freedom (close to a poker player but without downswings and with bosses eheeh) but also at the same might be a bit scary because of job security that a signed contract might give you. But I think this is overrated as 100% job security is so difficult to achieve nowadays. I personally love freelancing, but I might be lucky as I do it for a great company like Pokerstars!
Luca, Thank you for the great interview! I´m sure that you gave an extra career ‘kick’ to a lot of young dealers now who want to be like you! 🙂