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  1. In the first moments after winning the $565 Casino Employees event at the 2019 World Series of Poker, 39-year-old Nicholas Haynes had a lot of things going through his mind. About 2.5 years ago, Haynes' dog passed away after a bout of cancer, so he brought his ID tag to the final table hoping it would bring him some good luck. So he was thinking about him. He was also thinking about the players he'd just beaten and some of the things he'd experienced during his playing days. Most notably though, Haynes was thinking about his job as a poker dealer in the ARIA Resort & Casino poker room. He had no intention of quitting after picking up $62,000 along with the bracelet, he was more focused on the pride he felt in helping ARIA accomplish something pretty special. "One of the things that really jumped out at me is the fact that an ARIA dealer has won two years in a row. The other dealer, they had a really long heads-up battle - I believe it was four hours - and ours was so short," Haynes said of Jordan Hufty's 2018 victory. "It's just amazing that where I work, ARIA dealers, we were able to take it down two years in a row. That's awesome." Haynes has been dealing at ARIA for a little over a year and a half after moving to Las Vegas from Michigan. He credits his time in the box at ARIA as having an impact on his abilities as a player. "There's a lot of incredible players there and I watch them and just pick up little bits here and there and over time you just become better, you sharpen your edges," said Haynes. "I feel like they were very instrumental in my play today and that's why I'm thankful for my job and the players there." Sean McCormack, Director of Poker Operations for ARIA, was beaming with pride after seeing another one of his charges see a lifelong dream of winning a WSOP bracelet come to fruition. "Nick's fantastic. He loves the game and obviously, a lot of these guys go over to play the Casino Employees event," McCormack said. "Anytime my guys ask 'Hey, can I get the day off to play the Employees event? We're like 'Yes!' This is a dream to win a World Series bracelet, spin it up into something. It's a dream of all of us." The ARIA hosts everything from low buy-in daily tournaments and cash games to high roller events and high stakes cash games and Haynes deals all of them. McCormack has seen the passion Haynes has for the game, not just dealing or playing, but in learning and improving every day. "Nick actually gets to deal in the (PokerGO) studio quite often, so he gets to deal to those players," McCormack said. "I've heard him say, 'I think I've picked up a couple of things.' So it's really cool to see him not only learn while he's dealing but be able to apply and go win something that we've all dreamed of doing." Haynes, who was supposed to deal WSOP events as well as his normal shifts at ARIA, has decided to forego dealing at the WSOP after winning a little more than $60,000. He has no intentions of quitting his job at ARIA though. "I would never call myself any kind of pro or anything like that. I play a lot in spurts. I travelled for a year and a half playing in major tournaments, but it turned out okay, nothing great. I've had a couple of cashes throughout the years, but nothing monstrous like this. This is the biggest cash for sure," Haynes said. Even with the bracelet and a little bit of notoriety that comes with winning one, Haynes doesn't expect anything to change when he gets back to work this week. Not even a little raise. "He might actually give me less. I don't know," Haynes joked about how McCormack might react when they see each other next. "I'm sure he'll shake my hand and we'll have a moment and talk but it will be work like usual."
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