As an Ada, Oklahoma, native, Jay is no stranger to Chickasaw Country. Early on, he spent 3 years enlisted in the Army as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. After graduating from East Central University with a degree in Sociology, he met his lovely wife, Anna, with whom he has two sons.
How long have you been a part of the WinStar team? What about the Poker Room team?
JW: I’ve been at WinStar since July 7, 2007, as the Poker Room Manager the whole time. I began working for the Chickasaw Nation at Ada Gaming Center on March 15, 2005. So, I’ve worked for the Chickasaw Nation for over 11 years, and am no stranger to the casino environment.
What’s your favorite part about your role in the Poker Room?
JW: My favorite part of my job is discovering what motivates people and running with it. It’s something different for everyone, you know…
Poker players can get pretty serious about what they do. Do you have any regulars who keep coming back?
JW: Regulars are too numerous to mention. I say that, generally speaking. WinStar is a neighborhood casino. It’s just that our neighborhood is the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.
What’s your favorite poker event here at WinStar?
JW: My favorite event without question is the annual River Poker Series that happens every Labor Day Weekend. It’s the biggest poker event we host in the WinStar Poker Room and attracts players from all over the world.
Serious question: can you play?
JW: Serious answer: I’m the worst poker player in the room; any room, anywhere.
Wanna bet? Seriously, Jay…let’s go play a hand right now.
The WinStar Poker Room isn’t your whole life. What else makes you tick?
JW: I like to be outside. I love running, hiking and camping. Getting to experience the outdoors with my two young sons makes it even more fun.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job? Most rewarding?
JW: The most challenging is managing the free will of people. Not that I want to be a tyrant; quite the opposite. The most rewarding is seeing someone develop into a leader, right in front of you. That is easily the best thing. Please don’t confuse “position” for “leader” in this because leadership can come from any position. I love to see the light bulb turn on in people.
What’s your favorite game at WinStar—besides poker?
JW: WinStar has games other than Poker? News to me.
Very funny, Jay. Maybe we need to get you out of the Poker Room more often to explore everything WinStar has to offer.
If you happen to see Jay working hard in the Poker Room, be sure to say hi and tell him you saw him on the WinStar blog!