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Talking Stick Resort appoints new poker director

25 July 2014

SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Talking Stick Resort, an enterprise of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC), proudly announces the appointment of a new director of poker for the ARENA poker room. With more than 20 years of experience in gaming, Thomas Young takes the reigns as the ARENA celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its famed Arizona State Poker Championship on Aug. 11 – 14.

“As the largest poker room in Arizona, the ARENA is a source of pride for Talking Stick Resort,” said Dennis Leong, President & CEO of Talking Stick Resort. “In filling the director position, it was essential that we find someone with an ability to lead and a true passion for gaming and customer service. We believe we have found that person in Tom Young and are excited for what he will bring to the room moving forward.”

Young’s first foray into gaming was in 1992 when he began as a poker dealer at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut. From there, Young worked his way up to assistant shift manager. Later in 2006, when his boss at Foxwoods moved to Las Vegas to serve as the poker director for the Venetian, Young followed and became a shift manager.

In addition to his vast experience in large gaming facilities across the country, Young had exposure to poker long before his career in gaming. “My grandfather owned a two table card room when I was kid,” said Tom Young, director of poker for Talking Stick Resort. “My mom didn’t like poker so she didn’t let us go with grandfather too often, but I guess it’s in my blood.”

Since joining Talking Stick Resort in February, Young has spent time getting to know the ARENA’s loyal staff and regular players. “I’ve enjoyed meeting with the players, and finding out what they want and what they are looking for in games,” said Young. “It’s a very busy room with great clientele. It’s fun seeing the same faces, and I’ve already gotten to know quite a few of them.”

As for his plans for the ARENA poker room, Young’s objective is to increase attention on guest service in the room. “My intent isn’t to come in and change everything, I just want to refocus on servicing our guests and make sure everyone is on the same page and that we are consistent,” said Young.

“I’m looking forward to my future with the ARENA and welcome the leadership role in working with events like the Arizona State Poker Championship,” said Young. “So far, everyone has been supportive and the staff is really knowledgeable. My goal is to let them be experts in their fields and handle things, but with the assurance that I support them.”

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