By Andrew Atkinson EXCLUSIVE

Benijofar businessman Martin Ronald Dean took a gamble with life as a teenager – and ended up travelling the world – as a Croupier!

“I saw a job advertised at the Job Centre for a waiter, and heard about a Croupier School Course, which I took up and got trained for, aged 18,” said Martin.

“I began at the Albion Sporting Club in Salford, on an eight weeks course. Roulette training was the hardest to learn.

“Croupier training entailed six weeks Roulette, one week Blackjack, and one week practice, before you went ‘onto the floor’,” said Martin.

Martin Roland Hamilton (left) with reporter Andrew Atkinson.
Martin Roland Dean (left) with reporter Andrew Atkinson.

“The first day was daunting. Many punters – mainly Chinese – big gamblers,” said Martin, aged 50.

A croupier is someone appointed at a gambling table to assist in the conduct of the game, especially in the distribution of bets and payouts.

Orphelins are numbers (areas) of the roulette wheel: “Punters pile their numbers played. Putting your markers on, known as a ‘Dolly’.

“The biggest win I recall was £50,000 – during a three and a half hours session,” said Martin, who left Manchester to work with P&O Ferries, on the Cruiseliner’s casinos.

“Shifts were over four hours, during the evenings,” said Martin – who was sacked after breaking strict protocol rules.

“I was sacked, after being caught singing with a group on stage one evening. So I returned to The Albion,” said Martin.

“At The Albion I was called ‘Killer’ – told by bosses to ‘kill the game’ – which entails a change of croupier,” said Martin.

“Known as ‘spinning the sections’ – you CAN get the ball in there. Disrupting the roulette game,” said Martin.

“Later I moved on to The Sergeant Yorke, in Manchester’s Empire Street, near to Strangeways Prison.

“Then on to Tibb Street, Manchester, Sasha’s Hotel, working as a hotel porter, where I met John Pertwee – during the time he was playing the part of Dr Who.

“What a great, lovely guy. He was performing at the Opera House, Manchester. I was ‘star-struck’, at the age of 19,” reflected Martin.

Martin returned to The Sergeant Yorke Hotel, a stint that lasted only a few months: “I fell out with one of the pit guys – and walked out,” said Martin, who headed to Bournemouth, where his parents took him and the family on holidays.

“I love Bournemouth – but I didn’t know what I was going to do for a job,” said Martin.

“I went to the Midland Hotel – and got a job as a croupier; Blackjack and Roulette,” said Martin, who also gave an insight of casinos, citing roulette ‘top hatting’.

“Top hatting is a group of three players; one of which will pretend to be drunk,” said Martin.

“Only experienced croupiers can spot them. They play the game, with ‘distraction’ being their theme in an attempt to win, by cheating,” said Martin.

After a spell in Bournemouth, Martin moved to Brackley, near Northampton: “I worked at The Rubicon Casino, owned by Monty Shine, a great bloke, who I spent eight months with,” said Martin.

Martin, who returned to a life on the ocean waves, with a position on the Royal Caribbean Cruiseliner, said: “I met a guy named ‘Badger’.

“Badger set me up with an interview – and I was on my way to Miami – aged 21! It was amazing.

“Working in Miami paid 300 dollars a month – beer money – working seven nights. It was the tips that made the job worthwhile. $1,200 per week!

“I loved clothes and shoes – still do – and went to Lacoste and spent $3,000. I splashed out!.

“Being English, the Yanks loved me, being one of the dealers in the casino. 90% of Yankee customers had never placed a bet before!.

“They were ‘crazy’, asking: ‘what time’s the midnight buffet?!”.

Martin, a concessionaire, said: “As a concessionaire you could go anywhere on board the Cruiseliner – unlike the crew. If they were caught being somewhere they shouldn’t be, it was instant dismissal.”

Martin had to pinch himself during his high lifestyle in Miami: “Can you imagine being in Miami – a kid from Salford – someone who had nothing, having left school with no qualifications?

“I didn’t care about school, I couldn’t leave quick enough! I was spending $5,000 on shopping sprees. The happiest days of my life,” said Martin.

“I then moved on again and joined the Cruiseliner The Sovereign of The Seas. The problem was that the casinos only opened when the ship was in International waters.

“During my time on The Sovereign of The Seas, I visited Saint Thomas and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, it was the only two stops. I lasted three months,” said Martin.

*IN PART 2 of Martin Ronald Dean’s life as a Croupier, he talks about arriving at ‘The White House!’; Neil Diamond; George Best; New York, Times Square, Broadway; Rome; Bermuda; Ernie Wise; Cuban-American singer, songwriter-actress Gloria Estefan. Moscow – and The Mafia! ONLY IN THE LEADER!