English teacher Scott Tarzwell used to deal cards at a casino


Ashley Huynh

You have met English teacher Scott Tarzwell not just in his classroom, but the casino at the table.

English teacher Scott Tarzwell found his “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” in a boring old newspaper ad.

Picture blinding neon light along with the occasional jingles of coins. But Tarzwell didn’t have to imagine this, it was his reality at Summerlin Casino.

Tarzwell worked as a blackjack dealer. He was the guy who dealt cards in the most eye-drawing way. “I loved the skills I learned,” Tarzwell said.

Tarzwell was considered a treasurer among the staff. Those who played at his table always ended up falling short, causing them to pay the casino.

Of course, Tarzwell didn’t intentionally cause players to lose, his presence simply created this misfortune for them. “If someone was doing really, really well, the casino would move me over to that table,” Tarzwell said.

Does this superhero power of Tarzwell’s translate to the teaching field? “I just think it was a psychological move,” Tarzwell said

Being a magical blackjack dealer requires an extensive amount of training. Quick math abilities in addition to flashy shuffling techniques are a key part of the job. “It was a very, very stressful job,” Tarzwell said.

According to Tarzwell, being a blackjack dealer is much more stressful than being a teacher. “Being a teacher, there’s room to plan, to move around,” Tarzwell said.

“There’s no sitting down. [Even] if no one’s at your table, you [have to] stand,” Tarzwell said. “It was physically demanding, and it was mentally stressful.” Tarzwell often worked 12-hour shifts from 4pm to 4am—prime casino operating times—with very few breaks.

After working at the casino for two years, Tarzwell decided to resign from his position to join the educational field. Tarzwell found the position as a freshman English teacher and has been working diligently for 19 years.

“I loved the opportunity [at the casino],” Tarzwell said.

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