Industry Insiders: WPT at Sea Poker Room Manager Paul Prouty II

Industry Insiders: WPT at Sea Poker Room Manager Paul Prouty II

By now youve no doubt heard about the World Poker Tour (WPT) and their upcoming WPT Voyage, which will take place from March 31-April 6, 2024 as they take over an entire Virgin Voyages cruise ship the 1,400-cabin Valiant Lady for a six-day poker festival that features $1.5 million in guarantees, including a $5,000 buy-in, $1,000,000 GTD WPT Main Event.

Leading up to the WPT Voyage, PokerNews will be profiling several staff members of the WPT at Sea Poker Room in our Industry Insiders series. For those that dont know, the WPT at Sea is the actual poker room aboard Virgin Voyages (currently on the Scarlet Lady cruise ship but soon to expand to others).

Here are some of the profiles we've done in the past:

Are Your Ready for Pokers Spring Break? Adam Pliska Talks WPT Voyage Cruise

Get to Know Paul Prouty II

If you find yourself on Virgin Voyages to play in the WPT at Sea theres a good chance you will cross paths with 47-year-old Poker Room Manager Paul Prouty II, who has lived in South Florida for the past four decades.

Prouty, who is married to wife Michele with whom he shares three grown children, previously worked for CBS Sports and helped bring fantasy sports into the mainstream and online.

As a kid, I started playing five-card draw with my dad, and my grandmother continued my introduction to poker and other card games, Prouty told PokerNews. I played in a dealers choice mixed game starting in my late teens and began playing poker in card rooms when I turned 18 and have been playing regularly since, both live and online.

"Once onboard we fell in love with the ship, the company, and the job."

In 2019, he made his way out to Las Vegas to earn his dealing certification at Crescent School, proceeded to deal that summers WSOP, and then started his career as a traveling deler.

I have previously been a dealer for WPT, WSOP, WSOP Circuit, HPT, MSPT, Planet Hollywood, Venetian, Hard Rock, and Orleans. I have also been a Tournament Director for charity events.

So, how did he come to work poker on a cruise ship?

WPT at Sea was a last-minute opportunity for a workcation, thanks to Emily DeLaine, Prouty explained. Michele and I had just finished two months on the road and were home for a few weeks. Emily needed two dealers, and we like cruising. Once onboard we fell in love with the ship, the company, and the job. They needed someone to run the room regularly and Michele and I accepted the offer and canceled our travel schedule going forward. Seeing the amazing opportunity and potential of this venture has made it a no-brainer to accept the position and to be a part of the growth and success of the company.

He continued: The sailors we meet and interact with is the part that I love the most. We have met amazing people and to be able to contribute to the enjoyment of their vacation is very fulfilling. Also, the ability to work in a poker room with incredible views, a beautiful design, and on a ship sailing the seas is life-changing.

Like most sailors on board, Prouty enjoys eating delicious food, watching performances, and decompressing in the hammock on his balcony.

My favorite ports are Puerta Plata Dominican Republic, taking the Macorix Rum tour. Such a beautiful island with incredible people, and Bimini, Bahamas. In Bimini you can take advantage of the Virgin Voyages Private Beach Club with all the amenities, or you can visit Radio Beach on the other side of the island and hang out with all of the local population.

When asked whats one thing people should know about WPT at Sea, Prouty was quick to respond: We are completely cashless. All charges and payouts will be through your onboard account. It is simple to just walk in and participate without having to carry around cash.

He added: It is a great vacation. The ship, the food, and the entertainment are all fantastic and the crew is even better. Oh, and you will have the best poker experience you have ever seen. We can accommodate all skill levels by being ambassadors to poker and by providing a welcoming and fun atmosphere for everyone.

WPT Voyage vs. WPT at Sea What's the Difference? Here's Everything You Need to Know

What is WPT at Sea?

Not to be confused with WPT Voyage, WPT at Sea is an actual poker room on the Scarlet Lady ship (and soon-to-be other Virgin Voyages). That poker room is operating on the high seas right now as you read this.

After witnessing the magic of cruise-line poker with Virgin Voyages last season, we instantly sought to establish a permanent fixture, said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. Scarlet Lady provides the perfect residence for WPT at Sea, which will bring the WPT poker experience to the high seas.

The room features eight custom poker tables staffed with professional dealers. For cash games, the rake is a reasonable 10% up to $10, which is much lower than other cruises. As for tournaments, buy-ins on a typical sailing range from $80-$320.

Recently, WPT at Sea has held a $240 buy-in Main Event, which awards a WPT prize package to a future sailing.

The room caters to players of all experience levels, from absolute beginner to seasoned pro. For the former, the staff holds beginner training courses on each sailing, and dealers also offer their services if 1:1 instruction is desired.

WPT at Sea goes wherever the ship does, meaning those who go for the poker will also get to experience new and exciting destinations. The room is closed when the ship is docked so sailors are incentivized to get off the ship and check things out. But fear not, when everyone is back on board it doesnt take long for cards to get back in the air.

Here are some other things to know about WPT at Sea:

WPT at Sea is taking reservations through the end of 2024. To learn more or book your cruise,visit

Check out the WPT at Sea Poker Room review here on PokerNews!


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