We had the good fortune of connecting with Darryl Naigan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darryl, how do you think about risk?
Risk has played a huge role in my life. I have been in the Local Casino Gaming Industry since I was 20 years old. On my 19th birthday my father took me to Viejas casino for my first ever gambling experience. I had no clue about the gambling world. Within five minutes he won a bunch of money. As we were leaving, he gave the dealer $90 as gratuity. Automatically the wheels started turning. I was young but not naïve. I started calculating and asking myself “what if that happened 3 or 4 times a night.” The fun fast paced environment and concept of making money dealing games intrigued me and that was my introduction to gaming. There is two ways I look at Risk. There is calculated risk and then there is blind risk. Calculated risk is like a young 19 year old kid debating to leave his $8.50/hour job at a local bank for the potential of $90 three or four times a night. Blind risk is putting all your chips on Black and hoping it works out. Sometimes it does but if you have no discipline in the long run, blind risk never seems to work out. Fast forward 23 years later, the industry has blessed me with a beautiful family, lifelong friends, and memorable experiences. I still enjoy dealing but teaching others has given me purpose. That’s why I decided to open Ds Casino Dealing School, Inc. It allows me to pursue my passion while also providing for my family. My new goal in life is to teach and mentor the next generation of casino dealers.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I still enjoy the front lines but just like an athlete, the transition to the coaching side eventually happens. I love the industry and what it has given me and my family. I opened the school because I felt it was time to give back by teaching and mentoring the new break ins and people looking to start a new career. Being a full-time front line dealer for more than two decades I believe sets me apart from the field. My teaching methods derive from a culmination of technical how-tos as well as every day scenarios that I have compiled and experienced over time. I’ve been told several times by peers and players that I have a gift of teaching as well as patience at work. So I decided to gamble on myself and open the school. I knew I would have fun teaching students. But I had no idea how rewarding it would be especially when one of my students passes an audition and lands a new job. It’s only been about five months and it’s super exciting to know that my teaching philosophy and culture is working. It started In a garage with one student and one blackjack table and just through word-of-mouth has parlayed into something I never would of imagined in this time span. I owe everything to my casino circle! I am super appreciative that all of you put me on!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first thing we would do is go downtown to the ball park and then the Midway Museum. We would have lunch at the Crack Shack and then people watch at the waterfront park or Seaport Village. When we’re ready for something sweet I would take them to the Sugar Factory. The next day we would kick it off by hiking Torrey Pines and then get lunch at El Pescador on Pearl Street. They have amazing fresh caught fish. Then cruise into Mitch’s Surf Shop right across the street and grab a Mitch’s brand hat and t-shirt for San Diego souvenirs. He’s been a staple in La Jolla since 67. After that cruise down to the Windansea shack to enjoy a 7-Eleven slurpee And watch all the surfers do their thing. When Night Falls I would bring my best friend to The local casinos (Jamul, Viejas, Sycuan, or Pala) to listen to a little live entertainment, play some table games, and enjoy a cocktail. More towards the tail end of our trip, I would take him for a drive to Oceanside. First we would get some dinner at Harneys Sushi and then checkout the farmers market. Afterward, roll it right into a little night of pier fishing. To finish the trip off, we would have brunch at Tom Hams and hang out around the mission beach area so we could SUP the bay. As the night approaches, cap off the trip with a BBQ and bonfire.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shout out and a big thank you to three people. The first person is my wife and business partner, Kristi Naigan. Although I am the face of the company, her expertise in business as well as the gaming world fuels the operation side of the business. The second person I’d like to recognize is Ahab Nimry. He is an old friend from high school and I hadn’t seen him for over two decades. When he moved back to Southern California, we started hanging out. I have been learning quietly by observing his work ethics. His mentorship has grown organically and I cannot thank him enough. The 3rd person isn’t a person at all. It’s the San Diego Casino community that I grew up in. I want to give a shout out to all the casinos who gave me the opportunity to be a part of their community and culture and for that I will always be grateful.
Facebook: Darryl Naigan
Other: For Facebook Please Look for the Ds Dealing School Logo
Jay Manning Ahab Nimry