In my experience 'full time' is a matter of opinion in most cases. If you are working 30 to 35 hours a week with benefits that may be as close to full time as they come in some areas. A downfall of being just a poker dealer
(as opposed to dealing blackjack
and other tables games as well as poker) is that you are stuck to being 'as needed' in many cases, especially before you move up ladders. If this means some weeks you work 30 hours and some you work 50 then so be it I say.
A buddy of mine is working in Vegas and had to settle for part time dealer / part time cage. But works out to 35-38 hours a week and he gets benefits so.
I wouldnt worry about being 'full time'. My friend in Vegas makes $25/hour plus benefits overall so not bad. In Tampa I know the good dealers make around $50k a year at 30ish hours, and at Tampa Downs you get benefits, dont think the other Tampa rooms do except casino. The good looking girls can make $75k, I know one that had a $92k year at 30 hours plus benefits at Tampa Downs.
Overall I would take Tampa if I didnt know so many in Vegas, but I may do Tampa anyways in a few years. Anywhere you go you will make around $25 an hour with a strong schedule most weeks. Vegas is good because taxes are lower.
You can find home games anywhere if you are really good, obviously the women will get them first, and around Las Angeles you can work home games as a regular job and make a ton, same in New York I suppose, without benefits of course.
WSOP Las Vegas is good. Over 7 1/2 weeks you can make about 10k if your good, a lot more if you are persistent, and a ton more if you are a female. Last year I made 13k and worked a ton. No benefits but pay is high and work is easy if you know the games and can handle the limits. Then you can work the circuit and travel the USA and world. I know a few and they jam as many circuit events in USA as they can and make about 70k a year, but you are always on the road. No benefits.
TOP 5 (for working dealers)
1. Vegas (though only #1 because of WSOP months)
(LA Area mostly) but I hear dealers dont like the casinos much
3. Atlantic City by default
4. Florida (Tampa area and others)
5. Michigan (Detroit and Ann Arbor and suburbs area mostly)
These based on sheer number of jobs. There are casinos everywhere now and some other states also have charity poker (New Hampshire I think and others) so you can basically go anywhere but these would be my top 5.
p.s. Let me add do not discount charity poker. You can make a living working it in most cases. I know a few guys in L.A. that just work the charity circuit events and make a living. I make mine managing charity rooms here and hitting WSOP Vegas each year and do fine.