Davide Merli from Italy wins the 6th Eca European Dealer Championship

Davide Merli from Italy wins the 6th Eca European Dealer Championship

merliOn 17 and 18 April representatives of the European casino industry met in Helsinki, Finland to watch the best dealers from across Europe demonstrate their skills at the Blackjack and American Roulette tables in the finals of the 6th edition of the European Casino Association’s (ECA) prestigious European Dealer Championship.

This 6th European Dealer Championship – which was hosted by Casino Helsinki in Finland – was a captivating event and a huge success. Everyone attending the event praised the outstanding organisation, hospitability and professionalism of the Casino Helsinki team that made this event as impressive and fun as it was.

The ECA is proud to announce and extend its warmest congratulations to the winners of the European Dealer Championship 2012: Davide Merli from Italy (Casino Campione d’Italia) triumphed in first place, taking home the top prize of a trip to Las Vegas. Runner-up was Matti Kankainen from Finland (Casino Helsinki), who beat Robert Lipski from Belgium (Grand Casino Brussels @ Viage) into third place. In a competitive yet friendly atmosphere, the winners demonstrated their excellent technical skills, knowledge and control of the games.

The competitors were judged not only on their technical ability, but also on their hospitability skills and attentiveness to the players, two aspects which are equally important in this championship. Accordingly, dealers not only had to be fully concentrated throughout the game, they also had to maintain a fun, hospitable and entertaining atmosphere at the table.

A series of specialised side contests also formed an important part of the competition. The runner-up in the general tournament, Matti Kankainen from Casino Helsinki in Finland, also won the best “card handler” contest. Aleksandr Kokovinets from Olympic Casino in Estonia won a total of three contests: “roulette mathematics”, “roulette chipping” and “cutting chips”, and Viorel Chira from Casino Munkebjerg in Denmark won the “pushing stacks” contest.

“Our aim with this event is to celebrate the craftsmanship and hospitability needed for this profession,” explained ECA Chairman, Ron Goudsmit. “We would like to congratulate all the finalists. The skills and expertise they showed superbly reflect the professionalism and quality of the dealers in European casinos. We would also like to thank and praise everyone at Casino Helsinki for their hospitality and perfect organisation of this event. Marko Hurme, the Director of Casino Helsinki has every reason to be proud of his team.”

Mr. Hurme added that “Casino Helsinki was highly honoured to host this key event and delighted to have this opportunity to welcome representatives of casinos across Europe to Helsinki and their casino”.

Ron Goudsmit also thanked the 2012 European Dealer Championship sponsors – Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, CTC Holdings, ICS Europe, Shuffle Master and GPI – for their support of this event.

Launched in 2007, the ECA’s annual European Dealer Championship is now a key event in the European gaming calendar. Participating dealers are judged in a range of categories, including hospitality and communication skills, technical expertise, discretion and control of the game.

The ECA and its members understand and recognize that high quality training is crucial to learning the skills needed to become a good and qualified dealer. The ECA actively promotes such training and supports its members in their ongoing efforts to improve professionalism in Europe’s casinos. The European Dealer Championship underlines this policy and also provides members with an ideal opportunity to get together, exchange information and expand their networks.