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UK DEALER CHAMPIONSHIP landmark UK Dealer Resorts World


European Dealer Championship, and the knowledge that they are the best dealer in the UK. And for the first time, the new champion is female.


G


enting International Casino, Resorts World Birmingham provided a wonderful venue that set the stage for what was to be an enthralling day of competition in the 2019 UK Dealer Championship. Casinos from around the UK put


forward top Croupiers to test their skills against the best for a chance to win the £2000 first place cash prize sponsored by gaming technology company Novomatic, the stunning Crystal Awards Trophy provided by Recognition Express, and be named the UK’s best Dealer. The UK Dealer of the Year Championships, which is


organised by The National Casino Forum, has become the pre-eminent national casino competition and attracted entrants from 10 companies from across the UK. Points are awarded to contestants for their technical skills, control of the game and hospitality across Blackjack and Roulette. The 23 Judges from across the UK’s Casinos prioritised excellent customer service, with the most points available in the hospitality category. This year’s judging panel contained two former winners; Slawomir Workun (2018 winner) and Jamie Cummins (2017 winner), alongside a host of fresh-faced judges and seasoned UK Dealer Championship judges. Catalina Huzum, of Les Ambassadeurs Club, fought off stiff competition from 26 finalists to be crowned as the UK Dealer of the Year 2019, the first ever female to hold this title. She impressed judges throughout the competition and held her nerve in a day-long test of dexterity, mental agility and hospitality. On winning the Championship Catalina said: “It feels amazing!!! To know I am now officially the UK’s


best dealer is just an unbelievable feeling, one that will stay with me for a very long time. “I had a look at the previous year’s winners and realised that male Dealers had dominated this field, I was massively inspired by that and gave my best shot to succeed in what I love doing! I have always thought that women are strong and that


there is no reason why they cannot succeed in this job. My target was to be the first ever female to win this competition,


38 MAY 2019 Champion Dealer Catalina in action


it was the right day, the right time and I loved every minute of it”


The UK Dealer Championship brought Catalina back to Genting International Casino Birmingham, where she started her croupier career in the UK; it was wonderful to see her triumph where her journey began. A journey that will now take her and first runner-up Chris Hall, from Crockford’s Casino London, who won the £1000 cash prize, Sponsored by Clarion Events, to the European Dealer Championship where they will represent the UK in Tallinn, Estonia in late April. Damon Ryan of the Hippodrome Casino finished as the second runner-up and received the £500 cash prize, sponsored by TCS John Huxley. The high standard of all Competitors was only matched by


the great spirit and camaraderie shown throughout the day by Judges, Competitors and spectators alike. The best Croupiers command the Casino floor, leave the customers smiling and control the table with great professionalism and skill, which was on show from all Competitors. Side Events were also set up to test the Croupiers on Stack Pushing won by Ivan Urso of Caesars Entertainment, Chip Cutting won by Genesis Carrasco of the Ritz Club, Chipping won by Dragos Dalta of Crown London Aspinalls, Card Handling won by


competition saw entrants compete for a cash prize, entry into the


The National Casino Forum’s


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