The Casino de Monte-Carlo was the site for this year’s European Dealer Championships, where the crème de la crème of card dealers competed to be crowned the best in world. And Monaco’s young croupiers placed well.
After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the 14th European Dealer Championships returned with a record number of participants, with this year being particularly notable as it was hosted at arguably the most famous casino in the world, the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
This year, 40 dealers were selected on a national level to compete in a contest involving technical skill, quick thinking, control of the game, hospitality skills and nerves of steel. They proved their prowess in two of the most popular of all casino card games, Black Jack and American Roulette.
In addition to the specialities needed from above, the dealers also competed in disciplines that should be mastered by all dealers, such as chipping, card handling, cutting chips, pushing stacks, maths and picture bets.
“We are delighted and proud to welcome the European Dealer Championship, organised by the European Casino Association, at the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo,” said Jean-Luc Biamonti, CEO Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer. “The History of Monaco is intimately linked to gambling and the Casino de Monte- Carlo, with its unique vision, its excellence and savoir-faire, and strives relentlessly for the success and legacy of the casino activity in Europe. The dealer plays a major role in this vision: being discreet and efficient, the excellence of their gestures and their role with the client is key to convey the Principality’s Great Art of Gaming.”
The contestants, who came from 22 nations, including the UK, France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Estonia, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and of course Monaco, were judged by 36 jury members and cheered on by a crowd estimated to be in the hundreds.
There were 10 women competing this year, including 26-year-old Noémie Serra, representing Monaco alongside Christopher Subtil Conceicao. Ms Serra was awarded the prize for Best Chip Cutting and Mr Subtil Conceicao was selected as Best Card Handler.
In a press release, the SBM noted that, “the performances of Noémie Serra and Christopher Subtil Conceicao are all the more important as they were both amongst the youngest croupiers participating in the European Dealer Championship. Young but perfectly experienced in techniques through their training at the Monaco Games School. This one-of-a-kind school is based on transmission from generation to generation, keys to excellence since 1863, and continuously enriching it with international best practices. Noémie Serra joined the games school in 2018 and Christopher Subtil Conceicao in 2019.”
The winner of the best dealer overall was Christoph Boo, from the Casino in Zurich, Switzerland. In second place was Daniel Rhodes to the Hippodrome in London, and the bronze went to Zoltan Horvath from Casino Györ in Hungary. Monaco’s two representatives placed well with Neomie Serra just off the podium in fourth place and Christopher Subtil Conceicao is sixth.
The tournament took place in the Salle Medecin of the Casino from the 16th to 18th of May, with the prize-giving ceremony taking place at the Hotel Hermitage, the same locale the contestants met at to welcome them to the event.
“Casinos are part of Europe’s rich cultural heritage, said P. Jaldung, Chairman of the European Casino Association. “All of us understand the very special and unique entertainment we offer our guests – the social and emotional connection that binds our industry together. Casino guests enjoy not only the service and thrill of the game but also the professionalism of their hosts, the dealers. The job of a dealer requires social skills, concentration and manual dexterity. Keeping a gaming table under control on a busy evening is an art – and now the greatest artists have gathered in Monaco.”
Photos courtesy Monte-Carlo SBM