Matti Kankainen, of Veikkaus Casino Helsinki in Finland, has been crowned Europe’s best casino dealer 2018, during a tense finale at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro.
Competing for the fifth time at the European Dealer Championships (EDC), after finishing as runner-up in both 2009 and 2012, Kankainen narrowly edged out Tamas Adam from Swiss Casinos Pfäffikon and Gilbert Ho Kang Jou from Holland Casino Scheveningen.
After impressing judges “throughout the competition with great character and skill on Blackjack and American Roulette,” Kankainen commented: “After coming second and third in previous years, it feels great to finally get the gold medal. It was an amazing trip and competition.
“I encourage everybody to take part in the Championship in the future, it is a great way to learn from colleagues around Europe and experience new things.”
Held for the first time in Montenegro, a record number of 37 participants competed in the 2018 EDC, emanating from 20 Europeans countries.
Judges scored competitors on technical skill, game control and hospitality in Blackjack and American Roulette over the 2-day event.
Per Jaldung, ECA chairman, said: “The growing number of participants at the European Dealer Championship and their ever-improving level made it a very challenging final.
“Congratulations to Matti for winning the competition, he is a real testament to the great customer service and skill of our industry across Europe. Thank you to Maestral Resort & Casino for providing such a great location.”
Christos Tsemperas, CEO of Maestral Resort & Casino, added: “The competition brought together a very talented group of competitors that competed at their highest level.
“Maestral Resort & Casino is proud to have hosted the European Dealer Championship and made some great friends for Montenegro. Personally, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to host the competition for the third time after hosting in Serbia”
Besides the main competition, a number of side events tested the skill and finesse of dealers with the following winners:
– Best chipper: Tamas Adam – Switzerland – Swiss Casinos Pfäffikon
– Best mathematician: Dušan Jovanović – Serbia – Grand Casino Beograd
– Best pushing stacks: Antone Grauss – Monaco – Casino Monte Carlo
– Best cutting chips: Edgars Siņausks – Latvia – Olympic Voodoo Casino Riga
– Best card handler: Carmen de Lange – The Netherlands – Holland Casino Rotterdam