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2018 DEALER OF THE YEAR

Caesars croupier Slawomir Workun was crowned the UK Dealer of the Year after triumphing in a gripping day-long test of dexterity, mental agility and hospitality.

Slawomir, 34, saw off competition from 23 other finalists to claim the cash prize of £2,000, sponsored by gaming technology company, Novomatic. The victory was celebrated to great acclaim as it was a ‘home win’ for competition hosts The Sportsman Casino, where he has worked as a dealer for the last 10 years.

He will now represent the UK at the European Dealer Championships (EDC) in Montenegro in May, alongside Shaun Kelly, from Les Ambassadeurs, who finished as first runner-up and won a cash prize of £1,000. Will Gosnold, of the Hippodrome, finished as second runner-up and claimed a £500 cash prize.

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 12 companies, with competitors coming from all over the country.

Points were awarded to contestants for their technical skills, control of the game and hospitality, but the 20 judges prioritised excellent customer service, with the most points available in the hospitality category.

Polish-born Slawomir, from Chessington, Surrey, said:

“I honestly did not expect to win it. I’m not the best at anything, but I’ve got a complete game. I’ve got good customer service, I’m good with maths, I’m good with chips and card dealing. It’s easy to find people who are the best at an individual skill, but it’s rare to find somebody with the complete game”.

Other winners of the skills challenges were:

Card handler – Shradda Fernandes, Aspers

Chipping – Chris Stanworth, The Opera House

Chip cutting – Chris Stanworth, The Opera House

Stack pushing – Ivan Vrso, Caesars Entertainment & Francesco Di Marco, Crown London Aspinalls

Tracy Damestani, chief executive of The National Casino Forum, said: “I was delighted by the standard of the competition, which was extremely high. It was wonderful to see so many operators taking part and there was a great spirit and camaraderie throughout the day.

“The 2018 Final was exceptionally competitive. The best croupiers command the casino floor, creating atmosphere and a sense of occasion, and Slawomir is a worthy winner”.