2018 Premier Dealer Championship has another year of success

Prairie Meadows Holds Second Annual Premier Dealer Championship

October 4 – Altoona, IA. On September 25, 41 of Prairie Meadows’ table games dealers battled it out for the top spot in the Premier Dealer Championship. The following week on October 2, an awards ceremony was held at AJ’s Steakhouse. Winners took home trophies and more than $1,500 in prize money provided by InterBlock, Scientific Games, TCSJOHNHUXLEY, and Gaming Partners International (GPI).

The Premier Dealer Championship celebrates the craft, artistry, and passion for the art of dealing. The tournament was introduced by Eddie Llambias, vice president of casino operations at Prairie Meadows, and mirrors similar competitions held throughout Europe. This year’s tournament was organized by Jace Foley, table games assistant shift manager at Prairie Meadows.

Llambias hopes to expand the tournament into a statewide competition. Employees excitedly anticipate this event each year and look forward to the friendly competition. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, participants practiced in the table games training room at Prairie Meadows. Last year’s winner, Zack Grillot, helped competitors prepare. Grillot was recently promoted to a supervisor position, making him not eligible to compete this year.

“We are so excited to have held our second annual Premier Dealer Championship. I am thrilled to work alongside such talented, highly skilled, and impassioned dealers who are serious about the art of dealing, as well as delivering superb customer interactions,” said Llambias.

This year’s head judges included Laurie Boggs, James Nelson, and Steve Petesch. Competitors were judged on their roulette, craps, and blackjack skills such as speed, presentation, gaming knowledge, and guest service. Newly added to the competition this year was the Rising Star Division, created specifically for dealers with two years’ experience or less. Winners were selected for each category, with one overall champion being crowned at the awards ceremony. Samuel Albert was named the overall winner, Tina Eickelberg took second place, and Connor McReynolds was named the rising star winner. Eickelberg also took first in the blackjack category. Other first place winners included Kira McNeeley in the craps category and Bryan Eenhuis in the roulette category.

“I feel a strong sense of pride with my team for putting in the time, effort, and planning and for the many amazing participants that took part in this annual competition to celebrate the worldwide profession of being a casino croupier,” said Llambias.

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About Prairie Meadows

Prairie Meadows began operations as a nonprofit organization in 1989 with the goal of promoting economic development, jobs, agriculture, and tourism in the state of Iowa. Through taxes, grants, and charitable donations, Prairie Meadows has given more than $1.73 billion to the state of Iowa. Prairie Meadows offers nearly 1,800 slot machines, table games, live and simulcast racing, hotel accommodations, entertainment, and more.

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