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Meet The Festival Series Partner – Danilo De Berardinis, Alessandra Cravero & Ludos Academy

Meet The Festival Series Partner – Danilo De Berardinis, Alessandra Cravero & Ludos Academy

When organizing poker events, there is so much which comes along with just organizing a location. There is so much staff involved from both, The Festival Series, and its location, the casino. As well as external partners, such as Ludos Academy. They are the #1 training school for Croupiers in Europe, and provided events in for example Portomaso Casino, with their finest poker dealers. We were curious how Danilo De Berardinis, co-founder of Ludos Academy, is seeing things in the poker industry nowadays and we asked him many questions when it comes to poker dealers and their education to become one of the world’s best poker dealers!

Melvin TF: Hi Danilo, it is a pleasure of meeting you. Ludos Academy; The training ground for croupiers in every aspect of the casino world for ten years now. Would you mind sharing a bit about the history of the brand? How it came into its existence? 

Danilo: Hi Melvin. Thank you for having me. Ludos Academy is our natural answer to the market's needs. Alessandra Cravero and I (co-founders), work on the field of Live Poker Events for over 15 years; this gave us the possibility to travel, meet and know many casinos all around Europe and understand their needs regarding the organization, including the staff. We are simply connecting Casinos that trust us with Casino Dealers who trust us: everything under the influence of our strong know-how!

Melvin TF: Poker Dealers are at the frontlines of poker games. What defines in your opinion a good poker dealer? 

Danilo: Most people think that "being a poker dealer" means delivering 2 cards (or more, depending on the game ;) ) to each player...flop, turn, river, etc, etc, etc. Being a Poker Dealer means much more to us: it means offering the best poker experience ever to the players, our customers! This means that poker players must have fun as much as possible, but in respect of the gaming rules, the casino rules, and in general, the fairness. Of course, poker dealers must have strong technical skills, good knowledge of foreign languages, and above all, always good behavior (Not only at the poker tables)

We truly believe that ethics and good behaviour are the basis of being a good poker dealer, so we try to educate all poker dealers in this way. I believe that we have managed it over the years and we hope to offer quality in the future as well.

Melvin TF: You are also operating at Portomaso Casino as I understood. How is it work at Portomaso Casino? What do you think of the location and the things to do around?

Danilo: When it comes to organizing large Poker Festivals, Portomaso Casino has no need for any introduction. I mean, they are certainly one of the first casinos in Europe to understand that poker has exploded in Europe and made huge investments in this sector. Nowadays, all casinos understood the great opportunity coming from Live Poker, but Portomaso Casino realize it all 20 years ago! Working shoulder to shoulder with Portomaso and their great managers for the last 10 years is a "business trip" I guess to everyone. At Ludos Academy, we call Portomaso Casino ‘Our Second Home'.

  • Did you know that Portomaso Casino, which got established in 2008, has approximately 4000 square meters, including 4 poker areas and extensive dining areas, and bars. Many great poker series has been held at this casino. And we are certain that The Festival Series will pack their premise!

Melvin TF: From my own perspective, it must be a hard task to deal with. There are so many different sorts of poker players, some talk a lot. As a dealer, you need to be always professional as you present the casino after all. Isn't that hard at times? They need to always pay attention to the gameplay, while players are asking them questions all the time.

Danilo: Well, of course, it is not an easy job; I mean, all jobs where you are in direct contact with your customers, are not that easy to handle. In the Gaming Industry, it is even more complicated: Players are not normal customers... It is not like someone who goes to the pub and asks for a beer. Players have different needs, and different behaviors and must be "treated" accordingly. This is why we need to be always professional and neutral. In this process, we try to be as friendly as we can, and we do this until it does not create problems but when and if our "friendship" is misunderstood, we follow super strictly the rules. 

Ludos Academy is one big family

Melvin TF: The Festival Series is mainly known due to offering many games in a short time frame, especially mixed games. Is it hard to teach new staff for such events? What is key in teaching mixed games to poker dealers?

Danilo: Well, yes, it is. In Europe mixed games are developing just recently; Of course, those games are played for many years, but they became (and are becoming) very popular only lately (thanks to The Festival Series too). At Ludos Academy, we saw this coming for a while already, and we started organizing 8-Game Mix Advanced Poker Courses so that our staff is always at the top of the market.

Melvin TF: If I would like to sign up for Ludos Academy. What would I need to do and what kind of requirements you expect from a new person signing up? Is it for example important what languages you speak?

Danilo: This is something I strongly recommend to you! Now, seriously; our mission is to train professionals of the Live Casino Industry. We train them, and we immediately place them at work in one of our Casino’s Partners (we guarantee the job to all our students). You just need to send us an email at [email protected]. We will train you on everything, including foreign languages. The most important thing is that You Believe In Yourself (Which is our claim too).

Did you know that The Festival Series stop in Malta counts 50+ events on their schedule, of which half of it are Mixed Games? And that Cash Games are available for any kind of Mixed Games as well?  It is for a reason that many mixed games players attend our event as there are so much more to do than just two cards! Would you like to visit our upcoming Festival Series, held from 15-21 May in sunny Malta? Make sure to check the hotel offers page where we have 3 different hotel offers for accommodation in three different price ranges!

If you would like to get hold of one of the many packages to be won through online qualifiers? Make sure to check out the Qualify page