There's definitely something reassuring, for both the experienced player and the novice, in knowing that you're putting your fate in good hands. A quick look at the organizational chart of the new Club Pierre Charron is enough to understand that from now on you'll feel right at home when playing there. Figures from former gaming circles hailed by players for their warm welcome and their assurance of a beautiful game, professionals from the world of casinos or, quite simply, seasoned aficionados: by combining all these diverse and recognized strengths, Club Pierre Charron set out to become the leader among the Parisian clubs. Jean-Louis Arniaud, Lead Director of CPC, summarizes the project as follows: "Club Pierre Charron's emergence on the Parisian gaming scene really marks the beginning of the era of gaming clubs, with a lot of healthy competition. At CPC, our priority is above all the well-being of the player, for them to enjoy themselves and want to come back. To do this, we've assembled a large team that combines all the necessary skills."
Bruno Fitoussi, Poker Consultant for Club Pierre Charron and a legendary figure in French poker, echoes this sentiment: "Everything's been done to ensure that the playing conditions are the best possible, with optimal table service. And in terms of the quality of the gaming equipment – chairs, carpets, chips – every choice has been carefully considered". As for the Director of Gaming Pascal Rolin, he also went through the school of the Parisian gaming circles and points to "the systematic use of RFID technology in the chips, both for banking games and poker, which allows the absolute integrity of the game and much greater fluidity, meaning more hands are played per hour."
THE SACRED UNION
The entire management team and all of the employees of Club Pierre Charron agree: the culture of the gaming circles, in terms of know-how and customer service, was unique and exceptional. Mathieu Biagué (Cash Desk Director), one of the figures at the former Aviation Club de France, and his brother Julien Biagué (Gaming Manager) perfectly embody the stringency and elegance necessary for the proper management of a gaming room. Julien Biagué, as well as Serge Graziani (Head of Poker), also well known to the players of the now defunct ACF, are in no doubt: "Knowing the players, identifying them and welcoming them each time they come is the best way to create a good atmosphere at the table. We've been known for decades for our impartiality in making decisions when it comes to enforcing the rules, and everyone likes to have a healthy environment in which to put money on the line."
Jean-Louis Arniaud is a former casino director who has worked at the Barrière establishments in Menton, Nice and La Baule. As the Lead Director of CPC for its launch, he takes a considered and laudatory view of the team recruited from among the best in Europe: "We brought a financial culture from the casino, with its managerial stringency, to promote all the knowledge gained over the years by all these Parisian poker and table game professionals. I myself was astonished to see how much Paris is the stronghold, in France but also in Europe, in terms of know-how. The quality of what's being prepared in this club is simply amazing. The team of around 150 gaming employees is unique."
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION SERVING TRADITION
We've already seen the breadth of inventiveness of the Pierre Charron team in action with the organization, in the winter of 2020, of the WPTDS Paris, "relocated" to the Palais des Congrès: "Club Pierre Charron is dedicated to hosting the most prestigious poker franchises. We've signed on for several events with the World Poker Tour but also with the World Series of Poker," says Ziad Farhoud, Marketing & Technology Director, who has been well known in the poker world since his years at Clichy-Montmartre and the organization of tournaments at the Es Saadi casino in Marrakesh with Pascal Rolin. "Poker is one of our priorities in terms of image. We also have projects in development to promote the game more widely."
Julien Biagué adds: "We consider all our players to be unique, and we don't differentiate between those who prefer banking games or poker. Our Ultimate tables therefore naturally connect these two worlds often said to be separate." Mathieu and Julien Biagué also point out that "all legally authorized banking games are available at CPC, and no range is overlooked." As for poker, Bruno Fitoussi, a consultant with three decades of experience promoting the game in Paris, Las Vegas and throughout Europe, "hopes the regulations will evolve, with the possibility of accommodating more variants, not just 4-card Omaha and Texas Hold'em."
On the security side, Ziad Farhoud is smiling: he's just received confirmation of the validation of a new technology for "disinfecting all playing surfaces in the club for one year". Add to that glass dividers between poker players (eight players max) and players at the gaming tables (five seats), UV cleaning of chips and cards, and a machine at the entrance that checks body temperature, and you have the most secure gaming environment. "Even if the time has come for an opening mainly focused on the Parisian public, due to the current travel restrictions, CPC has everything it takes to become a hub for big international players, prestigious tournaments and beautiful private tables," emphasize the two directors of the games. "We offer exceptional quality for both small tables and large games, because we know that the game is an ecosystem. Our dream is to be able to create new generations of players, to attract a mixed and international public, and to finally put Paris back at the center of the game, as the European capital of our century-old know-how."
All photographs are ©Yann Stofer