Shared liquidity in Europe as helped PokerStars giveaway more than $7 million during its latest online tournament series.
Following regulatory approval from the Portuguese authorities in May, PokerStars announced the launch of a new MTT offering known as the Trio Series. Taking place between June 3 and June 13, the festival featured 78 MTTs and was a chance for players in France, Spain and Portugal to compete for a €5 million ($5.8 million) prizepool.
Small Buy-Ins Create Large prizepool
With buy-ins starting at €1 ($1.16), the series was designed to attract casuals and pros, a dynamic that proved to be popular as the final figures showed. According to a press release published on June 21, the total number of unique entrants across the 78 events topped 40,816.
The success of the Trio Series is the next step in the evolution of European online poker. Under the agreement signed on July 6, 2017, Italy is also set to join France, Spain and Portugal as part of the new shared playerpool.
At this stage, PokerStars is going through the process of obtaining approval from the Italian regulatory before it can add the final piece to its new platform. Once this happens, PokerStars’ Director of Product Innovation Severin Rasset has promised more innovations and added value for players across all four countries.
Traffic Up as Players Connect
For the online poker industry as a whole, liquidity sharing is not only proving that it’s possible to link players across regulated markets, but it can be beneficial. In Q1 of 2018, Spain’s online poker industry saw revenue increase by 27 percent.
Outlined in a report by the DGOJ, online rake hit $24.5 million, even though liquidity sharing didn’t officially get underway until mid-January. Like Spain, France has also seen an upturn in traffic since the start of 2018.
In the first three months of the year, ARJEL reported that takings were up by eight percent to $81.8 million. These figures are in stark contrast to the sustained losses French online poker sites reported between 2011 and 2016.
Although a completely borderless dynamic in Europe would be the ideal, PokerStars’ recent innovations have shown that sharing in at least some way is positive. Indeed, if other operators can have similar levels of success, it could push regulators in other European countries to consider joining the mix before the close of the decade.