PokerStars Portugal Joins Forces with Its Peers in France and Spain

May 25th, 2018 | by Kaycee James

PokerStars Portugal has joined Europe’s new shared liquidity platform, meaning its players can now compete with those in France and Spain.

PokerStars Portugal.

Poker players in Portugal can now mix it up with their peers in Spain and France thanks to PokerStars’ new platform. (Image: PokerStars)

The announcement was made on May 23 and is the first of its kind to happen since regulators in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy agreed to a liquidity pact on June 6, 2017.

PokerStars Strikes First

Since the initially agreement was made, PokerStars has been the most proactive in putting together the necessary technical provisions to facilitate cross-border games. On December 14, 2017, French regulator ARJEL signed off on the operator’s new license, a move that was later copied and approved by Spain’s Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego.

With PokerStars’ Franco-Spanish site eventually going live on January 15, attention then turned to Portugal. With PokerStars’ Director of Poker Innovation and Operations Severin Rasset telling Poker Industry Pro a Q2 launch was likely, it seems things have run according to plan.

To mark the addition of another country to the shared playerpool, COO of the Stars Group Guy Templer promised that the new system would benefit both players and Portuguese regulators.

“This dramatically strengthens our offering and demonstrates our commitment to the Portuguese market. We look forward to working with the Portuguese regulator to further improve the poker product,” Templer said in an official press release.

Added Value for All Concerned

One of the first innovations French, Spanish and Portuguese players will see is a new tournament series. Much like the FRESH festival that marked the Franco-Spanish marriage, the Trio Series will see €5 million ($5.8 million) in guaranteed prize money spread across 78 events.

Set to run from June 3 to June 13, the online series will feature buy-ins starting from as little as €1 ($1.15) as well as freerolls and satellites for all events, including the $585,585 Main Event. If the new three-way platform continues the success of its predecessor, the Trio Series should see its guarantee surpassed.

Regardless of how the new MTT festival pans out, an increase in poker activity across all three countries is likely. What’s more, with PokerStars being the first operator to offer joint games for players in France, Spain and Portugal, it will have the operational advantage over its peers as shared liquidity in Europe evolves.

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