The playing field for Portuguese players on PokerStars got significantly bigger this month.
PokerStars is set to host a series of tournaments with millions of Euros in guaranteed prize pools to celebrate the new union.
More games, better rewards
A bigger player pool means more games, bigger prizes, and better rewards for PokerStars players in Portugal, Spain, and France.
The infusion of thousands of Portuguese players should help solidify PokerStars Europe’s position in third on PokerScout’s worldwide traffic report behind only Asian network IDN Poker and the global PokerStars site.
“We have worked hard to become the first operator to bring the benefits of shared liquidity to Portugal. Our players will see a huge increase in the variety and scale of our tournaments and promotions and will enjoy more excitement, more competition and more fun!” said Guy Templer, COO of The Stars Group.
“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 offering for Portuguese players, and additionally hope that Italy will soon progress so that their players can also enjoy the significantly better experience that shared liquidity brings.”
€5 million Trio Series for PokerStars.eu players
PokerStars is kicking off the newly-unified Portuguese/Spanish/French-facing site with a new Trio Series that will offer €5 million in guarantees spread across 78 events including a €250 Main Event with a €500,000-GTD prize pool.
The Trio Series will run from June 3-13 and buy-ins start at just €1. There will also be a number of freerolls to Trio events for new depositors in Portugal, Spain, and France.
The Trio Series comes hot on the heels of France and Spain’s very own version of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), which smashed its guarantee of €10 million to hit over €11.7 million awarded to players.
PokerStars Europe also hosted the French Espania Hold’em Series (FRESH), which attracted over 30,000 unique entries and paid out over €6.1 million.
The inclusion of Portuguese players on PokerStars Europe should help boost those numbers even further and create some eye-popping prize pools.
Will Italy be next to join PokerStars Europe?
With Portugal finally onboard with PokerStars Europe, there remains one big outsider: Italy.
The Italian poker market is one of the biggest in Europe but it’s taken a bit of a hit thanks to restrictive legislation in the country. The country passed a digital tax in 2017, which obliges companies to play a three percent levy on some internet transactions.
The Italian PokerStars site ranked slightly below PokerStars.pt according to PokerScout’s traffic reports.
Italy signed a pact with France, Italy, and Portugal last summer with the intention of allowing cross-border play.
Unfortunately, there has been speculation that Italy is second-guessing the commitment over fears of money laundering.
Right now it’s the Italian poker players who are suffering as they have to deal with much smaller player pools and prizes than the rest of Europe.