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Within a year of opening doors to create a shared player pool for its online players in Southern Europe, PokerStars has finally brought Portugal to its fold. In a formal announcement on May 23, PokerStars’ parent company The Stars Group announced that PokerStars players in Portugal have now joined the existing PokerStars shared player pool between France and Spain.
“Adding Portugal to France and Spain will expand the pool of players in Southern Europe. This is great news for players, who will benefit from larger player pools with bigger prizes, better promotions and a wider selection of games, which we hope will continue to deliver positive results in those markets.” Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group, said.
To mark this development PokerStars will host the Trio Series– a €5 million guaranteed prize-pool online poker series, with a €500,000 guaranteed Main Event in June.
Shared liquidity across player pool allows online players on PokerStars licensed offerings in France, Spain and Portugal to compete in real-money poker tables. PokerStars is the first online poker operator to introduce the concept and entered an agreement with regulators in Portugal France, Spain and Italy in July 2017 for this. The agreement allows operators active across more than one of the ring-fenced markets in individual countries to merge their player pools.
In January 2018, PokerStars launched shared poker liquidity in France and Spain and announced plans to add Portugal to the frame. Two tournament series hosted jointly for players of Spain and France – the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) held simultaneously in Spain and France and the France Espania Hold’ em Series (FRESH) were hugely successful.