THE Pokerstars shared prize pool in France and Spain has received a boost with the company announcing Portugal would now be joining it.
The poker giant, owned by the Stars Group, becomes the first online operator to offer shared pools between the three countries.
This means players on the French, Portuguese and Spanish licensed Pokerstars sites can play against each other for real money.
An agreement between regulators in Portugal, France, Spain and Italy to form an online poker compact, paved the way for the Pokerstars.pt domain to join the shared pool.
“Adding Portugal to France and Spain will expand the pool of players in Southern Europe,” Chief Executive Officer of the Stars Group Rafi Ashkenazi said.
“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.”
While Italy is yet to join the shared pool agreement it is expected to in the early stages of 2019, with positive signs shown in the early stages of France and Spain’s involvement.
Pokerstars will hold a €5 million guaranteed prize pool online poker series, called the Trio Series, with a €500,000 guaranteed Main Event to celebrate the opening of shared liquidity in Portugal.
This tournament is expected to begin in June 2018 but there is yet to be an official date announced.
The Trio Series comes after France and Spain’s edition of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) in April.
The FRESH (France Espania Hold’em Series) was the first tournament between French and Spanish players with more than 30,000 taking part. The tournament, which kicked off on January 28, had a total prize pool of more than €6 million.