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PokerStars to Party in Southern Europe with €15 Million Carnaval Series
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February 15, 2021 Tournaments & Cash Games PokerStars is looking to reassert its dominance in the Southern European poker market a month after Winamax made waves with a record-setting series. PokerStars is aiming to reassert its dominance in the Southern European poker market with a €15 million Carnaval series. (Image: Ecotrans) Liquidity sharing pacts between France, Spain, and Portugal have made Southern Europe a lucrative market in recent years. PokerStars has been the dominant force since connecting the three regions in 2018. However, Winamax applied some pressure to its local rival when it hosted a €20 million MTT series in January. In response, PokerStars has hit back with a multi-million-Euro event of its own. Two Series to Cover Southern Europe The Southern European Carnaval Series will feature a €10 million guarantee and more than 270 MTTs. It’s open to players in France, Spain, and Portugal and will run from February 21 to March 11. The highlight of the series will be a €500,000 guaranteed main event that costs €250 to enter. Alongside it will be side events starting at €5 and satellites from €0.50. PokerStars will also host a separate Carnaval Series for Italians. Italy signed the Southern European liquidity sharing agreement in 2017. However, regulators have yet to put implement the agreement. As such, Italians are unable to compete with players France, Spain, and Portugal. However, PokerStars isn’t leaving them out in the cold. A scaled down version of the Southern European Carnaval Series will run on PokerStars.it from February 21 to March 7. The Italian series will have a €5 million guarantee, 105 MTTs and, a €500,000 main event. PokerStars Asserting Its Dominance PokerStars is guaranteeing €15 million overall but it will need to break that if it wants to beat the record Winamax set in January. Even if it does manage to pay out more than €20 million, it’s not a fair comparison. Winamax only shares players between France and Spain. In contrast, PokerStars is active in all four markets and shares players between three of them. Therefore, it has the advantage of being accessible to more players. However, a prizepool of at least €15 million in a relatively new poker market like Southern Europe is a positive, nonetheless. Liquidity sharing has allowed the once isolated and struggling regions to flourish, a point noted by regulators in 2019. “One year after the materialization of the first poker ring accepting players from more than one of the said jurisdictions, the French, Portuguese and Spanish regulatory authorities convey their general satisfaction on the evolution of this new online shared ecosystem,” reads a 2019 joint regulatory statement. PokerStars has made full use of the new dynamics and, in the coming weeks, it will look to use them again to get ahead of Winamax. Written by Daniel Smyth Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America. Share this story This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Related Posts Other Articles Of Interest Did you know about our poker forum? Discuss all the latest poker news in the CardsChat forum
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PokerStars Michigan Strikes Hard and Fast with $1 Million COOP Festival
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February 10, 2021 Tournaments & Cash Games PokerStars Michigan is laying down a marker in the Wolverine State with the first in what’s likely to be a string of big-money festivals. PokerStars Michigan is wasting no time in launching a $1 million guaranteed festival known as MICOOP. (Image: MelissaMN/Adobe Stock) Just 12 days after launching in Michigan, PokerStars is setting the bar high with one of its famous COOP events. The inaugural Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) will get begin on Feb. 20 and feature a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. PokerStars Goes Hard in Michigan PokerStars is the only online poker site currently live in Michigan. However, with 888 waiting in the wings and GGPoker potentially making its US debut this year, Stars’ tournament team isn’t wasting any time. MICOOP will carry on a tradition that’s seen PokerStars obtain an early lead in Pennsylvania and make up for lost time in New Jersey. The strength of COOP events is their consistency. PokerStars has used the same model across a variety of markets for more than a decade. As such, the team knows what events to offer and how to schedule them. There will be 60 MTTs between Feb. 20 and March 8 with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $500. There will be a mixture of freezeouts, re-entry, and progressive KO tournaments across all variants. The MICOOP main event will cost $300 and feature a $125,000 guarantee. It will be flanked by a $50 mini main event with a $35,000 guarantee. Satellites starting at $2 are already underway. MICOOP Will Set the Bar in Michigan PokerStars doesn’t have to worry about attracting players in Michigan just yet. It’s the lone operator and the early signs are positive. After less than two weeks of activity, the site already has a seven day average of 450 players, according to PokerScout. For context, that’s more players than it attracts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Naturally, numbers could dip when the monopoly is broken. However, Kevin Lip, CEO of PokerStars’ partner FOX Bet, is well aware of this. “As the sole online and mobile poker product in Michigan, our commitment and investment in PokerStars is vital as we aim to bring all aspects of a great customer experience,” Lip said in a press release on Tuesday. Setting the bar higher than others can reach will be important, particularly if GGPoker joins the party. GGPoker Could Shake Things Up 2020’s standout performer may have run into some issues over in the UK recently, but it continues to impress. Now, industry talk suggests that GGPoker will be licensed in Pennsylvania by the end of the week. That would be the company’s first move into the US market. From there, it may only be a matter of time before it targets Michigan and other states. That could be a problem for PokerStars. GGPoker is currently the third-largest poker site in the world, based on its seven-day averages. In terms of average players online simultaneously, its 100,000+ total is double that of PokerStars. The conditions in Michigan will be different to what they are internationally. In addition to being a ring-fenced market, GGPoker hasn’t been around as long as PokerStars. As such, it doesn’t have the same reputation as its rival. Because American players have been exposed to PokerStars in one way or another since the early noughties, that could play into its favor. What’s clear though is that no one is taking any chances. MICOOP will be great value for local players, but it could be even more valuable for PokerStars in the long run. Written by Daniel Smyth Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America. Share this story This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Related Posts Other Articles Of Interest Did you know about our poker forum? Discuss all the latest poker news in the CardsChat forum
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