Last week, partypoker became the second online poker site to join the player pools of France and Spain, as it launched partypoker.eu. PokerStars was the first site to do so back in January.
“I am extremely enthusiastic about joining partypoker to actively support their efforts to bring back the ‘Poker First’ mentality, live and online,” said partypoker ambassador, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, on the partypoker blog. “Our goal is to provide players and fans with an experience they deserve worldwide. partypoker will be aiming to bring their ambition, expertise and successful model to the .eu market with some big announcements coming soon.”
The importance of this liquidity sharing stems from the decision the governments of the two countries made a number of years ago to ring fence their online gambling player pools. Along with Italy and Portugal, Spain and France restricted people in their countries to playing on gaming sites only with other people located within national borders. Players in the four nations were locked away from the rest of the world
Fortunately, the four countries agreed last year to begin sharing their player pools, though only with each other. As mentioned, France and Spain joined forces in January on PokerStars. Portugal made it a trio in May. Italy, though is still lagging behind and there has not really been any news recently on when it may get on board.
“Today’s partypoker.eu launch represents a milestone for both French and Spanish players, who can now enjoy greater variety, reduced rake and bigger and better games on the new .eu platform,” partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters added. “We look forward to bringing our Spanish and French players together for the first time on our new and improved site.”
French players will naturally see the benefit of an increased player base, but Spanish players will experience a couple improvements that the French won’t. First, the Spanish have been playing with an older version of the partypoker client software; the merger of player pools will get them in on the newest version. Second, partypoker had to drop multi-table tournaments from its Spanish site entirely a while back and now players in Spain can once again compete in MTT’s.
“More players means more tournaments, and partypoker is guaranteeing over €1,000,000 every week with buy-ins ranging from €0.55 to €250,” the blog celebrated. “The new weekly schedule also includes more than €600,000 in guarantees for ‘Progressive Knockout’ MTTs.”
The shared liquidity should probably have at least some effect on cash games, as well. More activity at the cash game tables can draw more players, which of course increases activity and so on and so forth. And now PokerStars is not the only shared liquidity game in town for the French and Spanish, so some PokerStars players may migrate over to check things out.