Partypoker Goes Live With France-Spain Shared Liquidity Platform
Partypoker has gone officially live today with its shared-liquidity online poker platform allowing players from France and Spain to compete against each other at the virtual tables. In an announcement released hours ago via the partypoker blog, players from both countries will enjoy expanded offerings across both its cash-game and tournament offerings. The short-term focus, though, will be on the partypoker.eu tourney offerings, particularly a brand new guarantee of over a million euros every week in tourney prizes.
“More players means more tournaments,” party’s blog announcement offers, “and partypoker is guaranteeing over €1,000,000 every week with buy-ins ranging from €0.55 to €250. The new weekly schedule also includes more than €600,000 in guarantees for ‘Progressive Knockout’ (PKO) MTTs.”
The blog post claims that the “launch of the partypoker.eu platform pools players from France and Spain together for the first time.” That’s true, but only in a technical sense. Prior to the firewalling of their countries’ online gambling done by Western European countries France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, players from all those countries regularly competed against each other on partypoker.com. It’s the launching of the new dot-eu platform that allows the “first time” claim, even if it’s not really, truly so.
Split hairs aside, players in both countries have been looking forward to the live date when the liquidity sharing would occur. As part of the merged player pools, party’s Spanish player base will also be merged into a software upgrade, bringing it on a par with the software used on party’s French site.
The shared-liquidity deal merging party’s French and Spanish players was a long time in the planning, and it became a done deal in April, when France’s online-gambling regulator ARJEL authorized several sites owned by GCV, the parent company of bwinparty and partypoker, to go ahead with the player-pooling plans.
Besides partypoker.fr and bwin.fr, players on two other GVC-owned, France-facing sites will also be able to participate in the shared network. Those two sites are B.E.S SAS (a bwin subsidiary) and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU). PMU is primarily a horse-racing site but also has a branded skin and access to GVC’s former France-only poker network, which also includes the partypoker and bwin brands.
Partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters offered this take: “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. We look forward to bringing our Spanish and French players together for the first time on our new and improved site.”
Appearing with the guest-celeb quote in party’s announcements was one of party’s highest-profile sponsored pro, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. According to ElkY, “I am extremely enthusiastic about joining partypoker to actively support their efforts to bring back the ‘Poker First’ mentality, live and online. 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 remainder of the party blog announcement detailed the expanded tourney offerings which will now be available to the site’s French and Spanish players.