PokerStars is set to host a massive festival in the Southern European poker market as a counter to its main competitor’s recent record-breaking series.
In January 2021, Winamax made waves in the region after awarding more than €20 million in total prize pool during the 29th installment of its Winamax Series.
Now, PokerStars is fighting back with its forthcoming “Carnaval Series” which features €15 million in guarantees.
PokerStars has been the leading online poker site in Southern Europe since 2018, when it became the first operator to take advantage of the intercontinental liquidity pact between France, Spain, and Portugal. Winamax is its biggest rival in the region, and the race for dominance has continued with both sites launching major festivals to surpass each other’s records.
The latest Winamax Series set a new record with over €20 million in total prize money. The Main Event also made history after becoming the largest single MTT in Southern Europe. PokerStars is aiming to shatter that by hosting two separate series that will cover France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
PokerStars Carnaval Series – Key Details
PokerStars will be hosting two festivals simultaneously which will kick off next week. The first Carnaval Series is for players in France, Spain, and Portugal, and offers €10 million in guarantees.
It will take place from February 21 to March 11 and will culminate in the Main Event, which comes with a €250 buy-in and €500,000 in guaranteed prize pool. All in all, the series features more than 270 events which players can enter for as low as €5. PokerStars will also be running satellites throughout the festival.
The other Carnaval Series is exclusive to players in Italy. PokerStars.it will host the festival from February 21 to March 7, with €5 million in guarantees up for grabs, and 105 events to choose from. The Main Event will also award €500,000 in guaranteed prize money.
At the moment, Italian players are not allowed to compete with those in France, Spain, and Portugal as the Italian regulators have yet to implement the liquidity sharing agreement it signed with the three countries back in 2017.
Will Carnaval Series Create A New Record?
The Carnaval Series features €15 million in combined guarantees, but it needs to go beyond that to successfully surpass Winamax’s record. PokerStars actually has the edge when it comes to attracting the numbers, as it is currently operating in all four markets, contrary to Winamax which is only available to players in France and Spain. That being said, it will come as no surprise if the Carnaval Series ends up smashing the record set by Winamax Series in January.