Poker News Roundup: European Deal, NJSCOOP, Chaffetz

While the European Union might be falling apart with Brexit and the turbulence of the French election, the countries are still working together on another front: Poker. That's where we'll start our look at the poker headlines of the week.

Shared Online Poker Liquidity Deal Coming Up?

Italy's Daria Petralia, who has been at the helm of efforts to make shared online poker liquidity agreements come to life, has said that he believes it will be done in the middle of 2017. What are shared online poker liquidity agreements? Essentially, countries are getting together to allow their players to compete in poker tournaments where there is a shared prize pool. Currently, Italy, Portugal, France and Spain are those looking to get in on the action, with Austria and Germany also trying to get involved. The biggest obstacle is that these countries have differences in the way that they regulate online poker, which has been a really big hurdle for these tournaments. The other issue is that they all have to get on the same page in terms of rules for prize pools, taxes, legalities and a few other areas.

However, recent reports have suggested that the different European jurisdictions have moved into the final stages in terms of these negotiations and we could end up seeing the first kind of these tournaments by the fall. Italy has led the way in these negotiations and is expected to deliver a framework at an upcoming meeting in Belgium in May.

NJSCOOP Dates and Tournaments Unveiled

The New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker, also known as the NJSCOOP, will be held from May 6 to May 22. They have recently announced that the event, which will be run by PokerStars, will have a prize pool of $1.2 million. There will be a variety of games such as Texas Hold'em, Stud, Omaha and HORSE, as well as many others. There will be main events for low rollers and high rollers in Texas Hold'em, with the high-roller event boasting a prize pool of $200,000 and $30,000 for the low rollers. There will also be Sit and Go events for $4 and the winners from those will get a seat at the $50 main event.

Also, each Sunday of the tournament will have a special deal. The first is a tournament with a $300 buy-in, which features a prize pool of $85,000. Next is a $350 tournament with a prize pool of $65,000. There is a full list of games for this event on the PokerStars website.

Chaffetz Retirement Clears Online Poker Opponent

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz recently announced that he'll be retiring from congress next year. While that news is probably bad for Republicans, it's expected to be a boost for online gaming. Chaffetz, who is aligned with Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, had been one of the biggest anti-online casino backers going.

Chaffetz is expected to make his way back into public office at some point but one thing that is clear is that the anti-online casino and poker team is losing a serious ally.