Spain - Opened its Online Poker Doors in 2012
Online poker has had a somewhat troubled beginning in Spain. Spaniards are no strangers when it comes to gambling and games of chance - the Spanish Lottery with its huge televised draws at Christmas and in the New Year is extremely popular in the country - but gambling has only been legal since 1977. Once it became clear that online gambling was on its way to becoming a huge business, the Spanish government started to make moves to regulate it as far back as 2002, however, it wasn't until 2012 that proper legislation was put in place to control online poker, and even then it turned out to be a pretty botched effort. The new rules and regulations were supposed to take effect from January 1st, but didn't actually come into force until June 1st - a sixth month delay.
There is not much history to support poker in Spain, as the game never really caught on there. Spaniards have their own favored card games, and poker does not really number among them. Naturally, the growth of the internet and online poker rooms changed all that. The Spanish found out all about the delights of Texas Hold'em poker and Omaha poker, and became as smitten with all the various poker variants as much as any place in the world.
If you're a Spain-based poker player, you're probably happy that poker and online gambling has now become a legitimate pastime in your country. Just for you, here is a list of the very best poker rooms that accept Spanish poker fans:
William Hill Poker
Full Flush Poker
Spain is one of the few countries who in the realms of competitive poker can claim something of a rarity: A non USA-born World Series of Poker main event champion in Carlos Mortensen, although this does come with a slight caveat as Mortensen had left Spain in his late twenties to pursue his dream - to become a world poker-playing champion. Mortensen arrived in the States in the late 1990s and won the 2001 WSOP main event in a thrilling final hand showdown with Dewey Tomko. Tomko was ahead pre-flop with pocket aces to Mortensen's K♣Q♣. The flop came out 3♣T♣J♦ meaning the hand was up for grabs, although Tomko remained favorite. With an open-ended straight draw Mortensen went all-in and couldn't believe it when Tomko flipped his aces. A three on the turn gave Tomko a definite edge but then a nine arrived on the river to complete Mortensen's straight draw and hand the Spaniard the title.
Spain has also provided some other great poker stars, including brother and sister team Juan and Maria Maceiras, both of whom have been sponsored by leading poker rooms, PokerStars and Everest Poker respectively.
If you're a Spain-based poker player and want to experience the kind of thrilling finish as outlined above in the 2001 WSOP, then sign up to one of the great poker rooms I've mentioned above.