Only days after achieving licensed status with the Italian regulator Amministrazione Autonome dej Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) the giant online poker playing website Poker Stars.com has launched its Italian offering at Poker Stars.it.

Fabio Angeli Bufalini, PokerStars Italian manager invited his fellow Italians to try the new website out for themselves, joining the thousands of Internet poker players around the world who use the site on a daily basis, and commented: "PokerStars is proud to be entering a flourishing market with this new product. This is a ground breaking time for the online poker industry, and it's very exciting that the Italian market is pioneering this move.

"This is the start of a global template which could potentially be adopted in other markets internationally in the next few years."

Italian players will have access to the full range of services and tournaments offered by Poker Stars, said Dario Minieri, an internationally respected land and online Italian pro and member of Team PokerStars. "Players on PokerStars.it will have the opportunity to win their entry into famous international poker events - like the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas," he said.

"These competitions require players to have the right mix of skill, training, concentration and luck."

Luca Pagano, Max Pescatori, Jeff Lisandro, Dario Alioto and Marco Traniello are all successful Italian players who form a powerful nucleus of role models for their countrymen interested in playing poker for real money.

PokerStars market research estimates that during this first year of online poker being legalised in the country, up to 500 000 new player accounts will be opened throughout the Italian online poker industry, creating an estimated Euro 400 million market.

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