Two European countries to merge player pools within weeks. Is Molly’s Game the biggest poker movie since Rounders? Find these stories and more in the Friday Hit and Run.

France and Spain Merge Could be “Within Weeks”

France and Spain could merge poker player pools within the next few weeks, per a statement from French and Spanish gaming regulators. Spanish regulators are optimistic about the outlook of poker in the country.

“The possibility of [sharing] liquidity with players from other jurisdictions … in games such as poker … increases the variety and innovation and therefore the consumer choices, reinforcing the regulated online gambling market and, with it, its social sustainability.”

Portugal and Italy, two countries also planning to merge with France and Spain, are still working on logistics but have plans.

Meanwhile, 888poker has launched an Italian poker room. In addition to offering their popular .com platform, 888poker is also available in the regulated Spanish market. 888poker left the French market in 2012.

Quick Hitters

More stories from around the world of poker.

– Molly’s Game officially hits theaters today. Barry Carter from PokerStrategy has seen the movie and calls it the “first great poker movie since Rounders.”

Molly’s Game has grossed nearly $7 million since December 25th in limited release. Rounders grossed nearly $23 million in 1998.

Watch the full trailer below:

– As the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure gets underway on January 6th, Part Time Poker’s David Huber lays out a recreational players guide to one of the biggest events of 2018.

Meanwhile, the WPT kicks things off with the World Poker European Championship Berlin as it resumes January 10th while in the US the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open heads to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood beginning on January 19th.

– In case you missed it, check out Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu go head to head during “Holidays with Hellmuth” two weeks ago (h/t f5poker):

– Thomas Dougher, a New Jersey poker player who won a preliminary event at the 2015 Borgata Poker Open is suspected of nine bank robberies in recent months.

– Grinderschool.com poker training video of the day is a continuation of the “Hold’em or Fold’em” series, which examines post flop situations in Pot Limit Hold’em. Episode 2 of 4 looks at important concepts in making certain post-flop decisions.