This topic is near to my heart. I have lived with poker pros and been part of the poker community in Australia, Central America and Southeast Asia, so this is truly an insider’s guide. We have a separate page about moving overseas as a professional sports bettor.
Crypto has solved most of the complications and problems that made European and US poker pros need to move overseas in the old government currency days.
After black Friday hundreds of American grinders moved to places like Costa Rica and Thailand because poker sites would no longer accept their action from the US and because depositing and withdrawing funds from the states was too difficult, slow and expensive.
With crypto, these are all non-issues but there are still other good reasons to move overseas as a poker pro.
Pros to moving overseas as a poker pro
- Live where you want, and have a better lifestyle.
- Reduced living costs mean you can play lower stakes and still have greater purchasing power.
- Friendlier gambling and banking legal environment.
- Time zone changes to match the games you want to play.
Cons to moving overseas as a poker pro
- Time zone changes could take you out of sync with the games you want to play.
- Visa requirements for staying in your new location are a hassle.
- Isolation from family and old friends, it is a lonely game.
- People in your new country will be unimpressed or suspicious when you tell them what you do.
Poker stuff to get lined up before you go
- Large poker bankroll and a large life roll so you are not pressured to make quick profit.
- Banking plans to convert crypto to government currency and vice versa while overseas. For example, don’t have SMS security enabled on your internet banking if you are not in the country to receive the SMS.
- Electrical socket converters for your grind station and phone charger.
- There are communities of poker pros around the world who have been through everything you will go through. This is a young crowd with a big fun and lifestyle factor. To make connections start at the 2+2 Travel forum.
Legalities and realities of poker overseas
The laws and their implementation are constantly changing around the world as are the policies of poker sites. Sites that are restricted by local internet filters can usually be accessed with a virtual private network (VPN) or via mirrors, alternate URLs and proxies that the sites themselves can provide you with.
The other problem is if the poker sites use geoblocking to not accept customers from where you move to. In that case, use a VPN.
For full details see crypto gambling laws and jurisdictions.
Virtual private networks for poker overseas
Poker pros living overseas will arrive at the dilemma of whether or not they should get a VPN to make websites think they are logging in from a country of their choice, or to bypass local internet filters and encrypt their browsing from hackers and spies.
VPNs do this by routing your connection through a server in your chosen country and giving you a visible IP address from that country.
This is not necessary for playing on most crypto poker sites from most locations but is still a good idea for security and for other websites that are blocked by location.