Poker Refugees Player Interview –
Poker Name/types of
games you play: Heads up Pot Limit
How many years have
you played online poker? 7.5 years as my
primary source of income 9 total years
Which sites do you
play on the most? Stars and Full Tilt
- Before Black Friday Absolute - Before the UIGEA Paradise
You first moved to
Costa Rica through Poker Refugees in 2011 where you lived in a beachfront condo
with 2 roommates we matched you with from elsewhere around the United States (Adam Ross who we also interviewed for the Poker Refugees blog & Gino Levrini). How was your experience living abroad for the first time?
It was a much
easier transition than I imagined [with Poker Refugees]. It helped a lot that I spoke some Spanish, but really having 30 other poker players in Jaco was the reason it was so easy to adjust.
traveled quite a bit; what are some countries where you've played online
poker? Costa Rica,
Guatemala, Malta, Mexico, S. Korea
How was it moving a
second time (or third or fourth time) once your poker “foundation” was set back in 2011?
I think the hardest
part of the process would have been the initial unlocking of your
account. After that moving around was easy. Costa Rica, Malta, and
Mexico were all really cool places to live because of the poker communities
there. It really makes a big difference having other grinders to talk to
/ hang out with.
What are some of
the highlights of living the life of a poker expatriate abroad?
Meeting my current
girlfriend in Costa Rica.
|Dan & his girlfriend travel in Panama|
Meeting tons of
other poker players - I can't emphasize this enough. I was never very
involved in the poker community while playing in the states and I only knew a
few other poker players from my area, but moving abroad I have met so many
other really good players and made a lot of really good friends.
|Looks like Dan is enjoying life these days!|
In Costa Rica I
went ziplining, went to several volcanoes / national parks / waterfalls, and
went whitewater rafting. I also learned to surf in Costa Rica.
|Exploring Costa Rica|
In Guatemala I
visited some Mayan ruins and hiked up an active volcano.
|Hiking Mayan ruins in Guatemala's rainforests|
perspective on “home” changed or are you still waiting for poker to become
legalized in the US to move back?
I wouldn't say my
perspective on "home" has changed. I'd still like to return to
the US once poker is legalized and regulated, but I would definitely say my
perspective on living abroad has changed. It wasn't nearly as scary or
difficult as I originally thought it would be.
|Watching a baseball game in SKorea!|
You met a
girlfriend in Costa Rica; do you guys still have a long distance relationship
and what advice would you give to players with significant others at
We are actually
both in Korea now, but I was on my own in Malta for three months while I was
waiting for her to jump through all sorts of hoops in order to get an English
teaching position in Korea. Skype made it easy for me to see her and talk
to her every day, but obviously you still miss the physical intimacy.
What is a normal
day-in-the-life like for you?
Since I play HU
cash I have a lot of freedom with my schedule. I tend to play a lot of
short sessions and take a lot of breaks. In my free time I like to play
sports, hang out with my friends and girlfriend, read, and play video
games. It's been pretty easy to make friends and find activities to keep
me busy everywhere I've been.
Where to next? I'm currently
in Korea [and staying for the time being]. My girlfriend has a job teaching English here. This has
definitely taken me the farthest out of my comfort zone, since I don't speak
any Korean, but it's actually pretty easy to get by. Unfortunately, there
isn't much of a poker community here.
Poker Refugees wishes you the best Dan; good luck in both online poker and life with your significant other!
Labels: costa rica poker, dan smallidge, full tilt poker, move to play online poker, online poker, online poker in mexico, plo, poker refugees, poker relocation, pokerstars, pot limit omaha