Poker Refugees Blog
Player Interview: Katie Stone - Rosarito, Mexico
Katie Stone is a name to be reckoned with these days, both on and off the felt. Whether it's poker, chess, basketball or yoga, this chica does it all.
|Look out for this Stars avatar...|
The active 'Grindette' (read about them here on Bluff Mag) may possibly be having more fun than just about anyone south of the border. She has a sweet ocean view pad, poker-playing and ultra-nice boyfriend by the name of Joey Cappuccio, a plethora of cute dogs & cats hanging around and of course, a close-knit community of friends and other grinders in the neighborhood.
What more could a person need (besides perhaps her own reality TV show)!? Let's find out!
|Katie & the Grindettes repping the female factor in Rosarito|
Poker Name/types of games you play: Katie75013 on most sites. I play mtts, mostly $55's and under as well as the Sunday majors and bigger buyins during WCOOP, FTOPS etc.
How many years have you played online poker and how did you start?
I dabbled a bit in 2005/06 on Party but was mostly playing live for the first few years, then got on Stars mid-2009 and went full time online January 2010.
Do you feel like the games have changed a lot since Black Friday and how so?
I feel like in general people are better and it’s more difficult to be profitable while auto-piloting. I have had to reduce the number of tables I play now and I also have to study way more than I have ever had to in the past.
You lived in Las Vegas for some time after Black Friday. What made you decide to choose moving to Rosarito from Vegas?
I feel really lucky that Rosarito is so close and easily accessible from major poker cities LA and Vegas. It was a no-brainer for me when I finally decided to move. Being in Rosarito allows me to get back into the US quickly if necessary and also makes it easy to go play live tournaments every now and again.
You also drove your car down from Vegas; do most players have a car down there?
I think it’s 50/50. A lot of poker players move around and are in one place for 6 months and then go to another city or country, so many don’t have cars simply because of the logistical challenges. But for me it’s great and works well with my living situation.
Mexico has an inconsistent rep as being dangerous. How do you feel living there as a female poker player?
I feel safer walking around my residential complex at night in Rosarito than I did living in a nice, gated community in Vegas.
Of course, there are unsafe parts in Mexico, but just like in the US, you avoid unsafe areas and stay in the safe ones! Same thing applies here. I have definitely found that in general people are nicer here than in the US, which also probably influences my feeling of being safe.
You guys have a really tight community in Rosa; what’s a normal day for local players like?
What do you do after poker and where do you hang out?
Typically play 4-5 days per week, play for 8 hours or so and then either make dinner at home or go down the street to get some amazing tacos or fish or some really amazing pizza from Ollie’s Pizza! We usually see other poker players at any restaurant we go to as well, so that’s always fun.
|Dinner Party - Mexico Poker Frat Style|
What are some of the highlights of living the life of a poker expatriate abroad?
I love where I live and the culture and the people. I never would have experienced this otherwise, and so this is the silver lining of Black Friday for me. I am living in the most relaxing and beautiful place I have ever lived which also happens to be the cheapest place I have ever lived.
Has your perspective on "home" changed since this experience or are you planning to move back to the US/Vegas anytime soon?
Honestly, I don’t feel like I have a “home” anymore, and that may be sad to some, but for me it’s ok. I have a leased villa in Rosarito and a storage unit with all my belongings in Vegas and that's it. Maybe my true home is Houston where my mom is? Or the Jersey Shore where the rest of my family is and is where I grew up? I don’t know. But I am comfortable with this transient lifestyle and try to focus on the positives.
I'm sure many players can relate to that feeling; but that's part of the fun too!
What is the cost of living like in Rosa? You have a sick house with an ocean view that's amazing!
Cost of living is low. My villa costs a lot for Rosarito but with roommates, which is how most poker players live, it’s very affordable. My monthly expenses including food, rent, utilities living here in Rosarito are < $1k.
Wow that is cheap. How is your Internet connection?
Internet where I live is great. It’s why I chose to live here. I definitely have a back-up internet connection and some poker players have 2 back-up connections, but in general I have found it to be good and the management at my complex has always been helpful and understanding when issues do arise.
Any words of wisdom or advice to players who are thinking of moving abroad?
My advice would be to have an open mind. People in general who have only lived inside the US and/or have not traveled extensively can be a little impatient with the differences they experience. But just give it a little time and try to adjust to the way of life and see the positives in new cultures. I can definitely say that I enjoy Rosarito life way more than United States life.
|Safe to say even the puppies like living on Mexico's beaches...|
Thanks for sharing your story, Katie!
Best of luck to you and look forward to crossing paths again soon!