Poker Refugees Review - Jason Thompson, Costa Rica

Jason moved to the sunny beaches of Costa Rica in 2014. He was initially quite wary (to say the least) of relocating through the help of Poker Refugees versus on his own and did a significant amount of research into the process over the course of many months before deciding to make the move with us. 

Months after his relocation was complete, we are happy to have his feedback, review and testimonial of the Poker Refugees relocation process for the benefit of other players who may be in the same place of making this important life decision. 

We are proud to have a virtually 100% successful track record and overwhelmingly positive player feedback for our relocations, which is quickly approaching 500 since Black Friday.  

Player Interview: 

Poker Refugees Question: What games do you play?  
Jason Thompson: No Limit Hold’Em (Heads Up and 6 Max)

PR: You recently graduated from college and had many options for your next steps in life. What was the primary motivation in moving for online poker versus getting a “normal job”?  

JT: Simple, more freedom. Poker offers an opportunity to be compensated financially based on the skill level that one has with respect to the game that one plays.


Also, the professional poker player is not confined to a regional location. The professional poker player is limited to areas with a (preferably stable) Internet connection or “live” play.

P.S. – That’s a lot of places now.

A fellow "digital nomad" works from the beach in Thailand

PR: That's true; poker players have inadvertently become a part of the "digital nomad" revolution. It's a very exciting time to be able to be free and live and work abroad. How did you make the decision to move to Costa Rica versus other destinations for online poker? What were you looking for in a destination? 

JT: Costa Rica is relatively close to the United States, the weather is often sunny and 80 degrees, the country has a friendly culture, and Costa Rica is politically stable.

Costa Rica: No army + freedom + nice people + sunshine + close to 'Merica = good place to post up

PR: At what point during the relocation did you choose to hire Poker Refugees and why? 

JT: I hired Poker Refugees as I did not know what to expect when traveling to another country. This ranges from going through customs, setting up foreign bank accounts, regaining access to non U.S. Poker Sites, and finding a reliable Internet connection. 

True Story ^

PR: What were your concerns before the relocation and how did things change now that you’ve gone through the process? What would you tell yourself now, in hindsight? 

JT: Before the relocation I had all the concerns stated in the above question. Having gone through the process, I’m very glad that I hired Poker Refugees. I would not have been able to set up a foreign bank account without them.

PR: How did you find the experience with Poker Refugees overall regarding: getting set up in your new home of Tamarindo, with a bank account, e-wallets, shopping and concierge with Anke and of course - back on Pokerstars, Full Tilt, etc versus how it would have been trying to figure things out on your own for the first time?

JT: Kristin was able to walk me through all these procedures efficiently. She knew exactly what I needed to accomplish, and she took the burden off my shoulders.

Kristin advises a poker player and qualms his fears on arrival day in Costa Rica. Photo: Bloomberg

PR: What are your accommodations like in CR and do you like your temporary home? Does it exceed your expectations compared to other properties you saw before arrival and in person?   

JT: My accommodations were great, I have no complaints with the lodging.

We wouldn't have any problems living here, either! Jason's digs in Costa Rica

PR: What are your favorite activities in Tamarindo during your free time outside of online poker? What is your favorite thing about living in Costa Rica? 

JT: Surfing, reading on the beach, not being cold, and eating much healthier. The best part about Costa Rica is simply its easy-going, friendly culture.

Surfing out front in Tamarindo

PR: Do you regret your decision to come abroad for any reason or has it been a positive life experience? 

JT: Definitively a positive experience. I have no regrets.

PR: Has living abroad changed your perspective on “home” and if so, how?

JT: Living abroad has motivated me to live in many more locations all over the world. It’s such a cool experience to be apart of diverse cultures.

In a 2014 study, 79% of online Digital Nomads say they expect to continue this lifestyle for the rest of their lives

PR: What advice would you give to a poker player who’s thinking of moving out of the US? 

JT: If you can afford the trip while maintaining a bankroll, I’d highly recommend it. Make friends with the locals. Learn their culture, language. Partake in local activities. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

To sum up Jason's tips for poker players relocating: 

Reach Out:

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