Best Places to Play Online Poker from: Part 2, Developing Countries Edition

Welcome back! In our last installment, you learned about our top picks for the best countries in the developed world to play online poker from. Our top 5 were: Australia, Vancouver, Canada, UK & Malta (with Hong Kong/Macau as a runner up to this list). 

Today, hold onto your hoodies as we delve into the jungles, the tropics and the 3rd world with our list of: 

The Best Developing Countries to Play Online Poker from: 

Medellín: City of Spring - Photo: Kristin Wilson

5) Colombia: We’re going to start off with this trendy online poker destination (Medellín) because Colombia overall is pretty cool. While you could live in the capital of Bogotá or tourism hotspot Cartagena, most poker players are posting up in Medellín. Some of the reasons why are: 
Medellín Metro - Photo: Kristin Wilson
Line up of shots in El Poblado District of Medellín - Photo: Kristin Wilson

4) Panama: A good place to go if you already have a bank account in another country. Why play online poker from Panama

Msaucepoker doing his thing - Photo: Kristin Wilson
Miami Living in Panama - Photo: Kristin W.
Avenida Balboa/Cinta Costera Panama - Photo: Kristin Wilson

Check out this interview with a real players who moved to Panama for online poker: 

#3: ¡México!

Mexican border - Photo: Kristin Wilson

3) Mexico: You can really live almost anywhere in Mexico (sans any drug war capitals perhaps), but most poker players tend to congregate in Rosarito or Playa del Carmen, with Cabo a distant 3rd place. Rosarito/Tijuana makes sense because it’s right over the border from California, but there’s not too much more to offer. It’s a great place to go if you want to eat, sleep, play poker and stare at the ocean from behind your monitor. 

Mexico, real life Corona commercial - Photo: Kristin Wilson
On the other hand, everyone loves Playa del Carmen - it’s hard not to. Here are the pros and cons to playing online poker in Mexico in general & Playa specifically: 


Check out these interviews with real players who moved to Mexico for online poker: 

Getting close to the #1 spot!

#2 on our list is Thailand: 

Feed an elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand

2) Thailand: This is a major exception to the rule because… Online poker isn’t actually legal in Thailand (and e-wallets are restricted), but while the sites themselves are still accessible, it’s a great place to be for an online poker player, for the time being
Tropical Thailand - Photo: Kristin Wilson
Kristin works from the W Bangkok

Drumroll please....

Our winner is: Costa Rica!

Green Costa Rica - Photo: Kristin Wilson

1) Costa Rica: Oh the irony… While AP/UB and others were being ejected from Costa Rica in the Black Friday fallout (with the help of the OIJ and DOJ), poker players themselves were setting their sights on the land of pura vida. And for good reasons. So good in fact, that we can’t think of many reasons why NOT to move here. Here are some of the best things about Costa Rica as an online poker destination
Surf's up! Poker Refugees founder, Kristin, catches a wave at Pavones

Check out these interviews with real players who moved to Costa Rica for online poker: 

Costa Rica Luxury Home - Photo: Kristin Wilson

What do you think of our list? Did we miss anything? 

Are any of these your favorite/least favorite destinations? 

Do you disagree with us? 

Sound off in the comments below! 

Do you want to move to one of these destinations? Email or visit

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