One of the best things about playing online poker for a living is the freedom and flexibility it allows.
Tired of the long, cold winters where you live? Go hop on a plane to someplace warm and sunny.
Sick of paying $20+ for a decent meal? Head over to one of the many countries where your dollar/euro will go much, much further.
As long as you can find a decent internet connection, the world is yours. Being an online poker player is the ultimate digital nomad lifestyle.
Lower Cost of Living
Bottle of beer in Vietnam: 50 cents. A simple but clean room in Thailand: About $8 per night. Being able to live wherever you want: Priceless. Poker gives you that freedom.
Plus, unlike most other jobs, your income won't be scaled down to your location. If you're making enough to pay the bills in places like the US, Western Europe, Australia, etc., you can live like a king in many parts of the world.
Getting Back on PokerStars.com
Governments regulate most industries, and online poker is no exception. Unfortunately, the players' interests are usually not the main priority when it comes to regulation.
Players in countries like France, Spain, and Italy end up with segregated player pools, and U.S. players can no longer play on PokerStars at all.
Moving abroad allows players to regain access to PokerStars, along with a number of other sites that are blocked in their home countries.
These additional sites can pay dividends quickly, especially with game selection becoming increasingly important.
New Rooms = New Bonuses to Clear
With the ability to play on more sites, players also have more opportunity to capitalize on the deposit bonuses being offered. Taking advantage of deposit bonuses is a great way to speed up the growth of your bankroll while surviving variance.
You can compare all of the major sites' bonuses, see how how long they'll take to clear at your stakes, and view a lot of other useful information.
Poker Communities Abroad
For all its benefits, poker can be an isolating activity.
Anyone who plays for a living has undoubtedly gone through awkward conversations with friends and family members who just don't understand it, or assume poker players are all degenerate gamblers.
Humans are social animals; we need to interact with others who can relate and empathize with our experiences.
Thus, it's not really surprising to find that communities of grinders exist all over the globe. Entire groups of people, whose faces don't automatically glaze over when you start to talk about your 'perceived range'!
There's always players looking for an extra person to split rent with in their poker house. Even if joining a grind-house isn't for you, you can still enjoy going out and socializing with people who get the whole poker thing.
Live in a Tropical Paradise
It's also no surprise that many of the biggest poker communities have been formed in places like Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, and Costa Rica – places with beautiful weather and amazing beaches.
Who wouldn't want to wake up to a view of the ocean every morning? You could go swimming, surfing, or deep sea diving, among other activities. Or just sit back in your hammock, sip out of your coconut, and watch the waves roll by.
Depending on your country of origin, living and working abroad may come with tax benefits, although you should always consult a licensed professional to get an opinion on your individual situation.
However, it is generally known that US citizens, for example, can earn tax-free income up to $100,800 while living abroad as of 2015 (the amount is inflation-adjusted and changes every year).
According to the IRS Website, one of the multiple ways to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is to live outside the US for at least 330 days during any consecutive 12-month period. Remember you are also still required to declare your worldwide income with the IRS, even if it's exempt from taxation.
On the contrary, players from outside the US (especially many European poker pros) can legally change their registered tax domicile to a more poker-friendly country in most cases. Poker Refugees can refer you to tax professionals for international poker players in countries worldwide.
100% Legal Poker
The legal and regulatory environment of internet gambling has undergone some major changes in the past decade, from UIGEA to Black Friday.
The results of those changes, by and large, have been negative for online poker pros.
Luckily, most countries around the world don't see poker as a crime, nor do they see the need to regulate and segregate player pools into oblivion.
You can simply log on to PokerStars, Full Tilt, or whichever site you prefer playing on, and get your grind on. No worrying about governments blocking sites or confiscating your funds.
For help relocating for online poker quickly and easily in a new country, contact Poker Refugees today.
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