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US Poker Pros Thriving In Paradise Abroad

Since the US shut down its online poker market in April, 2011, more and more  players have chosen to leave their country in search of the American Dream abroad.

With online poker sites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt no longer operating in the US, other smaller sites such as the Netherlands-based Lock Poker and the Curaçao-based Cake Poker have moved to fill the vacuum left in the US online poker arena.

However, these sites are unable to offer the same level of choice and popularity as a site such as PokerStars, who boasts over 200,000 players at any time compared to just over a couple of thousand each for Cake Poker or Lock Poker located on the Merge Gaming Network. In addition, US players keeping large amounts of money on these sites is a risky business as no one knows where the DOJ may target next.

Consequently, many US pros have been setting-up shop in various other countries around the world tolerant to online poker, and using such services as ‘Poker Refugees‘ to assist with their relocation.

Poker Refugees is run by former Florida pro surfer Kristin Wilson, who charges around $1,000 a head for organising all the groundwork to facilitate a smooth relocation to such countries as Canada, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Two pros who have used the service to move are Matthew “All In At 420″ Stout with $2,988,045 in online earnings, and $1,032,379 playing live, and Joey “Joey Capp” Cappuccio’s with $2,216,081 online winnings and $51,777 from live play.

Now sharing an appartment in San Jose, Costa Rica, Stout commented:

“Without Wilson, we wouldn’t have been online in time for the [PokerStars] World Championship. I would have just been here banging my head against a wall.”

Without any changes to the current policy toward online poker in the States, the American exodus is only set to just keep on growing. Amongst the dozens of pros already playing from outside of the US are the following players:

Eugene ‘oogee/fishosaurusREX’ Yanayt
Jon ‘FatalError’ Aguiar
Justin ‘ZeeJustin’ Bonomo
Olivier Busquet
Daniel Cates
Ricky Fohrenbach
Phil Galfond
Steve ‘gboro780′ Gross
Brian ‘$tinger 88′ Hastings
Jonathan ‘Iftarii’ Jaffe
McLean ‘PureProfitFo’ Karr
Adam ‘Roothlus’ Levy
Christina Lindley
Richard ‘nutsinho’ Lyndaker
Kevin ‘ImaLuckSac’ MacPhee
Tom ‘kingsofcards’ Marchese
Daniel Negreanu
William ‘Altrum Altus’ Reynolds
David ‘SexSeen’ Sands (aka. Doc Sands)
Vanessa Selbst
Dani ‘supernova9′ Stern
Ben ‘Sauce123′ Sulsky
Kevin ‘WizardofAhhs’ Thurman
Brian Townsend
Jon ‘PearlJammer’ Turner
Isaac Haxton


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