US Poker Pros Thinking of Moving

Online Poker | estimated reading time
2011. April 21. |
After the U.S. Department of Justice banned U.S. players from the 4 major poker sites, many online pros who made their living out of poker are considering new alternatives.
Due to the Black Friday, many players lost their full-time job (which got them a six-figure income sometimes), and the access to their money entirely. Hobby players, weekend warriors are not the main concern here, as we could see from the sudden rise of the traffic at other US-friendly sites, they continue to play poker not being scared of losing their (possibly not too big) bankroll. However, professional poker players are in serious trouble.

moving

Academically qualified players may return to other careers, a few already had other jobs. Most of the players consider moving out of the country. The most reasonable choice seems to be Canada, or even more, Europe. Life is a bit more expensive there, but it also has its advantages, for example EU players don't have to pay taxes on their winnings earned in European online rooms, and it might also be important for a pro that the biggest live tournaments like the EPT are held in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal or the United Kingdom.

Though, it's not nearly as easy to just move abroad, and be able to play at PokerStars or Full Tilt. Since the current restrictions are not based upon location, but rather to which country the player registered his account, the process is a bit more complicated. If a player wants to change his registered country, he has to prove it by documents. For example, one would have to forward a utility bill, or a bank account from a European country. It's the only way a player can change his registered address.

This is of course only in theory. In practice, PokerStars have stated recently that they will not allow US players to change their countries due to FBI regulations.

The biggest losers of the this situation might have been the PokerStars Supernova Elite level players, who would achieve exceptional bonuses and extras, but considering the 35% traffic drop at PokerStars, and their inability to play, they won't possibly have as much opportunities as before friday. Rumor had it that PokerStars contacted their Supernova Elite players and provided help concerning moving out of the US. PokerStars was quick to reject such accusations.

Maybe it's not that easy to get around these new restrictions as it seemed at first...

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