Poker players in America have been up the creek since the FBI’s crackdown on April 15, 2011, finding it difficult to find a reliable internet poker home. There has been talk of American players moving overseas to be able to play again, but until recently, much of that has been half hearted at best. With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to play in the summer, many players had strong reasons to stay put. The WSOP has since finished, however, and some players are feeling the pressure to relocate.
Immediately after the 2011 WSOP finished, popular high stakes pro Phil ‘OMGClayAiken’ Galfond announced his move to Canada. The pro has been living there for more than a month now, while grinding the nosebleed tables on PokerStars. Galfond joins Cole South and Olivier ‘livb112’ Busquet as a few of the big name players who have moved north to take advantage of Canada’s more accessible online poker laws.
Most recently, Daniel Negreanu departed from Las Vegas to Toronto on August 21, and does not plan to return until October 27, at the earliest. After this return, Negreanu plans to return again to Toronto to grind his favorite PokerStars tables. As one of the most popular and amiable poker players in the world, Negreanu’s move, along with his unreserved recommendation of relocation, will influence others to make the leap.
Negreanu offered a strong recommendation to poker players remaining in America, saying, “For those of you who can, I really suggest moving out of the United States to a country that will allow you the freedom to play poker in your underwear. Canada is a great option, but you could go pretty much anywhere in the world that suits your fancy. It’s time to think about moving to a country that will allow you to do so. If things ever change in the U.S. you can always move back, but at this point, just like being relocated in a ‘normal’ job, you’ve been relocated to any ‘office’ you want outside of the United States.”
As a parting salvo of advice to American players, Negreanu commented, “Poker has changed dramatically over the last forty years, and in order to survive, you have to adapt to the newer forms of poker, as well as adapt to new locations. These days, that just means stay away from the United States because poker is on life support.”