San Francisco, CA
In May of this year, less than a month after the events of Black Friday, I considered moving to Vancouver with my girlfriend. She wanted to play online poker to pay the bills and I desperately wanted an account at Pinnacle sports book. We never pulled the trigger and after the WSOP, we ended up in San Francisco instead. Alas, every few weeks, we entertain the thought of moving abroad especially as our country plunges deeper and deeper into insanity.
Shaniac took the necessary steps to become an online poker exile and he left the comfort of sun-drenched Southern California and begrudgingly relocated in Vancouver, Canada. After a stint north of the border, he shipped a WCOOP event, then he headed south, waaaaaay south, and eventually settled into a routine in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
Read about Shaniac's experiences in a three-parter...
Eastbound and Down Part 1: Hello/Goodbye, CanadaAlso read this post from Marty, a 20-something online grinder currently in exile in Mexico offering his perspective on things... Self-Assessment.
Eastbound and Down Part 2: No Place Like Home
Eastbound and Down Part 3: The Second Coming
And lastly, check out what Matt Stout had to say about his sojourn to Costa Rica... Was Costa Rica the Right Move?
The trio of Shaniac, Stout, and Marty independently took matters into their own hands to pursue their passion and careers. It's obvious that each incurred a hidden cost, and I'm not talking about a "gringo tax" either, but rather an emotional/psychological hurdle that each were faced with. I encourage you to read their stories, especially if you're considering leaving the good ole US of A to join a community of online poker playing ex-pats.
In early 2010, after I completed Lost Vegas, a friend asked me what subject I was going to write about next. The War on Drugs was a topic that rattled around my brain since I was a little kid and watched then First Lady Nancy Reagan appear on Diff'rent Strokes to spread her anti-drug propaganda campaign -- "Just say No."
My creative mind always wandered south and I became fascinated with the effects of the drug war on the other side of the border. I wrote a thin outline of a book about the Mexican Drug War, but knew I had to re-locate to Mexico to write about it. I'm an all or nothing kind of person, which spills over into my writing. If I was going to write about the drug war, I wanted to see the horrors with my own eyes. Friends from El Paso warned me that I was muy loco.
"They kill journalists in Juarez," warned one friend, "And you don't want to know what they do to gringos."
I never followed through on my book proposal because I'm too much of a pussy and didn't want to get my head cut off by Los Zetas. Besides, I can't set foot for one minute in Central or South America without being accused of working with the CIA, so it's better off that I focus northward -- Canada and massive marijuana farms -- for material on the War on Drugs instead of the atrocities of the cocaine wars in chaotic/lawless towns all along the US/Mexican border.
Anyway, sorry for the tangent. There's certainly a great book out there that should be written about American online poker exiles. I hope Shaniac is the guy who writes it.