Best places to live as a poker player: Thailand
Thailand and online poker players seem to be made for each other. Mix up your typical online poker player –smart, nerdy, lazy, rich and not so good with the ladies- with a tropical paradise like Thailand –beautiful, dirt cheap, great weather and easy girls who like foreigners- and you can imagine what happens. Guys that never got out of their rooms at home are moving to Thailand where they can live a proper ‘baller lifestyle’.
Of course this is all a bit of a generalization and exaggeration, but the above doesn’t seem that far from the truth in the South Asian country. And we are not talking about just a few players that moved to Thailand or are planning to move over there. On the world’s biggest poker forum 2+2, there are currently over 16,000 posts covering the Thailand topic. They can’t be all wrong, right?
In this article we will review the country of Thailand for poker players and look at the things we think are important for grinders.
Fun in Thailand? Is the Pope Catholic? Thailand is one big amusement park for grown ups. White sandy beaches, great food, beautiful surroundings; you name it and Thailand has got it. Top this with easy accessible sex for literally every Western foreigner and you can imagine the popularity of Thailand for travelers.
Thailand offers a great diversity. You have people that come only to party, you have people that come for relaxation and people that come for both. Go to the capital Bangkok if you are looking for crazyness and go to the islands in the North for great beaches, diving and beautiful scenery.
Living in Thailand can be great. You can rent a maid for cheap to clean your house and even cook for you or you can have the best massages under a palm tree for next to nothing. Livin’ large doesn’t get any more easy than in Thailand..
Nightlife & the Girls
Of course, nightlife & girls are part of the ‘Fun Factor’ but for many young poker players the partying is so important that we think this needs its own paragraph. Nightlife in Thailand is not only great for 50 year olds that are looking for 12 year old ladyboys. With so many young travelers from all over the world and a vast amount of parties everyday of the week in the cities and on the islands, Thailand is ‘party heaven’. The most famous parties are the Full Moon Parties on the island of Koh Pahngan. Take a look at this video to get an impression:
As for the girls, Thailand is the promised land for single guys. Girls are easy approachable and there is no lack of gorgeous women. Be careful if you don’t want to pay, the prostitutes can be quite tricky over there :). Poker player ‘Ron’ describes the situation in Thailand this way: ‘Leave your girlfriend at home. Bringing a girl to Thailand is like bringing sand to the beach.’
Poker is officially illegal in Thailand. This means no casino’s and no poker the official way, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. With the influx of young internet pro’s the last few years and therefore the big poker community, you’ll always find a homegame to crash. Maybe that’s not what you are looking for because these games or mostly for fun and in general not that +EV. Luckily you can also find some great underground games with wealthy business men for high stakes. These are not easy to find though and you need good contacts to get in such games. Pretty nice though if you do get in and if you have the bankroll for it.
Internet connections are not the most stable in the world, but most poker players who are grinding on a regular basis in Thailand have found easy solutions for this. With something like a second connection in case the first connection is unstable, you shouldn’t have many problems with the internet.
Many of the advantages of living in Thailand are based on the fact that it’s all so damn cheap. You can also have great parties and hour long massages in London, but you’ll be broke pretty quick if you are not a millionaire. Various poker players report that you can live a good life in Thailand for as little as $1000,- per month. There are even people who say they can live in Thailand just from their rakeback. Admitted, a grand a month is on the low side. If you want to party with your fellow grinders, eat Western food now and then and go to the more upmarket places to party you will need a few K per month. For that amount though, you can live like the posh MTV kids live in Laguna Beach.
Not everything is great in Thailand. The country is reasonably safe if you use your head, but unfortunately that’s not always easy after 15 beer and 10 cocktails. And if things go wrong, shit can really hit the fan. There are numerous stories of young travelers that got caught with a bit of weed and got to serve long time in jail. Use your head, don’t do drugs and you should be fine though.
Another drawback of living the life in Thailand could be a loss of focus with so many distractions. It’s hard to focus on your poker game if you are surrounded by young people who want to party every night. For some people this lifestyle can be superficial and non-satisfactory. Book a long holiday to Thailand first if you want to find out how you are coping with it.
Are you a medium or high stakes grinder with an adventurous attitude and no girlfriend or strong family ties? What are you waiting for?! Live in paradise for a while with like-minded people. Rent a baller villa with swimming pool for the price of a dorm room, party hard and live the life you desire. Did we ask already what you are waiting for?