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We interviewed kangaMia on TwoPlusTwo about poker in Hungary, and the lifestyle in Budapest - a popular spot for online grinders given the nightlife, fast internet speeds and low cost of living.
I moved here in Jan 2013, although I had lived here before. That was also the reason I moved back – the fact that I had friends here from my previous stay. I'm originally from the Czech Republic so it's close to home.
Hungary is just as developed as any other European country, but living here is cheaper than e.g. Germany or France. So you can save money easily. I can easily afford regular trips to grind out in Thailand.
PokerRefugees.com have helped over 500 poker players to move abroad.
Again, I would say I feel as safe here as anywhere else in Europe. I have not been a witness to any serious crime in about six years I have lived here nor has anyone I know.
The only shady activity that you can come into contact with is scammers offering you weed/other drugs when they just want to take your money and run away with it. As long as you are semi-sober and able to think a bit you will know you are talking to one of them.
Timelapse video of Budapest
You can also play on PokerStars.fr from Hungary.
Best time of day to grind is about 6pm till 3am CET, with a bit less traffic after midnight in some games.
I am mostly using my European bank account with a VISA debit card but Skrill (Moneybookers) works too.
As far as I know there are plenty of other options too.
This is something that has been talked about a lot in last year or so, as there are new laws that where either passed recently or that are expected to be passed soon.
The situation is quite fuzzy, but I am pretty sure online poker is not illegal.
It is in a grey area but the new laws should create a (somewhat) regulated environment. Gambling sites will have to pay a certain annual license fee to be able to operate in the Hungarian market.
Universum Poker Club, Budapest, find them on Facebook
I have not played in an actual casino here. Because of the local legislation, there are two types of establishments you can play poker at: casinos and poker clubs. I have played in a poker club that hosted tournaments every day.
The buy ins would range from 10 to 100 EUR. At that club I saw a cash game with .50/1 EUR blinds.
However, I have heard of some bigger cash games (official ones, ie. not underground) that run in the city – either in a casino or a poker club.
In the center of Budapest, you will have to spend 300-400 EUR a month on a single bedroom apartment.
It is possible to get a cheaper place (possibly even under 250 EUR), but then you will be compromising on the location and the comfort of the apartment. Utilities will cost you roughly 100 EUR per month.
There are a lot of food options in the downtown/wider downtown area. If you want to eat out a lot, for a meal be prepared to spend 3-6 EUR in regular restaurants/eateries or around 10 eur in the nicer (but not the expensive) ones. Sadly, decent sushi/sashimi is several times more expensive.
If you live in Budapest, you will probably want to enjoy the night life, which has gotten quite big. A beer in a bar will cost you around €2, a shot €2-€4. A sparkling wine bottle to pour on your friends’ heads around €10.
Prices for common things aren't as cheap as Thailand or South America, but much cheaper than most of the places I've been in europe. Our rent is 800EURO/month.
Food in a supermarket is about 75% what it is in the US. Restaurants are as cheap or expensive as you want. I usually spend about 5-7$ for a lunch and maybe twice or 3x that for dinners.
As far as nightlife, there's a ton to choose from. Where we live is in an area with tons of bars. I really like the beer gardens (indoor/outdoor) bars like Ellato Kert, Psst Shhh and Szimpla.
I also really like Godor, which is large-ish park with a reflecting pool and an auditorium that has a bar/club built into it, it's definitely a cool spot for starting or ending the night.
There's also Morrisons #2 (there are 4 different Morrisons, I hate #1 - tons of brits/tourists, kinda cramped), which is usually pretty lively and a good place to meet/hook-up with Hungarian girls.
For clubbing/bottle service there is party island, which is about 10 minutes by tram north of the downtown. You can get a pass to all the clubs on the island (there's like 4) for about 10-15$/night.
- Post by 'thegr8str8'
Former Miss Hungary Krisztina Polgár, who dated Daniel Negreanu
Internet connection here is very good and relatively cheap. I am using a shared link with roughly 40Mbps bandwidth, which is plenty for live streaming and downloading big amounts of data.
Connection is also very reliable. It rarely slows down or stops working and when it does, I have a mobile data plan, so I can get re-connected within a minute.
Budapest is the capital and also (by far) the largest city in Hungary. If you are considering living in Hungary, you are probably considering living in Budapest as you have never even heard of any other place in Hungary.
The truth is, there are many nice cities/places in Hungary that you might want to visit for a weekend, but they would probably get boring very soon if you lived there.
Not only because they are relatively small and offer limited options overall, but also because they are probably much less cosmopolitan than Budapest and you will not be able to meet that many other expats.
One great spot to visit for a weekend is lake Balaton. It offers an interesting alternative to Budapest night live if you feel like getting out of the city for a weekend.
The beaches are not exactly comparable to nice beaches by the sea, but after a night long drinking and partying, the beach there will do just fine.
There are several poker players sharing apartments.
I do not currently know of a poker house, but do remember people talking about getting a baller house with a pool in the hills overlooking Budapest. So if you want to live a baller lifestyle, you can do it here too.
Via the Budapest poker house thread - View Post
Hungary is a part of the European union, so residents of the EU can travel in and out freely. For the rest of the world, information about visas should be pretty easy to find.
I have a bank account in another European country and am using that one. I have never tried to open a bank account in Hungary but I do not imagine it should be very complicated to do so.
There are a few local players and I would estimate 10 to 20 expat poker players living in Budapest.
I would say the community is not as active or as tight as in Chiang Mai or Bangkok, but there is still some stuff going on here.
I have actually branched out to other communities through various Facebook groups, so if you are interested in hanging out with people and doing stuff with them, and don’t necessarily want to talk poker all the time, there are plenty of options in Budapest.
You certainly do not have to speak Hungarian to live comfortably in Budapest. With most local people you come into contact with you will be able to communicate in English.
Hungarian girls are not very different from girls in the rest of Europe. The girls you want to hang out with will usually speak English. There are plenty of places where you can meet them and chat them up.
Hungarian Girls Compilation Video
I would not say Hungarian girls are very easy in general (hey, this is not South East Asia), but it is of course very individual (depending both on you and her).
A good thing about Budapest is that whenever you feel like exploring other countries, there are a lot of foreign girls living (or visiting) here, so you can travel all around the world without leaving the city.
And as they are living abroad, these girls generally do speak English.
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