Moving to Play Poker in the United Kingdom – FAQ
|Why the UK||Poker||Internet||Costs||Where to Live||Visas / Banking||Lifestyle|
We interviewed expat blogger and grinder ‘blackgerbil1’ about life in the UK and his advice for players thinking of relocating to the UK for online poker.
– Can you tell us a little about yourself?
PokerRefugees.com have helped over 500 poker players to move abroad.
Everyone’s solid now so I focus more on blogging, but I’ve still got my finger on the pulse when it comes to poker. I grinded iPoker 100-200nl for years, and was pretty active in the iPoker regs thread on TwoPlusTwo.
As you probably know gambling is 100% legal and untaxed here, which includes online poker, live casino winnings, everything.
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Then of course there’s the high quality of life, safety, fast internet, all the things you’d expect. A lot of cultural diversity and tons of live poker options, EPT / WPT / UKIPT / GUKPT events.
You can get a Schengen visa and do a road trip across all countries in Europe, a mini poker tour across Amsterdam, Budapest etc. Girls are hotter in those countries too.
Yeah apart from the chicks (Liv Boeree one exception) British food also gets a bad rep.
Liv Boeree, poker pro from Kent, England. That British accent!
However there are tons of international restaurants everywhere. Chinese and Indian food on every streetcorner, or Just-Eat.co.uk is a good food delivery site.
Weather is a bit gloomy, but just hop on the Eurostar and you’re in Paris in 2 hours for $50 or so. Cheap airlines like Easyjet or Ryanair can get you to beaches on the South of France or Costa Del Sol for about the same.
Or a ‘booze cruise’ from Dover to Calais via car ferry is a popular activity, to sample European beers.
About the same as the US, there’s CCTV on every street corner, fast emergency services, etc.
Healthcare is free in the UK, and expats are entitled to that too. There are reciprocal healthcare agreements with other countries. For appointments with a GP or dentist you just need to register for an NHS number.
A typical Grosvenor Casino, this one in Blackpool, one venue for the GUKPT
Yeah all poker rooms are open to the UK, one issue with PokerStars is they’ll put you on the dot.uk client rather than the dot.com one for 7% less VIP rewards or so.
Most people I know tend to take advantage of playing on the dot.fr site though, that’s an option for EU residents, you don’t have to be in France. Games are a lot looser on the French tables.
Loads yeah, Dusk Til Dawn in Nottingham is a famous one, PartyPoker run a lot of promos for UK players to qualify for live tournaments there.
Dusk Til Dawn Poker & Casino, Nottingham
‘The International’ cardroom is a popular one in London (formerly the Gutshot club), or you can find Neil Channing playing high stakes cash games at the Grosvenor Victoria casino.
Basically you’re never that far from a casino or cardroom. The UK Gambling Act of 2005 permitted the opening of ‘supercasinos’, the first of which was Aspers Casino Westfield, in London. Lots of pub (means ‘bar’) tournaments too.
You can get e.g. Virgin fibre optic broadband, with speeds of 50 – 152 Mb for £5 – £17.50 per month. 1 GBP is about 1.50 USD or 1.40 EUR. So pretty cheap and fast.
For mobile internet 4G speeds are a little under 15 MBps. Or there’s ‘the Cloud’, which is a free wifi hotspot provider across the country – http://www.thecloud.net/.
Aspers Casino, Westfield, Stratford City London
Minimum wage in the UK is £6.50/hour, average yearly salary after tax ~£26,000.
Some say London is the only ‘place to be’ really (it can be a bit boring outside the capital) and London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so you’ll want a higher income than that.
You can do it fairly cheaply if you hang out at student bars, don’t eat out much, share a house with 3 other people, etc.
Somewhere up North you could be thrifty and get by on £1,000 a month, e.g. Manchester has a lot cheaper rentals than London.
British Poker Awards winning player Vicky Coren, interviewed at the UKIPT
In London you’re looking at £400+ renting an individual studio room in a house with other people, or £1000+ for a 1 bedroom flat of your own.
For good deals, sublets and finding flatmates everyone uses Gumtree.com.
This TwoplusTwo thread had quite a few votes for the South Coast (don’t expect very nice beaches though). Places like Brighton and Bournemouth.
Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham are other options. Or get out of England altogether and go to Dublin (Ireland) or Edinburgh (Scotland).
Gumtree listing, one bed flat in London for £1,400 ($2,160)
You start with standard visitor visas that are valid for 1,2,5 or 10 years stay, up to 6 months each trip – https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/overview
After 10 years you can apply to settle in the UK – https://www.gov.uk/long-residence/overview
Fairly straightforward, I’d go with Barclays (easiest for expats), HSBC or Lloyds, and stay away from Nationwide.
Pretty big of course, inspired by UK pros like Sam Trickett, Liv Boeree, etc. Then there was the Late Night Poker TV series, that got a lot of people into the game, with Vicky Coren and the Hendon Mob crew. I got into the game at my university poker society.
This the longest TwoPlusTwo thread about poker players moving to the UK, I’m in there posting as ‘PeoplesElbow’ – http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/92/travel/moving-uk-1260961/
Comedians David Walliams & Matt Lucas parody British characters on hit TV show ‘Little Britain’
Yeah I think you call them ‘birds’ right? Apart from pubs and clubs there some online options like meetup.com, plentyoffish, match.com, and Tinder is fairly big in the UK.
British girls go crazy on holiday – ‘Brits abroad’ and ‘binge drinking’ are in the news a lot – so you could go where they go, Ibiza, Mayorca, Faliraki, places like that.
The situation is a bit dire though, which might explain why about 1 in 10 Brits don’t live in Britain, instead moving abroad. Maybe bring a girl with you if you’re coming here. One saving grace is there are tons of Eastern European chicks living here.
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