Mexico wasn’t for me, West Coast poker is next

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By Matthew Gregoire

My online transition hasn’t gone quite as planned. In case you missed my article last issue, I moved from South Florida to Mexico to play online poker.

I played online poker for a living for a couple of years until Black Friday and, honestly, I can’t fathom how I accomplished financial freedom for such a long period. This lifestyle for me is extremely draining.

Some of you may feel like playing online poker for a living should be a dream come true, but for me I feel sitting in front of the computer for hours on end playing tourneys isn’t worth it anymore. Huge fields and cheap buy-ins were what appealed to me originally, but doing this day-in and day-out for many hours to make minimal money isn’t how I quite envisioned it. Of course, if I was able to hit a big score it would be a little comforting for a short period of time, but for me the bottom line is I don’t want to stare at a computer all day and be isolated.

There have been some positives to this whole endeavor. I’m in Mexico and overall I have been impressed with the lifestyle. All the Mexican restaurants offer food made from scratch and overall they are delicious and cheap.

Most of the other small businesses here treat you like a king and I feel this is something that has been lost in the States where everything has become corporate and fails to have that personal touch. I spoke with someone who is teaching my girlfriend Spanish and he told me the average daily wage in this part of Mexico is $7 a day.

Take a second to let that soak in. Can you imagine trying to live off of that type of compensation?

At this point, I think I’m going to make my way back to the United States to play live.

I probably will stay on the West Coast to play in California, but my trip wasn’t without its merits. I wanted to set up my online account so I could play SCOOP and other big tournament series on PokerStars that come every couple of months.

When I am in the mood to play in the future, it will not be difficult to cross the border into Tijuana to play for a day, not to mention just have a good time.

It’s hard for me to complain about taking a chance on coming to Mexico and not having it work out quite as planned because there’s always a silver lining.

It gave me a new appreciation for live poker and it also gave me an opportunity to move away from South Florida. I wasn’t a big fan of living in the area and the West Coast offers more games I am looking to play.

— Matthew Gregoire is a pro poker player. You can email him at editor@anteupmagazine.com.