After the US banned online gambling in 2011 hundreds of professional online poker players moved abroad in order to continue their careers.
One example is Nathan Singer who left California to live in the mountain town of Boquete near the Costa Rican border. Singer, like many other players, was unwilling to give up a salary which can reach tens of thousands of dollars a month. He plays up to 16 tables at a time, nine hours a day and makes around $70,000 a year.
However, Singer says that his career is “draining. After playing a long day, you can get what’s called ‘decision fatigue’ — you just can’t face making any more choices Long term, poker has rewired my brain to constantly want more information.”
Singer attributes his success to “high emotional intelligence.” He says that he can “tell how other players are feeling and what they are likely to do, even online. I’m also able to stay calm and look at things very rationally, which is hugely important in poker, where results are not dependent on process — you can often do the right thing and lose, or the wrong thing and win.”