How Do You Pick a Poker House and Roommates?

March 3, 2020

In a previous post, I explained how I traveled over 75 countries during my time as a poker nomad. I mentioned how I used to live in poker houses with many of my poker buddies.

Today, I’ll give you a bit more insight into how you pick a house and roomies that match your lifestyle. The latter should not be underestimated, as you don’t want to get tilted by the people you live with.

Back to the poker houses. There is a lot of variance in the accommodations you end up living in. Your flatmates, their mood (if they run bad, you get to hear them complain), the location, the facilities, and most importantly: the Internet!

We definitely had our fair share of house tilts when the Internet dropped out. 

The range of houses I’ve lived in, go from a small 1 bedroom apartment in Chiang Mai, to a big villa in a gated community with a private chef. I base my choices depending on the budget, friends, time zone and travel opportunities.

What is a Poker house?

poker house costa rica
Poker house Costa Rica

A poker house is a shared living arrangement between (online) poker players. This can range from a 2 bedroom apartment, with two grinders, all the way to multi-bedroom villa’s in exotic countries.

I shared the house in the above picture, in Costa Rica, with three other poker players. At the time we played Texas Hold’em, No-limit heads up, on mid and high stakes.

Since we all played the same game, we worked on strategy together. This way we all improved quicker than we could on our own. And if one of us got tilted from one of our battles, we’d all chill in the pool and discuss the hand histories. After we left, another group of poker nomads moved into the house.

There are several advantages to start living with other poker players:

  • Reduce the cost of living
  • Travel
  • Team spirit
  • Improve poker skills quicker
  • Similar interest
  • Emotional support
  • Networking

Where do I find poker players who want to travel?

Co-living with other poker players is a great experience. I’m fortunate enough to have lived with a few world-class players, who improved my game significantly during and after we lived together.

Some of the guys I lived with I consider my best friends. But not everyone is as lucky as I am in finding their roommates. So how do you find yours?

  1. Firstly, ask around in your own network. It’s always easier to get along with people you already know, or who you have friends in common with.
  2. There are several Skype groups focussed on travel and shared living arrangements for poker nomads. Are you in one of them already? Just shoot a message in there, who knows what can happen.
  3. The forums, duh! Have you looked at 2+2 or other poker forums? I’ve met one of my closest friends through this thread on 2+2 and we ended up living together in Medellín.

None of the options above work for you? I can help you out. Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll ask around in my network.

Deciding where to locate your Poker house

medellin poker house
Medellín – A hub for online poker players

In theory, you can live anywhere you want! But as a poker pro, this is not always the truth.

One of the most important things you need is a stable internet connection. The amount of money I lost due to connection issues go into 6 figures. Especially if you’re a cash gamer like I was, your internet connection is your lifeline.

In addition, you probably want a desk, a good chair, and a monitor. All these things can be purchased if you live near a city.

Personally, I preferred places that offered a few of the following:

  • Cheap cost of living
  • Good weather
  • Pretty girls
  • Delicious food
  • Nearby beach or nature
  • Comfortable houses near hotspots
  • Other poker players

Cities that are poker hubs

If you’re looking to chill with other poker players, you probably want to go to a city that attracts other poker nomads.

People tend to locate in the same area’s, so here’s a list of cities with several poker houses:

  • Chiang Mai – Thailand
  • Bangkok – Thailand
  • Vienna – Austria
  • Las Vegas – USA
  • Playa del Carmen – Mexico
  • Medellin – Colombia
  • Florianopolis – Brazil
  • Prague – Czech Republic
  • London – UK
  • Macau – China
  • Manilla – Philippines

You don’t always need to travel to start a grindhouse or office. In The Netherlands, I found a talented group of players to start an office as well. The office did so well that even Pokernews covered a story on it.

Why I moved to Italy

Unlike the reasons listed above, I moved to Italy for a very specific argument. To win stacks off the emotional Italians.

Living in a tiny village in Italy

In Italy, I lived in a small village in Piemonte with approximately 2000 inhabitants. Only a small percentage of them spoke English, and without any Italian skills on my end, it was tough to build a social life.

I was surrounded by wine fields with a view of the Alps, so the scenery was amazing. But I didn’t come here for the pizza’s, wine and mountains.

The main reason to move to Italy was to start playing on the Italian Poker sites. I heard the Italians were terrible gamblers, so I snap decided to find a place in Italy to get my residency, bank account, and tax code. It was a bit of a hassle to get this done, with the language barrier of course. Plus, my profession “poker player” raised a few eyebrows.

But once I went through all the hurdles, my HM2 graph kept going up. GG!

Looking to relocate to a poker house?

Making the decisions to switch your life up to travel the world while playing poker, isn’t a snap call. It takes some considerations and prep work before you pack your bags.

You probably want to focus on your game, and not worry about the logistics, finding a house and good roommates to live with.

With my experience in poker, travel and living abroad, you can count on me to find the perfect house to play online poker. Simply schedule a call with me so we can discuss your needs and timeline. I’d be happy to connect you with my network.

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