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When you tell people that you are a poker pro many tend to doubt you. I have in this blog post come to the conclusion that certain aspects of life is easier as a poker pro when you live abroad.

All professions are met with different reactions and expectations. If you are talking to a doctor you tend to believe and trust him. It’s an honourable profession and it’s a protected title. Not just anybody can call themselves doctor like we see with the popular titles such as “Coach” and “Expert”. The rapper and producer Dr. Dre is the only one that I know of that has gotten away with it all these years.

Poker players have far less credibility than doctors among the general population. We have all met the sceptical average person saying “Can you make a living of poker? Seriously? Isn’t it just about luck? Isn’t it easy to cheat? What do you do when your luck run out?” and so on. It does happen that I meet a puzzled individual saying “Wow! That is awesome!” followed by “Are you a millionaire? Do you know Gus Hansen?” When I meet an actor I don’t ask if they know Brad Pitt and when I meet a musician I don’t ask if they are related to any of the members of The Beatles.

I have a good friend from The Netherlands who lives here in Copenhagen, Denmark. I used to live in Malta for six years where we became friends. A couple of months ago we talked about something funny we noticed in our society.

When I being Danish living in Denmark tell people that I am a online poker pro not only do most people think it’s impossible as explained above they actually doubt that I am telling the truth. I am not in the custom of lying but I am instantly being cross examined. In their minds I am most likely on welfare meanwhile playing a bit of poker online. When I got out I brag about how I am a poker pro because it makes me feel bigger and beats saying “I am unemployed on welfare and the little money I have left after paying bills I lose gambling online in a desperate attempt to find a way out of my misery”.

When I on the other hand was travelling in Australia for two months or lived in Malta most people assumed that I was serious and that my presence abroad proved my point. No broke ass joke can travel and live abroad without making money somehow. I noticed when you are in a foreign country people tend to accept and respect your profession even though it might sound odd. Normally as a foreigner its harder to get accepted in society but poker players might actually have an edge. You often hear about highly educated foreigners or immigrants being forced to take shitty jobs due to the language barrier or the simple fact that their degrees are not valued abroad. The poker profession seems different.

My Dutch friend living in Copenhagen did not have hard time being accepted in Denmark. His positive attitude, good manners, nice apartment and expensive car speaks for itself. He must be doing well! This shows it’s not that Danes generally distrust poker players but if you are living abroad you get more credibility. The same is the truth about the Dutch. My friend experienced the same as I did when he was living in Holland and being Dutch a lot people doubted his words when he said he was a poker pro.

I recommend all poker pros to go abroad for a period of your life. You have the ability to live some place with great weather, cheap food and learn a new culture. With all the hours we spend in front of the computer it’s time to grab the opportunity and go! If you have a strong will and a tough mind you will find it to be well worth it.

Good Luck,

Erik Smith