Dale Philip, a Scottish poker pro and former member of Team PokerStars Online, has seen plenty of highs in his career. At one point, he was making £10,000 (approx. $12k) in monthly profits and traveling the world with ease.
But after traveling to over 50 countries thanks to his poker profits — including a lengthy stay in Thailand — Philip is feeling the sting of poker regulations and stronger competition.
With more-segregated markets and better players, Philip, known as “Daleroxxu” online, has seen his earnings go from £10k per month to £2k.
According to the Independent, Philip used to work an IT job until becoming successful enough at poker that he quit in 2010. After leaving Edinburgh for a short time to travel to poker tournaments, he quickly fell in love with the lifestyle and never looked back.
The main deterrent from his sick lifestyle back then was finding a good internet connection, which seemed hardest in developed countries.
“Hotels were the worst. In the evenings the internet would slow down because so many people were using it at once,” Philip said. “Shockingly, I mainly had internet problems in rich countries like Australia and Spain, but amazing connections in Vietnam and Cambodia.”
Unfortunately, Philip has much bigger problems these days, like finding beatable games. Regulations have pushed most Americans out of the online poker world, while countries like France and Spain have their own markets.
“The online poker boom is well and truly over. There’s now far fewer players playing online and the ones that are there have a much higher level of ability than in the past, so they’re tougher to beat.”
It also doesn’t help that he lost his Team PokerStars sponsorship in 2014 for an over-the-top football celebration (see at bottom).
Now, Philip is back in Edinburgh trying to figure out if he can continue his nomadic lifestyle. He certainly doesn’t like the thought of doing anything else.
“It would be hard for me to adjust to a normal life after the way I’ve been living for the last six years. I feel physically ill just at the thought of waking up at 7am each day, putting on a suit and spending most of the day sitting in an office.”
But whatever happens, he won’t look back at his poker days with any regret.
“If I had spent the last eight years working in an office rather than having complete freedom to live my life the way I wanted to – that’s something I would regret.”