Black Friday had lots of unintended consequences.One of them was unleashing Patrick Crivell and Jordan Westmorland on the people of Phuket, Thailand.
Like many professional online players, the Seattle duo was faced with a tough decision after Black Friday: Find another source of income or find another home.
They chose a different home.
Vancouver seemed like the obvious choice. It was short car ride away, both players were already fluent in Canadian and — best of all — the city was overflowing with access to online poker sites.
The problem was at the border. According to Crivell, they crossed the border a lot and officials weren’t too happy about the whole “online poker” business. Crivell and Westmorland went back to Seattle, but the online itch kept growing. Then, one summer day, Crivell was smoking a cigarette on the balcony and got an idea.
He stuck his head back inside and said, “Let’s just go to Thailand.”
Crivell and Westmorland found themselves on their way to Phuket shortly after that. They had a friend in Chiang Mai and heard from a friend that heard from a friend that Phuket was nice. Besides that, the two really didn’t know much about Phuket, Thailand or Southeast Asia.
That was more than two years ago and they haven’t looked back.
Crivell and Westmorland now know a fair bit more about the region and recently signed a new six-month lease. The culture was easy to assimilate to and — coming from the perennially rainy city of Seattle — the beautiful, sunny beaches are hard to get tired of.
Crivell and Westmorland’s home has also grown. A total of four online players now live under the same roof, two MTT specialists and two Sit&Go players. The Sit&Go players, Crivell says, have the luxury of choosing their own schedule while he’s still bound to the US time zone.
“We have to work at night since most major tournaments are on East Coast time,” Crivell said. “The Sunday Million starts at like 1 or 2 in the morning.” Despite the vampiric schedule, they still get more sunshine than they did in Seattle.
“I love going to the beach,” Crivell said. “In Seattle they’re all rocky, nothing like Phuket.”
Aside from beaches and online poker, relocating to Phuket introduced the two to the live poker scene. Before moving to Phuket, Crivell and Westmorland hadn’t played any major events. Now their household frequents the APPT, ANZPT, Macau Poker Cup and plans on attending the inaugural WSOP Asia Pacific.
While Crivell has been eliminated, Westmorland is about average with 47,000.
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Alexander Villegas is a reporter for the PokerStars Blog.