Jan 17, 2017
Edinburgh Poker Pro Used to Make £10k Monthly – But then This Happened
By RTR Dennis
By most accounts, Dale Philip was living the poker dream – making large sums of money, traveling the world, and having unforgettable life experiences.
Unfortunately for him, the online poker world has changed these days and he’s learning how to live a normal life again. Keep reading to see how regulations and fewer loyalty rewards have cut into Philip’s profits as well as what his lifestyle used to be like.
Traveling the World on Big Poker Winnings
Dale Philip started his professional career in the IT field. But after experiencing success in poker in the late 2000s, he was convinced to quit his job and play full-time.
What ensued was a 6-year journey that saw the Edinburgh native travel to over 50 countries and regularly win up to £10,000 in monthly poker profits.
Philip left his home city for a poker event in 2010, assuming that he’d be back soon. But he found the lifestyle of international travel too alluring to give up.
According to the Independent, his favorite place to stay was Thailand, where he’d sometimes spend weeks at a time building his poker winnings. Additionally, Philip says that this relatively stable, developed country gave him a chance to meet new people and socialize while not exceeding his living expenses.
Philip’s Biggest Worry was Finding an Internet Connection
While traveling the world and making more than enough cash to live off of, Philip’s biggest concern was always finding a stable internet connection wherever he went.
After all, he needed to play poker for at least a few hours a day while meeting his goal of making more money than he spent on flights, food, and hotel accommodations.
As any online poker player knows, getting disconnected not only means a loss of time, but also potentially losing a pot you could’ve won.
“Hotels were the worst," says Philip. "In the evenings the internet would slow down because so many people were using it at once. Shockingly, I mainly had internet problems in rich countries like Australia and Spain, but amazing connections in Vietnam and Cambodia.”
Strict Regulations Cutting Down on Philip’s Poker Profits
They say that all good things must come to an end, and such was true about Dale Philip’s jet-setting lifestyle and consistent poker profits.
The biggest hurdle that he’s had to overcome is the heavy regulation that’s occurring across the globe.
Over five years ago, the US Department of Justice kick-started this trend by cracking down on the world’s largest online poker sites.
Regulation and segregated player pools in countries like France, Italy, and Spain haven’t helped matters because players are being walled off from international tournaments.
The increased regulations and segregation have caused competition to get tougher too.
"The online poker boom is well and truly over,” Philip says. “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."
As a pro, he’s also dealt with poker sites offering fewer rewards to high-volume players, instead redistributing this money to efforts made to retain recreational players.
Since he began his poker-fueled nomadic journey in 2010, Philip has seen his profits dip from £10,000 per month to £2,000 monthly these days.
Back in Edinburgh
Seeing as how his winnings aren’t what they used to be, Philip has returned to Scotland for the first time in three years to decide his future. He’s currently contemplating whether he can still be a nomadic poker player, or if he should find IT work again in the UK.
However, he worries that after several years spent making his own schedule across the world, working an office job might be too hard.
“It would be hard for me to adjust to a normal life after the way I've been living for the last six years,” Philip explains. “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.”
No matter what he decides, Philip’s traveling days aren’t over just yet. He’s taking a trip to Europe in the near future, followed by an Asia trip where he’ll look for new poker options. But whatever happens, he won’t look back with regret at his poker days.
“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,” says Philip. “You're only young once and when those years have passed you can't get them back.”