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Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond comments on Black Friday

Tags: black friday, full tilt poker, Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond, pokerstars.
Posted on 28 April 2011 by "T".

Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond is one of U.S. finest high stakes players. Phil has won almost 8 million dollars at various poker sites online, however, the most of his winnings come from Full Tilt Poker's nosebleed tables.

Just like many other U.S. poker players, Phil's daily life has been turned upside down since Full Tilt & PokerStars (just to mention 2 sites) were forced to close down in U.S. about 2 weeks ago (Black Friday). And just like many of his fellow countrymen, Phil has been considering whether or not he should leave the country to avoid further hassle.

Below you can read what Phil had to say about Black Friday in his blog.

"This is my first blog post since black friday.  A lot of people have come to me for answers, and the truth is, I don't know any better than most of you. I think your decision about what to do next is very dependant on your situation.  If you can afford to, I think the best course of action is to just relax for a month or two (maybe coach or do something else productive), and see if anything becomes more clear.

To the people considering leaving the country... I think it's a very viable option, and one I'm considering myself.  Make sure you do your research with regards to immigration laws, bank laws, rent, casinos (if you want to play live), etc.  One thing that is an important question I've been asking myself is:  Do I want to move somewhere and do nothing but work for maybe 6 months, or do I want to move somewhere (that might be more expensive) and have a life and a great experience to look back on.

I'm leaning towards the latter, if I do end up moving, but like I said before, the decision depends on your situation.  It is still tempting to me to have a 4-6 month work only trip and no life outside of it.  It's definitely not a good long term plan, but for a short time period, it's not so bad.
Personally, my plan for now: Head to Vegas early this summer.  Play a bunch of live poker all the way through the Series.  After that, see how things are looking and make a decision then.  I'm trying not to stress too much about it now.


What will we learn in 2 months?  I don't really know.  Worst case, you could at least hear some stories of how it's going in various countries from other players in the poker community.
One thing that is very important:  Do not bank on online poker becoming legal soon.

1) You shouldn't ever be unprepared for the negative outcome.  Make sure you keep savings, find new work, whatever it is that you would do if you knew online poker would be impossible to play from the US for 6 years.  If you're wrong, and it's legal in 1 year, it's a lot better than assuming it's coming sooner and being unprepared when it doesn't.

2) From what I understand, it probably will take a long time, if it does end up happening (which I think it will).  Even if lots of people in the government want online poker to be legal, it's just a slow process.
Hope you guys are doing ok, and planning well.  Please post any ideas you've had or questions or anything like that.  Maybe I could even make a video on Pokerstatic answering some of them.

Take care.
-Phil"

News brought to you by Macubaas



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16 comments for "Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond comments on Black Friday"

 Fakiry28/04/2011 10:39:41 GMT
Considering emigration as a possible option because of online poker rooms closing is something that can be beyound many regular low buy-in players thoughts, like me, but it makes all sense among pro players who earn life using this sites. Its a complex decision, but if they intend to maintain their jobs, perhaps the only way in the nearest future is to go play to other countries. Tough phase pro online poker players are passing these days. I saw this happen in Portugal few decades ago because "there's no job for you". The only option is to emigrate.
 Hajinnho28/04/2011 11:21:34 GMT
This post does make it really clear for me for the first time what it really is like in the US now and how much the pros are in danger there to really loose not only a true hobby but their real job. Really Scary!
 mahdrof28/04/2011 17:16:39 GMT
Phil Baby! All you have to do is drive a few hours north to the land of maple syrup and play all the online poker you want, 100% legal! Just get used to people saying "eh", the taste of maple syrup, eating beaver tails, winter tires on your car nine months out of the year and you'll be fine! Lumberjack jacket will help you fit right in too. Blink
 Niklas9128/04/2011 20:26:04 GMT
Really a great post that tells the true story of the US players situation at the moment. But like he says.. You have to be prepared for not playing online poker for several years, if you stick to living in US..
 SuperNoob28/04/2011 21:08:17 GMT
Surely a bad situation for the pros as it’s a matter of millions for them. They can move to another country but hard to leave ur life behind and settle again in other country. And most of the midstake players for whom poker makes half of their living will find it hard to leave their jobs.
 GIOMi629/04/2011 01:57:01 GMT
Well emigration is the option there is for poker pros like Phil, but he can afford it, what about the other thousands who can't afford it.
 Flippedchips29/04/2011 02:19:46 GMT
Posted by GIOMi6:
Well emigration is the option there is for poker pros like Phil, but he can afford it, what about the other thousands who can't afford it.


well they are pretty much fucked!
 cuonthefelt29/04/2011 02:38:41 GMT
In my opinion. If you are financially comfortable enough to play online poker for a 'living / profession" then you shouldnt have any problem moving to Canada to continue your online poker career. They are all just a bunch of rich degenerates anyway Blink cheers
 Macubaas29/04/2011 05:57:24 GMT
It's nice to see top online players have finally official reactions after the black friday. It's clear to all that player like Phil Galfond, Phil Ivey, Scott Palmer or Tom Dwan durrrr to name a few could easily move to Canada or any other country in the world and continue start playing poker as usual. As all said Canada seems to be the perfect country to move for all US players but again i'm not sure if Canada has taxes for online gambling activities. I really hope Canada would not inspire from their US brothers to start a investigation of their own regarding poker platforms...
The situation for all US players that live out of poker but don't have a million dollar or more bankroll the situation is pretty grim indeed. I assume they could also move but the fact that their bankroll for now was forfeited is bad because those money were their way to make money for a living. In US there must be over 10.000 or even more people that live out of poker. I really hope they'll find the strenght to pass this problem.
Good luck to all US players!
 Calmplay29/04/2011 07:20:49 GMT
Posted by cuonthefelt:
In my opinion. If you are financially comfortable enough to play online poker for a 'living / profession" then you shouldnt have any problem moving to Canada to continue your online poker career. They are all just a bunch of rich degenerates anyway Blink cheers


that's what I said in an another thread about this topic (moving country option) before... I mean for US players to move to a nearby country such as Canada where english is one of their main language is not gonna be that expensive for them... and for sure they'll settle there quicker than in Europe or Asia...
 hoodi42029/04/2011 08:41:52 GMT
Posted by Macubaas:

Good luck to all US players!

We need it!
 Hajinnho29/04/2011 10:22:04 GMT
will be very intresting to see who really is going to leave the country. Will there be great stars moving and where to? In which places they think they are free to act?
 mazas29/04/2011 11:30:39 GMT
we all become tired from this news and all want stop them the same coments from all the poker pros and peoples not read this coments anymore Smile

all will be good in future and all peoples know it
good luck and have fun Tongue
 oarecare29/04/2011 12:43:25 GMT
Hope i'm not giving anyone bad ideas... but the question is: is it forbidden for us residents to play online poker? for us citizens? should the computer connected to the game site be located in a different country? should the payment be made from a different country? there must be flaws to the law...
 Not2Bryte30/04/2011 10:44:54 GMT
Posted by Calmplay:
Posted by cuonthefelt:
In my opinion. If you are financially comfortable enough to play online poker for a 'living / profession" then you shouldnt have any problem moving to Canada to continue your online poker career. They are all just a bunch of rich degenerates anyway Blink cheers


that's what I said in an another thread about this topic (moving country option) before... I mean for US players to move to a nearby country such as Canada where english is one of their main language is not gonna be that expensive for them... and for sure they'll settle there quicker than in Europe or Asia...



Canada is certainly one option but It's F_ckng cold up there. One might be better advised to consider the Caribbean. Much nicer climate, with casinos filled with tourist, both fish and whales for live games at night. And, I understand with the current US economic condition many time shares are being converted to Condos which are being sold at bargain-basement prices. Oh I should mention the views. There's a scenic array that includes every thing beautiful in nature except show and ice. "SKIN". No need for energy-drinks here. The bikini clad babe's will have you arteries bulging .
It's rumored many women go to the Caribbean to live out the dreams and fantasies away from prying ears and eyes.( My wifes a Vamp), (My mom's a Tramp),...(So that' what it Taste Like).

Just a thought.
TxScrat Cool

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