Poker has been around for many years in the real world and has boomed in many corners around the globe online over the past 10+ years. One of the most memorable moments and the catalyst which sparked the online poker revolution was back in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker qualified at the online Poker site PokerStars for the 2003 World Series of Poker and went on to take first prize totalling a huge US$2.5 million.
Since then many of you have tried your hand at online poker at sites such as Pokerstars, FullTiltPoker, Party Poker, William Hill plus others and in many cases won good sums of money, for the rest of us who haven’t we still continue to enjoy the game itself.
Unfortunately the way the online Poker world works is it is very restrictive to regions and certain locations. For example online poker is pretty much banned in most of the US states, there are also local versions of Poker sites aimed at specific countries such as France and Italy. If you’re outside of those countries or in the case of the US, a resident of the United States then your options are severely limited.
How to play Poker overseas
For those of you who have done a bit of reading it is entirely possible to play on “foreign” Poker websites from the comfort of your own home, regardless of where that is in the world. So lets say you’ve relocated to Asia for work but wanted to continue to play on a European Poker site?
Well, firstly the site itself can basically see what country you’re accessing from and if it was for example a site only open to European residents then by your internet connection it would know that you’re connecting from Asia. Each internet connection is assigned what is known as an IP Address and from this information it is quite easy for any website to work out your location, or at least work out what location you aren’t in.
The solution to this is to make use of a VPN service. Part of what a VPN does is masks your actual location and replaces it with the location of the VPN server. So in this example if you wanted to play on a UK site you would connect to a UK server thus fooling the Poker site in to thinking you were currently in the UK and continue to play as normal before you moved.
For small time playing when the amounts you’re gambling are not huge amounts then a solution offered by VPN provider LiquidVPN would be ideal. Just visit their dedicated poker page by following the link which gives you the ability to sign up for a dedicated Poker VPN in either Italy or the UK with a dedicated IP address. Using this system is ideal because it allows you to keep connecting from the same IP address and masks your real location removing any suspicion from the sites you play at.
Professional Poker Players
For those who are considered professional poker players or who like to stake big amounts of money the lengths which you should go to need to be increased vastly to secure your investments. Poker sites regularly block Proxies so these are a huge no-no, even for small time players, public VPN providers have too many IP addresses that could be used by others at the same time, a Poker site would find it odd if two different players both appear as if they’re connecting from exactly the same connection.
So for this situation you need to look to a company who can provide a custom tailored solution for your needs. Each poker player is different and what you want to achieve based on your location and the location of the sites you wish to play will vary. A professional provider is SMR Hosting who do tailored poker solutions based on your needs.
The best thing about them is unlike other providers they don’t charge a monthly fee which over many months or years can start to add up. What they do do is charge you an hourly rate to set up your requirements and then instruct you how to pay the required services needed to keep your custom poker playing set up running. By doing this it is cost effective because the monthly charges for the services needed are quite low, about $15-$30 p/m depending, others providers can charge over $80 per month as a recurring fee.
It isn’t wise to recommend a specific “package” from a provider because as I said earlier each persons needs vary and a custom built package is definitely the more secure and best method of safe guarding any funds you win. Luckily using the expertise of SMR Hosting they can recommend the best methods using their history of aiding poker players to help you in your quest to play unrestricted from wherever you are in the world.
They have roughly three solutions which are detailed below, but can do other custom work if required so don’t be afraid to ask.
Firstly they can set up a server for you at a datacentre, this is the type of option where you pay for the hourly setup from SMR Hosting but then pay the datacentre for the actual hosting fees. It sounds overly complicated but they can take care of the set up, choosing the datacentre plus even set up your desktop and assist you on how everything works, after you’re up and running you just pay the menial datacentre monthly fees.
The second option which is especially good is if you have friends or relatives in the country that you wish to play they can assist a set up on a residential connection, this is ideal and probably the most secure way to play because you’ll be making use of a home connection rather than that of a datacentre. There is some set up involved but full and simple instructions will be provided and they’ll be available to assist again at an hourly rate.
A third option is occasionally space comes up at one of their own residential setups but this is on a waiting list basis so best to visit their site and enquire if its something you are interested in.
No longer do you need to miss out on your Poker fix when you’re travelling, on vacation, resident of a country that doesn’t allow Poker or the numerous other reasons that restrict or stop you playing.
Poker chips image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net