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Dale Philip Enjoying “Five Glorious Years of Complete Freedom”
Dale “Daleroxxu” Philip has been making a living playing poker for more than half a decade and according to the young Scottish pro, he's getting everything he wants out of his job.
Philip has traveled the world, lived in foreign countries and he told PokerListings.com that after turning pro and focusing on Sit and Gos online he's never had a losing month.
Philip combined that online success with a very active blog, earning himself a spot on PokerStars Team Online.
“The games that I play allow me complete freedom in the way I live my life,” said Philip.
“So I do whatever fun things I want to do and travel to wherever I want to go, and I do it whenever I want.”
Philip isn't capturing headlines by winning major live tournaments or swinging wildly in the nosebleed cash games. He's earning a very comfortable living and avoiding the variance that terrorizes the more sensational facets of pro poker.
Trading the 9 to 5 for Pro Poker “Just Felt Right”
When Philip found poker he already had a lucrative job working in IT for a large financial institution.
He was an Oracle DBA, designing and managing complicated financial databases, but he didn't have the job satisfaction or personal freedom he wanted.
“When I found poker it began as a fun pastime for me, a nice way to unwind after working all day,” explained Philip.
“The more that I played and studied the game, the more I was enjoying it and the more money I was making. That encouraged me to play and study even more and I eventually got to the stage where every single hour that I wasn't working or sleeping was taken up by poker.”
Pretty soon Philip was making more money after work playing poker on the internet than he was at the office.
So he quit.
“It may seem like a tough decision, to walk out on a career that I had invested years of study and work in to get to where I was, but it was actually the easiest decision in the world for me. It just felt right,” he said.
“It's been five and a half years since I quit that job. Five-and-a-half glorious years of complete freedom.”
52 Countries in 52 Weeks Became Two Years in Thailand
Having grown up in a family that struggled at times to make ends meet, Philip didn't take many vacations as a child.
Now he's using the flexibility of being an online poker pro to make up for lost time.
A few years ago Philip embarked on an epic journey, planning to visit 52 countries in 52 weeks and play poker at each stop along the way. He projected hotel and travel costs to be over $100,000.
But after visiting 11 countries in 10 weeks Philip found himself in Thailand and decided to settle down. He ended up staying for two years.
“That was a great experience and something I could only do because I'm young, free, single and thanks to poker, my own boss,” said Philip.
“Being an online player means that I can make money from anywhere that there's an internet connection, so it makes little sense for me to spend my whole life sitting in a house in Scotland.”
Choosing Stability Over Million-Dollar Scores
From early on Philip modeled his poker career after Sit and Go specialists Jonathan Little and Kevin Boudreau who were making five figures a month playing SNGs and writing all about it in their blogs.
It was an approach that ran contrary to the stereotype of poker pros getting rich with massive tournament scores or huge cash-game heaters.
“Those were the guys that I looked up to and aspired to be like, not the poker celebrities on TV that were playing big tournaments,” said Philip.
“So I started off my career as an SNG grinder. Playing SNGs was a low risk way to make a very good living out of poker. I never came close to having a losing month.
“Of course, by not being an MTT player I could never hit a massive score, but I was always fine with that.”
Now Philip focuses on Hyper Turbos and Zoom cash-games because they give him the most flexibility in choosing when and for how long he plays.
Philip Part of Developing Scottish Poker Scene
Even compared to its nearby neighbors England and Ireland, Scotland is still a developing poker market.
But the game is getting more popular and Philips is right in the middle of that development.
“When I first started playing poker in Scotland most of the people that I played against didn't really take the game too seriously,” he said.
“The poker clubs were mainly filled with degenerate gamblers who thought they knew everything about poker, but actually knew nothing. There weren't many well known or successful poker players at all.”
Now Philip points to players like David Vamplew, Paul Febers and Ludovic Geilich as the standard-bearers for a new generation of Scottish poker stars.
“Things have changed a lot over the last few years,” he said.
“There's now Facebook and Skype groups of Scottish poker players who're taking the game seriously, the standard of play in cardrooms and casinos has increased massively and there are players crushing live and online and making big names for themselves.”
Philip is optimistic about the future of poker in Scotland but as far as plans for himself Philip said he can't see more than a month out.
“I don't have a "plan b" if poker doesn't work out in the longer term. It's not something that I worry about though. I'm just not that kind of person,” said Philip.
“Rightly or wrongly I'm barely ever planning more than a month ahead in my life. I just live in the moment and don't worry about anything else.”