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Silver Wants to Exit After Brexit, Spaniards Hope to Stay in London
Citizens of the United Kingdom went to the polls yesterday and decided to leave the European Union, 52% to 48%.
The result sent shockwaves throughout the world and the British Pound tumbling to a 30-year low. Stock markets plunged as well.
The Nikkei dropped to a five-year low, the Dow dropped 600 points and they’re still trying to pry the London Stock Exchange out of the ground it crashed into.
British poker players at the World Series of Poker aren’t too happy either.
A Somber Tone for Brits at the WSOP
“It’s a bit of like a funeral here,” Max Silver said after Day 1 of the $10K 6-max.
“Like the atmosphere among all the British players is really sad.”
Silver finished the day above average in chips, but below average in pride as the news trickled in at the end of the day.
“Financially I have very few [British] Pounds so I’m not that hurt,” Silver said. “But emotionally, from a sense of pride for my country, I’m very hurt and sad about it.
“I think it’s a terrible move for the UK.”
Silver, who has more than $2.6 million in live tournament earnings, says he hasn’t lived in the UK for some time and is residing in Ireland.
“When I get back I’ll be applying for my Irish passport,” Silver said. “I’m looking forward to not being a part of the UK really.”
The World Reacts
It’s a sentiment many people have been sharing. Google reported a spike in searches about Irish passports from the UK.
There was also a surge in search results for people wondering what the EU actually is.
Several other UK pros expressed their disappointment with the referendum results.
But the decision affects the whole of Europe. The European Union allowed free travel among the 28-nation bloc and several European players relocated to the UK.
Peter Eastgate claimed residency in London after winning the 2008 WSOP Main Event and Martin Jacobson, who took down the 2014 WSOP ME, also resides in London.
Adrian Mateos, who won the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event when he was 19, also moved to London after his victory.
Mateos is from Spain and left to London with a group of Spanish poker players due to their closed poker market.
Mateos: "I Hope They Let Us Stay."
Mateos, who recently won his second WSOP bracelet, said he’s happy that his victory netted him a lot of US dollars.
While there was a short term financial gain for Mateos, he’s worried about what the future might bring for him and his friends.
“I know they left the European Union and it'll take at least two years to exit,” Mateos said.
“I hope they let us keep living there. We don't know yet.
“I don’t know what would happen if they don’t let us stay there. I’d have to figure something out but I’m not sure. I hope they let us stay.”
At the very least, European immigrants in London have the support of their Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
“I want to send a particular message to the almost one million Europeans living in London, who make a huge contribution to our city - working hard, paying taxes and contributing to our civic and cultural life,” Khan said in a press release.
“You are welcome here. We value the enormous contribution you make to our city and that will not change as a result of this referendum."
The world is still absorbing this shockwave and trying to figure out what it’ll mean.