We arrived in Vancouver on Friday and were detained by border patrol briefly. I immediately told them the truth about what I was doing and they had no problem at all with it. I asked if I was supposed to get a work visa and the agent said, no you're not taking a job away from a Canadian and you're not being funded by any Canadian entity.
Saturday we opened a bank account without issue and I forwarded basically all the proof possible that I was living in Canada to PokerStars and they wouldn't accept it. I went back to the bank, got an official stamp on a copy of a voided check (which they requested) and again they wouldn't accept it (no explanation given). So after maybe ten emails back and forth they agreed to accept a voided check, with an official bank stamp, with very specific wording. I went back to the bank Monday morning, got the document, and even had it addressed to PokerStars. The Financial Services Manager at the bank laughed when I said it was for PokerStars and said I should play on Party Poker, they're always sending him things in the mail.
So I sent the document to PokerStars and finally they accepted it. They called me at my landline here, asked a ton of questions, and said I was up for final review. Final review is taking anywhere from two hours to two weeks or even longer. I was able to get in touch with one of the VIP hosts who works with SNEs and he forwarded my case the head of security and said this generally results in being approved in less than twenty-four hours.
So, that's where I'm at right now. I've been working out and eating healthy, trying to get myself in the best mental shape possible for the grind. I'm planning on being here about four months and would like to make SNE in that time. As of today, I'd have to average earning about 6000 VPPs a day to do this. I'm really not sure if I'll be able to do it but I'm going to try. Over the last year and a half, I haven't really maximized my time in terms of tables when I've been on. If there were only 2 or 3 games going above 15-30, I'd either take a break or just play those tables instead of opening all the 15-30, 10-20, and 5-10 tables I could. So the plan is to always have at least 6 tables going, likely a couple of lower limit tables that I'm paying little attention to and devoting the majority of my attention to the higher limit games. The games seem to be running from early in the morning, maybe 5 or 6 AM PST to about 5 PM. I intend to wake up early, play for four hours, eat lunch, workout, and play for another four hours.
I'm trying to figure out the cheapest way to convert money as well since I'll be receiving funds in Canadian and later converting to US. I haven't been able to find a bank that does it cheaper than 2.3%. My accountant said the fees are deductible so that knocks about 35% off the 2.3% but I'm sure there are better ways of doing it.
I should have another update in the next week or so.