August 31, 2010
It always feels good to walk out of a casino with more money than you arrived with—as if you beat the system. Tonight, was one of those nights. My coworkers invited me out to the Walker Hill Casino, in the basement of a Seoul City Sheraton, for some after work fun. I arrived early and sat down at a poker table. Almost immediately, I knew I was in trouble. The old adage, “If you can’t spot the sucker, it’s probably you” seemed completely applicable. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played with some great players, but these guys were pros. They played at this casino every night and sat with a well-deserved sense of authority and entitlement. I was going to have to play my best to get out of here alive.
My first big break came on a hand early on; I was in the big blind with Q-7 and the flop came down Q-9-6 with two hearts. He bet, I called. A 7 came rolling off on the turn. He increased his bet, I called again. Finally, another 7 rolled off on the river giving me a full house, 7s full of queens. He bet, I raised him all in. There were a few tense moments when he tried to get a read on me. He asked me if I had a straight. He asked me if that 7 helped me. Finally, he called. I flipped over my full boat, and he showed me his 8-7 of hearts. The poor bastard had flopped an open-ended straight flush draw and had missed everything (except for trip-7s, which really only got him in more trouble). While I was ahead the entire hand, he was the favorite to win the hand after the flop.
After a short time, a rather loose, boisterous Chinese guy sat down next to me. I knew I was no longer the sucker at the table. My initial read would prove correct as I would win one more big pot on the night, courtesy of the aforementioned Chinese loudmouth. He was tilting after a bad beat (nut-flush taken down by a straight flush, enough to send the most level-headed of us into a spin). I had J-9 of hearts when the flop hit 7-5-3 with two hearts. I bet, and he came over the top with a weak raise. I called with my 15 outs. I hit one of my outs, a jack, on the turn, and he goes all-in. I immediately call. He flips over pocket 6s. While any card other than a non-heart 6 or 4 would have been just fine and dandy, I complete my flush anyway and dragged in a sizable stack of chips.
When all was said and done, I turned 250,000 won into 376,000 and walked away from the casino with my head held high. When you add in the free food and drinks, it was an excellent night. I finished the night by sitting at the roulette table, content to watch my coworkers and drink a jack and coke.