I feel like I've got Won coming out the yang right now. I checked out the only legal poker room in Korea tonight, the Paradise Walker-hill Casino in the Sheraton Grande (you know when they can afford that extra 'e' that you are walking into a high-end joint.
I started with a quick buffet dinner. I didn't bother to check the price. It was a buffet in Korea. There were kids running all over the place and the food wasn't special. How expensive could it be? Well, the buffet itself was almost $50 American. Add on the $7 beer, and I was 1)glad I'm on per diem and 2) that I hadn't paid for a meal all day, otherwise I'd have been quite upset. I asked and found out that it was the cheapest place to eat other than the casino bar, so really didn't make a difference.
Next it was off to play some poker. They spread only 1000/2000 no limit poker. That sounds so cool to have played in a game that big until you do that math. One American dollar brings over 1300 Korean won, so we were really playing smaller than $1/2. So we were really playing $.72/1.45. It still played pretty big. Also, I didn't bring bankroll money and didn't want to convert any more into won than I had to. I started with 200,000 when the rest of the table bought in for 500,000.
I played as tight as I could, treating it like a tourney with a 4 hour first level. If I lost those chips I was done. I got down to about 100,000 and won a few small pots to get back to around 170,000. The big hand came when the board flopped with three clubs including the A. The fellow to my right bet me all in and I called with the Kc. This fellow was in the middle of an even night when he should have been way up. Earlier, he had been sucked out one when a case 2 hit on the river making his opponent a set of 2s to crack his pair of Kings. Anyway, the turn was a red card and the river was a beautiful 2c. I was now up about 120,000 and feeling much better.
It turns out that the guy that I won the chips off of and I have a mutual acquaintance. He was wearing an Asia Poker Tour jacket and I could tell that he knew how to play well, so I asked if he had played in the APT events, and he said that he did. I mentioned that I know several people that cover tournaments for a living and he asked if I knew F-Train (he used FT's real name which I now know thanks to Facebook). That is so cool to step into a poker room half-way across the world to meet someone with only one degree of separation. (F Train, Ron K says thanks for being his fan).
I ended the night up 100,000, so I'm sitting on about 360,000 Koreas Won which I can't turn back into dollars until Friday at the airport. I'm sure that won't cost much. Anyway, it was fun. Tomorrow it is back to work. Four more days until I head home. I'm looking forward to that.