Archive for August, 2009

… and on a lighter note:

This past Saturday the Sheraton Grande WalkerHill in Seoul hosted Korea’s first World Poker Championship. The event was advertised around the world and boasted of a minimum first place take of W1,000,000,000. Initially, some 2000 people were reported to have registered, however, due to certain visa regulations which included a mandatory 5 day swine flu quarantine during which everyone would be required to watch the Hong Man-Choi Vs Jose Canseco fight at least three times a day, everyone dropped out.

With all of the world’s top players opting out, South Korea attempted to substitute the prestige of world class poker with the magical allure of celebrities and deities. The list of notable celebrities in attendance included: Tom Cruise, Gary Busey, Russell Crowe, and Celine Dion. Of the many thousand ethereal beings invited, sadly, only two attended. Fortunately for us and the competition organizers, it was two fan favorites. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha himself and Jesus of Nazareth wowed the rowdy crowd of drunken, gambling devotees.

The Awakened One was kind enough to grant our DC reporter a pregame interview:

DC — Siddhartha, first off…

B — Buddha, please. I think I’ve earned it.

DC — Yes, certainly! Of course! Our apologies, Buddha. First off, it is a great honor just to be in your presence. You have been a constant source of inspiration in so many lives, mine certainly included. Your teachings have had a terrific effect on the world as we know it. You’ve touched…

(The Buddha here held up a finger, a gesture we took to remain silent. A young penitent woman approached the Buddha and knelt at his feet.)

Penitent Woman (PW) — Great Buddha, most wise teacher, giver of the light of understanding, planter of the seed of enlightenment, father….

B — What can I do for you, sweetheart?

PW — Great Buddha, my gentle father has recently become blind and sick, and I fear he is dying. My mother is dead and without my father I will be left alone in the world. Is there nothing you can do to help him?

B — Well, this is the nature of life. The cycle, you know? You have read the book, right? I mean, life and death, can’t have one without the other.

PW — Great Buddha, my father is a wealthy man, both spiritually and financially. I beg of you, isn’t there some gesture I could make in his name, some sacrifice I could offer that would prove to you, Lord Buddha, mine and my father’s devotion and faith?

B — Well, I normally never do this kind of thing, but, in honesty, the roof at Bongwonsa has been dripping like a sailors hose after a port stay in the Philippines. I suppose if you pledged to donate, oh say, W5,000,000 we could get your old man up and running for another couple years or so. Oh, and if you had just a bit left over, enough to cover my buy-in that’d be great too.

PW — Oh great Buddha, your mercy is terrific!

(The penitent woman thanked the Buddha profusely, kissing his feet and bowing again and again.)

DC — Wow, a real life miracle right in front of my eyes, that is something! How does it feel to be the hands down favorite among the deities here tonight?

B — Me, a deity? I’m just man, like you. Just a man. I mean, yeah I’m enlightened and off the wheel of life and all that, filled with the blissful peace of nirvana but when it comes down to it, I’m just a regular guy.

DC — But you just cured that girl’s father. That was amazing!

B — Cure? No, the guy was going to be fine. All I did was fix a roof so that Brother Kim won’t get pissed on every time it rains.

Despite his pregame genius, the Buddha did not fare well in the tournament. The Buddha chose to sit in silent repose during the match and was eventually blinded out.

Celine Dion was actually the first player out of the tournament. Well, actually she never technically made it into the tournament. A ruling was handed down just minutes prior to the start of play citing that Ms. Dion did not fulfill the requirements necessary to register as a celebrity and she was sadly disqualified.

Eddie Kim, the tournament director, explained the decision to those in attendance after Ms. Dion was escorted from the building. “I just couldn’t stand looking at her,” he said. “God, what a horse face that woman has.”

Another favorite to barely make a showing was Tom Cruise. Mr. Cruise, after getting his booster seat, made a number of good plays early on and it seemed was on his way to being chip leader. However, about three quarters of the way through the first hour, he seemed drawn to a young man in leather pants and a tight pink shirt. Mr. Cruise excused himself and the pair locked themselves in the men’s room. Mr. Cruise did not make it back to the game before his stack was blinded out.

In a foreseeable blow, none of the 250 Korean players made it to heads up. In pure Korean gambling fashion, they bet every pot, raised every bet, and called everything they couldn’t afford to raise. The chip lead passed among them as, in each and every hand, one player was knocked out or doubled up.

When the fervor of the Korean style of play had died down there were three players remaining: Gary Busey, Jesus Christ, and Russell Crowe; respectively, the father of the motorcycle helmet law, the son of God, and the man who loves spirits more than any other.

Mr. Crowe, after a mesmerizing display of drinking prowess finally succumbed to his vise and passed out face down in his chips. Jesus broke the awkward silence after Mr. Crowe was hauled away by asking the crowd, “now, who didn’t see that coming? You didn’t need to be a prophet to realize that tipsy Aussie wasn’t gonna make it.”

Heads up, Busey kept one eye locked on Jesus and used his other wondering eye to follow what he described as a “tiny purple flying elephant.”

“I know you sent this miniscule lavender Dumbo to distract me, Jesus,” Busey said. “And it’s not going to work. I’m on to you, buddy. I’m so far in your head that I’m looking out of your eyes, seeing me looking at you, knowing that that guy is onto you.”

A confident Jesus remained silent through the match, smiling coyly as a distracted Busey swatted at, what appeared to be, empty air.

The climax came at around the fifth hour when an increasingly aggravated Busey moved all in blind on his small blind. The crowd, which overflowed onto the street, hushed. A hundred foot banner that changed in a play by play fashion was hung across the hotel’s façade. Jesus, glancing at his cards, quickly called.

When the cards were turned, Busey showed the big guns themselves, pocket rockets, two aces and Jesus, grinning through the pressure, turned a meager 2 – 7.

Busey focused both his eyes on the table as the dealer turned the flop. Dead silence permeated the casino; nobody even dared to exhale. The flop came A – K – 2. Busey remained stoic as he hit top set. When the 2 was dealt on the turn, most everybody knew what was coming on the river. Even Busey, it seemed, sitting there with aces full against a weak set, with his opponent having roughly a 2% chance of hitting his one-outer, knew he was beat. And when the final 2 was shown, Busey, with uncharacteristic reserve, graciously shook the Lord’s hand and offered Him his congratulations.

Jesus later told us that he respected Busey’s play. “That guy was hard to read,” He said. “He’s just all over the map. I mean, honestly, and I’m not supposed to say this stuff, but sometimes I really had no idea what was going on in his mind.”

And when asked if He ever had any doubts about winning He said, “Look, I’m the son of God. The day I agreed to let those Roman bastards nail me to that cross, just to make my dad look good, pretty much guaranteed that I was going to get everything I wanted from that point forward. That shit really hurt! What kind of father does that? Let’s his son get nailed to a cross just to look good?”

Dong Chim, as a policy, does not comment on questions, or question comments, of a religious nature.