Posts Tagged ‘betting’

Seoul Horse Racing.

March 15, 2010

Well, I went to the horse races. It was pretty fun!

We arrived there and made our way to the foreigners lounge, a somewhat quiet and smoke free lounge mostly filled with foreign born Koreans or Japanese men. Later on there were a few western stragglers, probably too hungover from the night before to make it there any earlier.

Coming out of the subway the crowd diversity narrows into a steady stream of 40 – 50 year old Korean ajjoshis (married men – assumed). As you make your way into the pavilion you first see a small track where you can check out the horses from above as they walk around or stand in their paddock. I skipped that part and made my way inside. When we figured out that the foreigners lounge was down at the far end of the grand stands, we set off to find it. The place seemed endless and everywhere you looked were old men and a few women set up with their weekend guide book to see who would be the favorites to win. Everyone was checking and rechecking numbers and stats to figure out which horse was going to be their payday.

I have to admit I got pretty into it. Once we figured out how to read the guide book we started making bets. There are a few options with the bets, you can pick who will place (in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd), who will get first, who will come in 1st and 2nd (in any order, and also in the correct order) it goes on from there. My favorite bets were who would come in 1st – 3rd, it just seemed most logical to win. Most of the guys, however, would place bets on the quinella, where you have to determine which horse will come in 1st and 2nd. My bet choice had the best odds for winning, worst for payout. I placed my bets, they can range from 10 cents up to 100 dollars. I chose to bet 2 dollars on one, and 5 dollars on another. In the end I lost $1 and made the rest of the money back. After that I was hooked, once I cashed in my ticket and placed my second round of bets I had a smile on my face that was hard to erase. By the end of the day I watched about 6 races and I was up 7 dollars, then down 2 dollars, then up 4 dollars then back down and finally lost 1 dollar. Pretty good entertainment for the price. I really like the fact that you can bet small amounts of money, you still feel bummed when you lose 50 cents, however.

Oh I should probably mention that this is the only place near Seoul where Koreans can gamble. The other was near my former town of Taebaek. Which explains the vast amount of people in attendance.  As well, the seats outside are quite a sight, everyone smoking frantically, ash flying in the wind, silence, then at the home stretch, curse words and very few cheers.

This is my short video of what it’s like.