Kim says he paid $1,000 to get a shot at winning the $10,000 seat when he entered the tournament. A total of 364 players entered, which created the $960,000 prize. Kim won one of the coveted seven seats out of the 80 players competing for the slots.
“I played four of the five days in the tournament for about ten hours a day,” he said.
Kim, a jewelry store owner in San Leandro and a Dublin resident, has been playing poker for fun for about four years. Originally from Korea, Kim says his wife, Son Kim, lets him play as long as he keeps winning.
As an amateur poker player, Kim feels poker is not really gambling.
“I don’t consider poker as gambling,” he commented. “And I am just lucky.”
This is not the first time Kim has won at poker. When he first tried his hand at cards, he played in four tournaments and won three of them, taking home about $100,000.
“I thought poker was easy,” he laughed.
He won again at the 2010 World Series Poker Tournament in Las Vegas. He won $36,000 after placing 395 out of 7500 players.
Kim says it is not about the money. According to Kim, the government will tax his winnings, along with his regular annual income, at 48.6 percent. He is considering investing in a new car or a second home with his most recent winnings.
“A half million dollars will not make a difference in my life,” he said.
Kim's next tournament will be in Las Vegas in May. Kim won the seat, valued at $25,000, to the May tournament as part of Friday’s prize winnings. He plans to bring his "game face" to that tournament as well.