• 22 Oct 2023
  • Gambling News

The odds of getting a royal flush in Texas Hold'em are 639,739:1, or about once every 650K hands.  Even the most committed poker players might spend their entire lives without winning one. But without even realizing it, a Chilean poker player did just that.
A man and his spouse left a city in southern Chile on Wednesday and made their way to the Monticello casino outside of Santiago. While on business in the city, the unidentified player joined a poker game where three other players were already present at the table. His spouse walked out to play slots.

The cards were flying as the man carefully played against the others. At first, he didn't get much success. 

But it didn't take long for his impulsive decision to visit the casino to turn out to be a smart one.

The man saw a friend from the same southern city walking into the casino while he was playing his third hand. They greeted and struck up a conversation as the dealer dealt the flop, turn, and river.

The player looked at them nonchalantly while he was talking to his friend. Eventually, glancing down at his cards, he realized the board had dealt him a straight. Then reality set in when he showed his hole cards. Instead of just a straight flush, it was a royal flush.

After a few moments of stunned silence, the table began to cheer, not only because of his good fortune but also because of the pot. The player had just won a substantial prize for obtaining a royal flush as part of the casino's promotion, worth CLP150 million (US$192,000.

The player didn't celebrate the win too much. He acknowledged to the casino that he doesn't usually lose his composure in stressful situations.

Distributing the Wealth

After winning, the man went to his wife to tell her the good news, but she didn't think he was serious. Rather, she thought he was playing a joke on her and began a small-scale altercation.

To show her, he took her over to the table where the other players were still seated. They began to compliment him again. That's when she realized it was true.

As they were leaving, he told the others about his good fortune. He left CLP2 million ($2,520) for the staff of the casino and CLP1 million ($1,260) for each player at the table.

Texas Players Find Fortune

There are other people who have been fortunate this week besides the Chilean poker player. Poker News reports that there will be no charges brought against the players who Texas police mistakenly detained last year.

In October of last year, authorities raided the Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club on the advice of a district attorney (DA) who was not familiar with local laws. While a poker tournament was underway, police paid an unexpected visit to the club, fining players and making several arrests.

The DA accused the poker room of running an illegal poker game. Nonetheless, Texas law does not prohibit organized poker, so long as the house does not take a rake. This led to the creation of social poker rooms that rely on membership fees to stay open.

The practice has encountered many difficulties over the years, but nearly all of them have been rejected. 

The district attorney sought the dismissal of the Watauga poker room case, in which up to $200K was unlawfully taken during the raid, and the judge granted their request. As a result, even though three more previously accepted plea agreements are now formally recorded, 46 people will have their names cleared.

A jury trial was what one of the detained individuals wanted. The man, Steve Nichols, claimed on Facebook that the decision by the DA's office to "cower in the face" of those who opposed it was validation.

The 46 individuals will receive their $360 fine back. They will now fight to have that money returned as well, since the $200K's future remains unclear.


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