A Couple Q’s With Recent Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City Bad Beat Jackpot Winner

Last updated: August 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm. Posted by in Atlantic City, Atlantic City Casinos, Atlantic City Hotels, Caesars Atlantic City, Celebrities, Gaming, Poker, Total Rewards. 1 Comment on A Couple Q’s With Recent Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City Bad Beat Jackpot Winner.

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In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, last week, Narong Sae Whited (Noke), a professional poker player from Shelton, Washington, hit the biggest Bad Beat jackpot ($787,320) in Atlantic City history at Caesars.

Caesars Atlantic City Bad Beat

Noke thought he had it in the bag when he slapped his Quad Nines down on the table, but was totally baffled when Atlantic City’s own Nick Angelakopoulos showed a King-High Straight Flush. Under totally normal circumstances, Noke would have took the pot and hence, the Bad Beat was hit. Noke ended up taking home $237,154 of the grand prize while Angelakopoulos snagged $158,422 and 409 Total Rewards poker players got $958 just for playing poker at Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City at the right time. (We are pretty sure they thank you, Noke).

If you are totally confused by this Bad Beat stuff, check out our earlier blog post here, but not before reading our interview with Noke below.

 

TAC: What first went through your head when you realized you won the highest Bad Beat Jackpot in Atlantic City history?

Noke: Apparently when the person who had the very best hand turned it over, and said I got the very best, I figured he was just an idiot. There’s no way he could beat me, I had quad nines. I really thought I had a lock on the hand. The odds were pretty far off that he had a better hand than me, and my head was just blank. All I could do was just yell at the top of my lungs. I really did not expect to win it. I had only been playing here week after week just to catch a thousand dollars or a piece of the pie. The odds were really mind boggling that it would hit me, so it never dawned on me that that was the situation; that he had a better hand than me. I was just trying to play the best poker I could, and extract the most money out of the losing player I thought I could beat.

TAC: What is the first big purchase you made with your winnings?

Noke: I bought a 30 thousand dollar Rolex. That’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time, so I went and bought the Gold Presidential, and I’m pretty happy with that.

TAC: What do you plan to do with the rest?

Noke: I’m probably just going to sit on it. Use it for things like the children and emergencies. I’ve been playing poker for a living for twelve to fifteen years between pro and semi-pro, and I know that we have our ups and downs, so it’s nice to have a little back up.

TAC: What brought you to Atlantic City this trip where you ultimately ended up winning the Bad Beat Jackpot?

Noke: I’ve been coming to Caesars for at least five years. I’ve been on Diamond status for about five or six years here. I’m here pretty much every day or in Atlantic City every day to pretty much grind away at the poker table like a regular job, 8, 9, 10 hours a day, depending on the situation and if I feel up to it. The nice part is I can take the day off if I want. And I can take an extra few days off now.

TAC: What did you do to celebrate your winnings?

Noke: I got some suite rooms and I had some friends, and we just kind of partied and did normal guy stuff.

TAC: We gotcha! What do you like about playing Texas Hold ‘Em?

Noke: There’s a lot of elements about the game. The freedom that I have to be able to earn a living and do what I want, the fact that it is a game and I love playing games, the human part, reading people and the psychology behind it, the strategy involved in it, the luck factor, the ups, the downs, the roller coasters, it’s just a whole cornucopia of stuff that brings the game its attractiveness. It’s not going anywhere. It’s just going to continue to grow, it’s not a fad. It’s going to be here for a long time.

TAC: What game tips would you give to beginners?

Noke: I think the number one tip would be to find the very best player you know and get advice from them. And that’s really what helped me a lot is being able to know the difference between bad players and listening to their advice, and good players. The second biggest advice is if you’re very emotional, stay away from the game. Take emotions out of the game. You have to be very level headed about the game.

TAC: What was your background leading up to becoming a professional poker player?

Noke: Finance and accounting. Very much a numbers guy. I made the move probably around year 2000. I was in college. I was a stock broker working for Dean Witter and I started playing around online, and I realized that this was a lot more fun than being a stock broker. I took a pay cut, but now everything’s balanced out. Everything balances out along the way. I recommend don’t play poker for the money. Find something you really enjoy doing and everything else comes naturally. And I really enjoy playing poker. Not just because it’s a game of chance or gambling, but it’s just something that I’m good at. It encompasses a lot of things: mathematics, people skills, strategy skills, the ability to be disciplined, working structured hours. I wake up at a certain time, I play for a certain amount of time, not here and there or whatever I want, I stay within some sort of guidelines.

 

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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