The Crazy Game of Korean Rummy

As the commissioner of the Korean Rummy Association of Gentlemen, there are certain standards that I must uphold. Although I may not be as well known as some of my peers, I have many of the same responsibilities. I am the first to dole out praise, but I must also be heavy handed and discipline those who put the integrity of our fair sport at risk. I am at the fore-front when our fair game is receiving positive publicity and I am in the thick of the battle when one of our finely-tuned athletic machines are caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

Korean Rummy is a fine game. Our athletes don’t play for the money, they play for a slightly melted, plastic belt. Out TV ratings never disappoint because we are never on TV. But if you all scoot up real close, I will give you a look into a world where the more Korean you are, the better your chances of winning:

History: Korean Rummy is one of the lost wonders of the ancient world. No joke. Try to look it up on the Internet, I dare you. You will not be able to find the iteration of rummy that we play. Scholars maintain the origins date back to a time when the Mongolian Army was marching through the Korean peninsula. To pass time, the Mongolians would play the locals in cutthroat games of rummy. The Mongolians routinely would bully around the locals and take their daily earnings. However, they didn’t not anticipate just how shisty those little Korean folk could be. All of a sudden the Koreans began making up rules on the fly and raking pots before the Mongolians even figured out what had just happened. After a few days of this the Mongolians had enough and Ghengis Kahn issued the first of a series of famous genocides which all but wiped out every person in that fine country who knew how to play the game, all but one. Known only as Foxwoods, and considered by many to be the finest rule creator in all of the land, Foxwoods remained in hiding with his wife for many years. While in exile his wife gave birth to a son. In the caves of the Korean Alps, Foxwoods bestowed upon his son all of his Korean Rummy knowledge. It was soon after that that Foxwoods knew that he and his family would never be safe in his homeland, so he and his family set sail for America. That was the last anyone ever heard of the family. In the years that followed the game of Korean Rummy laid dormant under the very fabric of American life. Until one day, a golf professional named Jimmy Han introduced it to some of his co-workers. The game spread like wildfire (within the ranks of the employees) until it reached its current state.

Brief overview: Much like regular rummy you are dealt seven cards. As you go through the deck in order you are looking to get: three-of -a-kind, four-of-a-kind, or runs of more than three cards in a row in the same suit. When you get any of the previous sets of cards, you lay them down in front of you because if you don’t have anything down in front of you at the end, you pay double. If you have cards on the table in front of you, you can add onto other piles on the table. First one to get rid of all their cards, or have a card total value less than the designated amount on their turn wins. Oh yea, the one major difference: Sevens are magic. They can be placed on the table by themselves.

Crazy ways to win: I’m not going to try to explain them.
One Shot.
Possessing seven cards in your hand that add up to 21 or less.
Having six pictures cards and a ten in your hand.
Thank you 21.
Thank you pictures.
Thank you Korea.

You pay double if:
Someone wins by any of the above crazy ways
You don’t have a drop
You have a seven in your hand (two sevens = x4)
You make someone whole

Current Champion: Mr. Stanton.
When we were still rookies amongst the ranks, Mr. Stanton would routinely let us play him in high stakes games and walk away up $200. Mr. Stanton is also by far the oldest Korean Rummy Champion.

Signature Move: A Stanton. After winning a hand, you become the dealer. If after you deal and turn over the top card on the pile and you reveal a seven, congratulations you just pulled a Stanton.

Most Gentlemanly Champion: [tie]
Dmo
Ostrowe
Mar
The Boss
Mr. Stanton
Sars
Rick

Places you can find Korean Rummy:
Bailey’s
Fitzy’s
Legends
Lexington
The South Course
Preakness
Note: Korean Rummy used to be found at Walsh’s but was banned one day. Shortly after the game was banished, Walsh’s shut down and became crappier wannabe Bruxelle’s without a pool table or dart board. I’m not bitter.

Korean Rummy Hall of Fame:
Jimmy Han: For obvious reasons. He is the catalyst and the founder of the American game. In addition, all the crazy rules listed above were introduced in situations when they helped Jimmy win.
Al: A driving force in superstitions and kooky ways to play the game. His most famous quote is: “Very Important Card!” If you go the South Course on a Saturday morning, you will most definitely be able to find him there. Just mention Korean Rummy and he may let you out for free.