I was totally fuming. Gambling addiction is a scary thing. ……
This is how a Japanese tourist who witnessed the “return to Korean casinos” of Mr. Iitaka Igawa, 58, former chairman of Daio Paper Corporation, as reported in the March 29 issue of this magazine, described it.
How did Mr. Ikawa, who had melted down ¥10.6 billion in the past and returned to gambling at Baccarat, behave in the casino? We will recount his “20-hour battle to the death,” which we were unable to fully report in this issue of the magazine, in a direct interview.
Chewing on a bowl of eel…
I’ve been working for tens of millions of yen a piece, and for me, it’s just for fun. It’s like playing pachinko.
Mr. Ikawa answered in this way in a telephone interview with this magazine, but Mr. A, a Japanese tourist who witnessed his efforts, laughed.
He didn’t look like that at all. He was completely heated up. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have sat at the baccarat table for more than 20 hours without going back to my room.
Mr. A, who was visiting a casino in the suburbs of Seoul with his friends from school, saw Mr. Ikawa on March 18, after 9:00 p.m. The Japanese customers around him said, “He looks like a baccarat player. He overheard the surrounding Japanese customers shouting, “Daio Paper is here! He was sitting at the Baccarat table in the “high-limit zone,” an area where celebrity customers play.
Mr. Ikawa was playing amicably with his acquaintances while chewing on a bowl of unaju. There were two women and three men with him, so it seemed they were traveling in a group. We were very excited about the descent of the legendary gambler. My companion and I pretended to walk past behind him and peeked in, saying, ‘Let’s go see how much chips he has on him. The truth is, it was a place where common players like us shouldn’t have wandered around. ……”
Mr. A was surprised to see the chips in Mr. Ikawa’s hand.
Two orange chips worth 1 million won (about 100,000 yen) and one blue chip worth 100,000 won (about 10,000 yen), or a little over 200,000 Japanese yen. The minimum bet in the high limit zone where Mr. Igawa was, is 500,000 won (about 50,000 yen), so he only had enough chips for four times. I thought he was playing a chintzy game for Mr. Igawa.”
After observing from afar for a while, I saw Mr. Ikawa take a blue chip and place it on top of the chip that his friend sitting next to him was betting on, instead of betting himself.
He said, “This is a trick I use when I really want to bet myself, but am too lazy to make the minimum wager. I thought to myself, “He doesn’t have any money.
Two hours later, Mr. A looked aside and was astonished.
Mr. A was playing at a table next to Mr. Igawa’s in the “flat” area, where the general public plays. Mr. A was playing in the “flat area,” which is an area for ordinary customers, where customers with tens of thousands of yen in their pockets were playing, and Mr. Ikawa was putting up a small amount of chips.
I was surprised to see Mr. Ikawa playing at a table where the minimum bet was 100,000 won. He is playing a serious game all by himself, apart from his friend I mentioned earlier. My companion exclaimed, ‘God gave me a chance,’ and ran to an empty seat to stake out the reverse of what Mr. Igawa was betting.”
The principle of not narrowing down the cards
While witnessing the game, Mr. A noticed a peculiarity of Mr. Igawa’s. He said, “He never narrowed down his cards. That is, he does not narrow down his cards. It is said that the best part of baccarat is in “squeezing. The dealer’s cards are dealt by the player who places the largest bet at the table, and the player literally “squeezes” them, bending them over as he turns them over. But Igawa, however, was not so sure,
I open the cards quickly and toss them to the dealer. Of course, whether you open the cards slowly or deliberately, the numbers on the cards don’t change, but I thought it was a waste to give up the most enjoyable moment of baccarat,” he said.
I was also impressed by the fact that he was staring intently at the “ruled line,” or “table of results.
Baccarat is a game of chance. Sometimes the same hand will appear several times in a row, and other times it will alternate with the same hand. It is all up to luck, and it is meaningless to analyze the results. However, during the game, Mr. Ikawa stares at the “ruled lines” so intently that he thinks a hole might open up in the lines, and he predicts the next move. I thought he was listening to the “voice” of something. …… Then, when the moment is right, he puts up a big “bang”. But it was only a tip worth a few tens of thousands of yen.
And it was with this approach that the company achieved a major revival. Mr. Ikawa, energized, multiplied his chips, which had been more than a dozen when he came to the flat, and returned to the high-limit zone where his acquaintances were again. However, when Mr. A tried to return to his room at around 4:00 a.m., he “fell back” to the flat again.
A Direct Call
It was after 1:00 p.m. the next day. After a good night’s rest and lunch, Mr. A returned to the casino, but Mr. Igawa was still there. When Mr. A left the casino after 6:00 p.m., he was still sitting on a flat table near the entrance, sandwiched between screaming Chinese players. At that time, the chips he was carrying were only about 100,000 yen – a mere 100,000 yen.
This was the story of Mr. Ikawa’s 20-hour struggle, as Mr. A testified. However, Mr. Ikawa’s battle was not over. He stayed in Korea for at least seven days after this. This was revealed during a telephone interview with Mr. Ikawa.
The reporter first called Mr. Ikawa on March 24, five days after Mr. A had last seen him on March 19. When we interviewed Mr. Ikawa by phone, we thought that he had returned to Japan by now, but he also spoke as if he had returned to Japan.
–I was told by someone that he had seen Mr. Ikawa at the X Casino in Korea on March 18-19. I thought Mr. Igawa had already stopped going to casinos.
I run a salon that charges a monthly membership fee of 99,000 yen. It is what people call an online salon. ……
Mr. Ikawa began by explaining the salon. The salon has a lot of gamblers, including presidents, doctors, and venture managers.
As the salon’s first overseas expedition, we went to Korea to ‘actually bet with Igawa at a casino. To be frank, it is not gambling for me. Coming from a person who is doing it for tens of millions of dollars a stake, I have to say. Well, I don’t dislike it, so we all had a good time playing together.”
–I heard that Mr. Igawa was also playing on the flat.
Yes, I did. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have seen me (in the VIP room). Some people saw me and asked to shake my hand, and I complied, saying, ‘You’ll lose 10 billion if you shake hands with me. I refused to be photographed in the casino, though, because photography is not allowed. If you are going to write an article about us, please advertise that you are running an online salon. We have just finished the second round of applications for the salon, and we plan to start the third round by the beginning of fall.
–Is running this salon your current job?
No, it is not my job. I was asked by DMM to run a newsletter and an online salon.
–Ikawa, according to your book, you lost so much in Singapore that you became “casino-ed.
So this is the first time since then that I have been to a casino overseas.
-although he didn’t play any other games and seemed to concentrate on baccarat.
The salon’s office said, ‘Since these people joined the salon because they are Mr. Ikawa’s fans, it would be strange if they didn’t play baccarat. They said, ‘Well, they joined the salon because they are your fans, so it would be strange for them not to play baccarat.
–I heard that you played baccarat while going back and forth between the “high-limit zone” of 50,000 yen per hand and the flat zone of 10,000 yen per hand.
Yes, that’s right. I’m someone who used to play with one bet of 30 million yen or so, so playing in those places is like socializing with the members.”
–So it’s like socializing with the members.
It’s like playing pachinko.
–What was the result?
“This time it’s minus. A few million.”
Gambling addiction is branding.
–You mentioned in your book that you have a gambling addiction, but have you recovered from that?
I haven’t been to a casino in five years, so I enjoy it when I do.
–Who was the woman with you?
The staff of the secretariat. We had two men and two women with us this time.
When I asked her to take pictures afterwards, she readily agreed, saying, “On Saturday and Sunday (the 25th and 26th). However, I never received any further information about the details after that. Then, on the evening of the 26th, through a completely different route than that of Mr. A, we received a new piece of information : “I saw Mr. Igawa at a casino in South Korea on the 25th.
Eight days later, he was still at the casino.
In the morning of the 27th, just before the deadline, we finally received a phone call from Mr. Ikawa. The following is the exchange that took place.
I tested positive for a PCR test before returning to Japan, so what should I do about the interview?
–I was wondering if you could continue the conversation over the phone. First, I received a tip from South Korea that you are still in S Casino …….
It’s not the S Casino, it’s the P Casino.
–You were in Korea for a long time, weren’t you?
I was in Korea, but only on weekends.
–What was your total casino score this time?
“I lost a little.
–About a million yen?
About a million yen? (The bets were small, so) even if I lost, it would be in units of that amount.
–Did you enjoy the casino this time?
“It’s like playing Mahjong with friends.
–In your book, you write, “It is only by exposing yourself to the hopeless desire to doom and fight that you can get the pleasures of life.
That’s the story of the book.
I hope he doesn’t get into the swamp of gambling again. ……