Poker player Doug Kim is back in the mainstream spotlight more than a decade after wading through the largest World Series of Poker main event in history.
Kim, who finished seventh for $2.4 million the year that Jamie Gold won a record $12 million in the main event, is currently pursuing a career in Hollywood. The Washington Post reported that Kim, 34, is behind a new TV pilot centered on his life trying to survive in showbiz, as opposed to the green felt.
According to the The Post, the New Yorker financed and produced a semi-autobiographical pilot based on his efforts to make it in Hollywood as an Asian American. The project is called “Just Doug.” The pilot aired on Friday on the video-streaming platform DramaFever.
The 26-minute-long pilot can be viewed in its entirety here.
“Hollywood is taking its sweet time in getting Asian Americans front and center,” Kim said in an interview with the Post. “My goal is to not only increase Asian American visibility, but to portray Asian Americans as simply Americans who happen to be Asian. A few years ago, I was frustrated at the way my career was going and took it upon myself to write a pilot for myself.”
Despite winning $2.4 million on poker’s biggest stage, Kim said that at the end of the day he was looking for a career path that he found the most “intellectually stimulating” and “emotionally fulfilling.” He has a background in economics as well.
“Before I graduated [college], I thought why not have one last hurrah in poker before I start in the real world,” Kim remembered of his poker days. “So I played in the World Series of Poker. I just expected an experience, a story, but things got really crazy when I survived each day and eventually made it to the final table. I won $2.4 million from that — after taxes, it was more like $1.5, $1.6 million. But I was still a risk averse, typical Asian American. If I had a good career in finance or consulting, I could be making many times what I made in poker. Why not put this aside as a nest egg and go on with my career as planned?”
Unfortunately for Kim, he lost his finance job thanks to the financial crisis of 2008/09. After taking “a step back to reevaluate,” Kim eventually moved to Los Angeles in 2012.
“My mentality at this point is if this pilot doesn’t do anything for my career, I should take that as a sign and get the hell out and do something else with my life,” Kim admitted.
In a Facebook post, Kim said he was optimistic for his TV show.
“If the show does well on the platform, we may be able to answer the question I’ve been getting way too many times: ‘When will we make more episodes?’ The demand for this kind of content is out there. Let’s prove it.”