“Big Bet” is a South Korean series that follows Cha Moo Sik, a legendary businessman in the world of casinos whose life has never been straight but a tale of twists and turns. Choi Min Sik plays the leading role along with Son Suk Ku, Lee Dong Hwi, and Heo Sung Tae. The first season of “Big Bet” is directed by Kang Yoon Sung.
What Does Moo Sik Get Arrested For?
“Big Bet” Episode 1 begins in Agiles, Philippines, in 2015, when Cha Moo Sik gets arrested by the police for allegedly murdering Min Seok Jun. Moo Sik is the most-wanted criminal from South Korea who finally gets caught in a trap. He makes it to the international news as he is forced to sit for a press conference. He doesn’t answer any questions from the reporters, as he is frustrated that he got fooled. The story takes us back to 1972 in the small town of Yangsan, where Moo Sik lived in a daycare that was more of an orphanage because most of the parents never came back to get their children.
Moo Sik was an optimistic and kind-hearted kid who believed that his mother would come back for him one day, but his only friend, Jong Hyun, used to laugh at his vain hope. Moo Sik didn’t like the food in the daycare and wanted to eat the fried chicken he had seen at the market. He needed to make money, so he caught fire ants from the forest to sell to a herbalist. However, the money he got was not enough to buy fried chicken, and that’s when he gambled with money for the first time. He was a go-getter, but gambling is all about luck. He lost his money and didn’t get to eat anything that day. The next day was a surprise to him, as his mother came and took him back with her. His mother struggled to make money, while his father, who was a notorious gangster, often spent time in prison. Yet, she came back for Moo Sik because she felt guilty about abandoning him.
Moo Sik’s mother couldn’t pay attention to him and didn’t know that he couldn’t write in Hangul (the Korean script). His father had just returned from prison, and when he learned about this, he started teaching Moo Sik how to write. It was the only thing his father ever did for him, as he soon went to prison again for beating up people. It was 1976 when Moo Sik and his mother moved to Daejeon to make a living. His mother started working at a small eatery in exchange for a place to live and a little money to spend. Like they were fated to meet, Moo Sik ran into Jong Hyun at the railway station. Jong Hyun used to sell newspapers for commission, and Moo Sik joined him. On the first day, Moo Sik sold over a hundred newspapers. Moo Sik always had determination, and more than that, he believed in himself.
Twenty-four years later, Moo Sik became an English language trainer and set up the biggest language training institute in Daejeon. Chi Young, who ran an arcade business, had been facing losses and came to Moo Sik for help. While discussing the solutions, one of Chi Young’s assistants suggested opening a casino bar like the famous Mangchi that had opened in Busan. All of them drove down to Busan, and Moo Sik loved the idea of this new business. In no time, he set up a place, brought some dealers, and started his own casino bar in Daejeon with Chi Young.
What Made Moo Sik Go Bankrupt?
A year later, Moo Sik and Chi Young’s casino business was booming, but something they feared came true. While Moo Sik and Chi Young were busy playing golf, Sang Chul, the casino manager, got arrested by the tax officer. The officer took him to the tax office to get him to confess everything, but he didn’t speak up. Moo Sik was smart enough to keep all the cash to himself, but Chi Young kept the money in the bank, and the officers froze his bank accounts. Moo Sik had told Chi Young not to contact his wife for some days, but he still did and got caught as the officers kept an eye on his wife. Moo Sik only learned about it after he called Chi Young, and the tax officer talked to him. Moo Sik was already on his way to the Philippines, so he asked his old friend, Jong Hyun, who was now a police officer, to help Chi Young.
Back in high school, Moo Sik, who used to recite poetry in his free time, had got into a fight with his senior, which eventually led him to become longtime friends with the said senior, Sungil. After he ran off to the Philippines, Sungil and his other friend, Deon Geok, helped him find a place to stay. Sungil used to run a casino bar in the Philippines, and he introduced Moo Sik to the biggest casino in the country and its manager, Min Seok Jun. Moo Sik gambled one time at his casino, and it turned into an addiction after some days as he had nothing else to do. Over the span of 3 months, Moo Sik lost all the money he brought from Korea and had to borrow from others. Back in Korea, the tax officer reached Moo Sik’s wife, and through her, the officer contacted Moo Sik again. She told him to come back to his home country and pay the tax if he didn’t want to be charged.
Chi Young had already been charged and indicted for five years in prison and a huge fine to pay. It could have been Moo Sik had he come back to the country, but Chi Young became the scapegoat. However, it looked like Moo Sik would soon need to go back to Korea, as his wife informed him that his father might pass away soon. Even so, Moo Sik didn’t have enough money for a flight ticket and asked Deon Geok to lend him some, but he straight-up refused. Moo Sik helped Deon Geok when he was struggling, but Deon Geok kept leeching off him, and now when Moo Sik needed his help, he turned his back on him. As if he wasn’t already in trouble, Sang Gu, who had loaned Moo Sik money, came knocking on his door with thugs.
Moo Sik told Sang Gu that he always kept his promises and somehow managed to return to Korea just in time for his father’s funeral. After the funeral, he went to the tax office and negotiated the fine amount with the officer. He promised to pay the fine but went back to the Philippines before doing so. Seok Jun offered him a partnership in his business, and Moo Sik paid off all of his debt. He ended his friendship with Deok Geon and took Sang Gu to work with him. Moo Sik expected better from his business partnership with Seok Jun, but he was often sent to collect money from the debtors. Behaving like a gangster never suited Moo Sik, but he had no choice then. Moo Sik always had big dreams.
‘Big Bet’ Season 1 Episode 3: Ending
Moo Sik’s homeroom teacher in high school had a big influence on him. He made Moo Sik believe that he was intelligent enough to go to college, and because of him, Moo Sik passed the college entrance exam with high scores. However, the teacher quit the job due to his illness, and the replacement teacher didn’t support Moo Sik’s dreams. Moo Sik wanted to study Korean or English literature at a top university in Seoul, but the teacher made him choose political science at a local university because they gave him a scholarship. Moo Sik regretted that decision and quit college to start earning money. His wife, Su Jin, was also a student in the same department back then. Moo Sik met Su Jin again at the democracy protest when the police guards attacked the students protesting calmly.
“Big Bet” has shown us so far that Moo Sik has been betting his life for everything he does, right from childhood until now. He acts before thinking, and that leads him into situations he never imagined getting into. While trying to protect Su Jin from the police guard, Moo Sik got hit many times and fainted. When Moo Sik woke up, he heard the students demanding his freedom. He was sent to prison for a short time, and after he came out, the students made him the national leader of the ongoing democracy protest that was bound to be written in the history of South Korea.
See More: ‘Big Bet’ Episode 4: Recap & Ending: How Did Moo Sik Become The Most Powerful Korean In The Philippines?