Posts Tagged ‘poker-movies’

AGA Plans to Use Online Poker Movie to Make Case for Regulation

by , Aug 23, 2013 | 2:17 am

Gaming leaders are looking at leveraging the release of a feature film that depicts the seedier side of illegal Internet poker to raise awareness of the need for proper regulation of online wagering.

American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman, in an email to the organization’s board of directors last week, said the Oct. 4 release of “Runner Runner” presents the Washington-based lobbying group an opportunity to state its case for Congress to pass regulations governing Internet gaming in the United States.

The movie, which stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, centers on illegal offshore Internet poker and the cheating of U.S. gamblers. According to the plot summary on, Affleck portrays an online gambling tycoon in Costa Rica who is confronted by Timberlake’s Princeton graduate school student who believes he’s been swindled by the website.

“This film provides our industry with an opportunity that the AGA will capitalize upon,” Freeman said. “The AGA will leverage the certain coverage this film will receive to raise awareness about the need for proper regulation of online gaming.”

Freeman, who became the association’s president in June, said tactics could include releasing research data on the amount of illegal Internet gaming that is estimated to be taking place in the U.S.


11 Stories You Should Know if You’re Just Getting into the WSOP

by , Jun 15, 2013 | 4:52 pm

Maybe you’re kinda like me (or not) and just getting into the 2013 Stanley Cup World Series of Poker? It’s a long haul, sure, but know the basics of these stories and you can feel confident about having a pretty good grasp on how the deal has gone down at the WSOP this summer, and at least won’t sound like a total poker dunce while hosting your next weekly homegame and/or podcast.


1. Chad Holloway Wins

Whoop-whoop all PokerNews-er-ati! Suck it dealers and floor staff! With Chad’s $85k win in Event #1 comes a) proof that just a few years in poker media can make a clean-cut golden boy look disheveled and scruffy … and b) inspiration for many wearing a badge to think that maybe we shouldn’t give up our on-the-felt dreams just quite yet. [ESPN]


Battle of the Online Poker Documentaries?

by , Jun 12, 2013 | 6:12 pm

I’m off to the premiere of Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker, at the Palms. Supposedly there’s gonna be a bitchin’ after-party, too. Supposedly I’m in it … but we never got around to a second interview, so who knows who makes it past the cutting room floor.

But assuming I did make the cut, maybe I’ll finally get a listing in the IMDB?

Bet Raise Fold is the second recent online poker documentary. I was in the other one, too. All In: the Poker Movie was abuzz at last year’s WSOP, and just last week made its small-screen debut, beginning a run on Showtime.

It’s not a surprise that All In made it first in the race to tell the post-Black Friday poker story, even though Bet Raise Fold was more than halfway done before Black Friday. All In was made by experienced filmmakers, after all, who simply jumped on the opportunity to put Leonardo DiCaprio Matt Damon in a YouTube freeze-frame, imho. But BRF was made by the minds behind the Micros — real poker players who know firsthand the impact of Black Friday — so I’ll be very curious to see if their deep connection to the storyline makes their movie better or worse.

Poker to the Masses

by , Mar 26, 2012 | 10:47 am

For those who weren’t up at 6am pacific last Thursday watching news, Chris Moneymaker appeared on Morning Joe (MSNBC’s start to the mainstream news day) with Doug Tirola, director of ALL IN: The Poker Movie … the documentary you’ve been hearing about for years (it won an award at the Cinevegas Film Festival three years ago!) that really has been finished thanks to Black Friday providing an ending, and is finally showing for the non-poker public:

While poker people may think this film is a fine representation of the past nine years of our lives … the virtual parade of poker personalities telling the tale (including yours truly, ahem) in the most hyped poker movie since Lucky You got panned by had the New York Times rolling its eyes, saying, “in the interest of accuracy. It ought to be ‘All In: The Poker Propaganda Movie.'”

Fair-ish point by the NYT, but really, watch the clip above and you see a filmmaker who, after 5+ years shooting this film, is not so much a political activist as he is a religious convert.

Online Poker Movie Trailer, Take X

by , Dec 13, 2011 | 5:10 pm

Check it out … poker movies seem to be proliferating ever since revelations of crime and darkness made the game semi-dramatic once again. This one, Ace High — not to be confused with the 1968 western of the same name nor the PBR bull that remains unridden after 90+ attempts — seems to be about a privileged extra-smart kid whose online poker success brings in backers … but not before he gets in too deep (presumably with people shadier than he realized) … where he’s sure to lose his hot college romance if he doesn’t win the big one (not to be confused with The Big One for One Drop, which screams for straight-to-DVD release).

No spoiler intended … Just guessing at the plot-line from the Ace High trailer, which is fairly good-lookin’ for an indie movie still seeking funding to complete. Wonder how PokerStars got the product placement … and which online pros may or may not make any on-screen appearances … and whether or not players would have legal rights use of the likeness of their online poker avatars or even screen names:

LUCKY US: More Poker Documentaries

by , Sep 22, 2011 | 4:58 pm

I can already call it … 2012 will be the year of poker documentaries. The desire to tell true-life tales about the rise and fall of online poker in the USA should reach fever pitch as a classic story of crime and punishment plays out on Court TV. Ooh, that’s just in theory, of course, as we don’t yet know what’s on the docket for 2012 in the Southern District of New York nor Court TV’s programming schedule for next year. But it’s almost enough to get my conspiracy bells ringing over WSOP-Europe’s move to Cannes and/or the trend of using ALL CAPS in titles.

A lot of you already know about BOOM: The Incredible True Story of Online Poker, produced by Cardrunners icons Taylor Caby and Jay Rosenkrantz. Now, also coming soon, we have ALL IN: The Poker Movie, produced by the relatively big-time 4th Row Films.

Apparently both Boom and All In were all (or almost) ready to go right before Black Friday … which kinda caused a narrative breakdown in their endings.

I sat for both these films (as a talking head) … but have no idea whether or not my parts ended up on the cutting room floor. Kinda bummed I didn’t end up in the teaser below for All In … but hey, I guess I can understand appearing lower in the credits than Howard Lederer and Annie Duke.

(Can only imagine how excited producers must have gotten over Bernie Madoff-level allegations against one of their “stars”!)

Release date (and New York premiere party?) scheduled for February 2012. I really can’t wait to see how it all ends … on the big screen as well as in real life.

Saturday Afternoon Singalong

Five Card Stud

by , Jan 22, 2011 | 7:59 pm

Watched Five Card Stud this afternoon (on Showtime Extreme) … a 1968 western starring Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum about a drunken poker game that turns into a lynching when the new guy turns out to be a cheat. But when the lynch mob starts dying off one-by-one, no one knows who’s seeking vengeance, nor which player will be the last man standing.

It takes place in Colorado in 1880 … the gold rush is on and the town of Rincon is fast becoming known for its juicy games and associated vice. And as much as I was intrigued by the role of black people and Christianity post-Civil War (as portrayed in the late ’60s) … what really stood out was how the players shuffled their chips.

Anyhow, the music is kinda country meets the Doors, with gambler’s lyrics sung by an old-school Vegas crooner. And with last month’s news that production of Rounders 2 is underway … well, Five Card Stud, a song about the game that was the great Uncle to contemporary Texas Hold’em, reminded me how much poker stories have changed over the years, and how much they haven’t.

Poker Mockumentary Wins (Best in) Film Festival Award

by , Oct 22, 2010 | 5:54 am

Again, WTF is up with all the new poker movies, videos, shorts, Poker Beat spinoffs, internet talk shows, reality gigs, and other multimedia poker storylines being put out by folks other than Poker PROductions, ESPN, 441, or PokerRoad?

A new movie — Hitting the Nuts — debuted a couple weeks ago at the Cincinnati Film Festival to overwhelmingly positive reviews and even won the 2010 Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. The story is a tale of professional poker’s “farm system” in Scott County, Indiana …it’s supposedly a little Waiting for Guffman, a little Spinal Tap, and by my take even a little Greater Tuna. Not about the actual WSOP as much as it is getting to the WSOP … by way of a big annual legally questionable tournament.

Seems potentially funny-ish … but probably better than the Grand, poker’s last mockumentary, which proved to be a box-office flop despite a star-studded cast with the likes of Ray Romano, David Cross, Cheryl Hines, and Woody Harrelson, who perhaps ironically made his name in Hollywood by playing a character from rural Indiana:

The producers come from LA and Las Vegas improv troupes (we have improv troupes in Vegas?) — and their actors are all no-names. Sure, Cincinnati’s no Cannes, but still … there were only 13 total awards given in Cincy, and Hitting the Nuts was competing with nearly 100 other films … many with award-baiting titles like Grandchildren of the Cuban Revolution, Sounds of Beirut, and Trailerpark.

OMGClayAiken Is an Actor

by , Nov 20, 2009 | 11:32 am

Funny … just about everyone in poker is trying to branch out of it, including Phil Galfond, who is trying his hand at artsy film movie noir:

via PokerListings. Thanks Gary Wise for the tip/man-lover cheerleading.


Shark out of Water?

by , Nov 15, 2009 | 11:54 am

Did I just miss this movie, or is it due out soon? Gotta say, I’m kinda intrigued, despite Phil Hellmuth’s involvement:

Here’s the official movie website — I think maybe it was a straight-to-DVD thing? It did get nominated for Best Short Drama at the Leo Awards, whatever they may or may not be.

Lady Gaga to Play APT Macau?

by , Aug 11, 2009 | 9:08 am

Lady Gaga has a new tattoo. WTF — no spade, heart, club, or diamond?

Not exactly … but like Michael Phelps, she did get a special invite — as the pop singer will be playing a show at the Galaxy StarWorld Casino at the same time. Personally, I’m gettin’ a little tired of being bluffed by muffins, but that’s neither here nor there when you’ve got a chance to make a cameo appearance in Johnny Chan’s forthcoming Chinese-language “Poker King” movie, right?

From EarthTimes:

Dear Lady Gaga,

“I wanna hold them like they do in texas please, fold’em let em hit me raise it baby stay with me.” We certainly hope so and cannot believe the coincidence that you are playing live in Macau on Saturday 15th August while the Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival is in full swing at the Galaxy Starworld.

Your ‘Fame Ball’ Tour has been a huge hit and we are sure the plaudits in Macau will be the same as in Osaka, Tokyo, Seoul and Manila but imagine the reaction if you showed your poker face at the Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival! Not only will the venue be full of the world’s best poker players, the tournament is also the backdrop to the first ever Chinese language poker movie ‘Poker King,’ which people would go ‘gaga’ for if you took on a cameo role. Forget the wigs, keep the bleached blonde hair and think about the exposure to a huge audience!


Benecio del Toro, 50 Cent to Appear in Poker Movie?

Benicio del Toro, 50 Centavo aparezca en película sobre póquer

by , Aug 10, 2009 | 6:26 pm

That’s what Wisin and Yandel are saying (in Spanish). The world’s most popular reggaeton duo will be appearing in the name-not-revealed poker-themed movie, which is to be filmed soon in Puerto Rico and produced by David Maldonado.

No word on whether the movie would be in Spanish or English … but gotta say, creo que (English) subtitles definitely have the potential to be “good for poker”, no?

Thanks @RoyalBunker for the HU!

Rounders 2 Coming Soon?

by , Jul 27, 2009 | 2:44 pm

That’s what PokerListings says:

“We’ve been concentrating on Rounders 2 lately; Ideas are percolating,” [David] Levien told PokerListings. “It’s great to know that all of the original players want to come back and do another one.”

Online Poker Film by Rounders Writers, Starring Leo DiCaprio

by , Jun 16, 2009 | 1:45 am

The Hollywood Reporter is, well, reporting from Hollywood that Leonardo DiCaprio is pegged to star in a film about online casinos based in Costa Rica. Not only does the star currently aligned with the film give us hope that it won’t be another Deal, but the writers – Brian Koppelman and David Levien – are the same ones who penned Rounders. And Paramount Pictures has picked up the script. (Note to self: Check in with former employer Paramount for possible consultant positions available. Cha-ching!)

Hmmm, Costa Rican-based online casinos…like UltimateBet and Absolute Poker? Scandals and cheaters and Russ Hamiltons, oh my.

Since the movie is yet untitled, let’s throw out a few gems for Paramount to consider:

Titanic (ooooh, sorry)
UB and Me
Rounders 2 (or Part Deux for my French friends)
What’s Eating Russ Hamilton?
Gangs of Costa Rica
The 11th Hand

Okay, I’m done. Anyone else?

Poker Movie Wins Award

Top documentary at CineVegas

by , Jun 14, 2009 | 10:25 pm

[tab: News]All In: The Poker Movie won the jury prize for Best Documentary at the CineVegas Film Festival last week — which knowledgeable movie people tell me is known as a respected minor league version of Sundance. It supposedly won’t be announced until tomorrow afternoon, but Variety already has the results.

Chris Moneymaker is a hero again.

Even not-so-pokery people are saying this 98-minute history of the game is a sleepy sleeper hit. Indie Film Examiner says:

This film claims that poker is a “microcosm of the American dream”. After viewing it I completely agree.

And VegasHappensHere:

But “All In” tonight really taught me something else: The poker boom is about as American as anything ever was. The variation on the game itself — Texas Hold ‘Em — is an American invention. Risk-taking is the foundation of our capitalist society. And the ingredients that turned it into what it is today include new technology (hole-card cams, Web poker) and anyone-can-succeed chutzpah (Moneymaker) that have deep roots in our national traditions.

[tab: Video from premiere]
PokerListings was at the premiere, at the Palms:

All In: The Poker Movie Premiere from