Poker has not only been a major part of some people’s personal lives but also a major part of motion pictures. There are endless movies where poker is a part of the central plot. Even though no person owns poker, this branding has been tremendous for the game and could get attributed to why it remains such a popular sport. There have been many movies with a group of guys or girls having a fun night at the house playing a game of poker. These moments stick in your psyche and could have been the reason you picked up a deck of playing cards or were the first person to bring the idea of a night filled with poker. It’s inescapable and has found its way into American culture forever.
Below we will look at three films with poker as a key element in the plot.
Three films with poker at the heart of the plot
Here are some films where poker is a critical part of the movie’s overall plot.
- Rounders – This is one of the movies where you cannot escape poker. The focus of the movie is on high-stakes poker. The main character, played by Matt Damon, is forced to navigate the underground world of high-stakes poker to help his friend, Ed Norton, pay off his debt. The interesting thing about this film is that while it did not fare incredibly well at the box office, it did take place before the resurgence of poker in the mainstream view, which took place in the early 2000s. Despite its lukewarm success, it has developed a cult following and could be the film that helped poker re-emerge from its diminishing relevance.
- Molly’s Game – This movie is much more recent and acquired a lot more success at the box office than Rounders, but it has a similar feel. The setting of the movie is again in the underground poker world. However, in this movie, the main plot has the main character, played by Jessica Chastain, leaving law school and deciding to go into the world of underground poker. She sets up one of the most notorious and exclusive underground poker empires. Her clientele included celebrities, athletes, and the like, but she also brought the FBI’s attention. She gets caught but gets nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The movie got its inspiration from a book by Molly Bloom, the woman whose true story inspired the movie.
- High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story – The world of poker can be a fun place, but it can also be a toxic place. This movie follows the life of Stu Ungar, from the early years of his life up until his death at the hands of drugs. At the time of the release, Stu was only one of two people to win the WSOP main event three times, two times in the early 80s and the last time in the late 90s, but this did not come without its share of issues. When you are winning big money and rolling high, you want the good times to keep rolling, and this is where drugs come into play. Add this to Stu’s not-so-good financial record, and it’s no surprise drugs would be his ultimate demise. Less than a year after winning his last WSOP main event, he was found dead in a cheap hotel at the hands of drugs. The film offers not only the good times of poker but the bad side of poker, how someone can go from having it all to having nothing when it all ends.
Poker is an entertaining sport that has been around for a long time. It’s only natural it has found its way into Hollywood movies. What each of these movies shows is there is a good and bad side to poker, fun and an ugly side to poker, just like anything else in life. But these movies also show that movies with poker in the main title attract people to come and watch. Most people like to play poker, so it only makes sense that Hollywood would make movies with poker. In the case of Rounders, a movie made with declining poker numbers across the country, it could be why the next two movies fell into the orbit of major movie studios. Watching these movies will give you a good insight into the world of poker and show you the fun of poker, you might even be inspired to start checking out some of the best real money poker sites found here Make these a part of movie night, and you will not be disappointed in what you see.