1) Lucky You is a movie about a great poker player who goes to Las Vegas to win a big poker tournament but feels he has to live up to his father’s reputation as a two time world champion in poker. He then runs into his father and ends up playing against him. This movie, made in 2007, is filled with plenty of drama including loan sharks, a love interest for the main character, and a continuous battle between father and son including the big last game in the tournament. There are lots of big actors in this movie that you will enjoy.
2) The movie Casino Royal which came out in 2006, is one of the James Bond series of movies, with two and a half hours of action packed drama that is full of tension, stress, and what will happen next. The movie is set at the beginning of James Bond’s career as he is set to play poker up against a big time criminal who sells weapons with a lot of money on the line. The poker game in the movie is Texas Hold’em, and it seems they are playing the “no limit” version because the players are playing with millions of dollars in chips, and are betting millions at each bet. The players are very real because not only are they good actors, the movie company brought in a pro to teach them how to play and do things just like the pros do it. They also taught them about various “poker faces” to use when playing. The big and final play of the big game is for $115 million! This is a huge pot and gives you the true tension and stress of a Bond movie. You know it wouldn’t be a Bond movie if it wasn’t extreme. This movie was hugely successful and made more money than any other Bond film until another one beat it out six years later.
3) Shade is a drama filled movie that starts out way back years ago about corrupt poker players working with the mob that hustle the other players for their money. Made in 2003, the story then moves forward to years later, as two of the hustlers are again trying to take over another poker games that is run by the mob with a new guy. The drama then moves into twists and turns of corruption, scams, cheating and loan sharks. The drama goes up and down into all kinds of variations of the main theme and the story continues into more drama than you have ever seen. There are a lot of big name actors in this movie with a lot of action and drama from all the famous people.
4) High Roller: The Stu Ungar story is a movie about the true story of the poker legend and gin player Stuey Ungar made in 2003. As a teenager, he became famous for having a high intelligence with card playing who grew into a world famous poker player who is considered to be the best in the world. His playing ability becomes obsessive to the point he is in debt to the mob and is in fear for his life. He is given another chance by a gangster to play in a tournament in Las Vegas. He wins and continues on to a hugely successful career that comes with the down side of problems created by never ending pressure, stress, and the tension of winning that slowly but surely takes their toll.
5) The movie Rounders, is the story of a guy who is an ex-gambler because of huge loses when he played and a promise to his girlfriend not to play anymore, who ends up playing again to save his buddy from loan sharks who are after him. This movie from 1998, is two hours of action and drama covering the underworld of serious gambling. There is action, drama, and tension with the up and down, winning and losing that is involved in playing poker, In the movie, you find out that the name of the movie “Rounder’s” refers to a person that makes the rounds going around from place to place looking for really big cash poker games. The movie was not that successful but because of Texas Hold’em being played in the poker scenes and how popular it is, there are people who really became fans.
6) Maverick which was made in 1994 is the story about two con artists, one of them a man who is trying to win enough funds to play in a big poker tournament and is out to prove to everyone that he is the best poker player out there and a woman con artist who joins him. This movie has all kinds of adventures along the way as he tries to come up with the money to get into a major tournament. There are plenty of scenes of the tournament with corruption, cheating, and confrontation as the players are eliminated one by one out of the game. It finally comes down to the end of the game but the drama doesn’t end there as the winnings are stolen and the chase begins to get it back. There is a surprise twist to the ending that completes the movie. There are several big named actors in this film and a famous television show that this movie concept was taken from. The movie was very successful financially and was nominated for an award.
7) Honeymoon is Vegas- this movie, made in 1992, is a cute romance movie with lots of big, named stars in the center of things. The premise of the movie is about a private eye who promised his mom to never marry anyone but goes to Las Vegas to get married to his girlfriend. While there, a scam artist talks him into playing poker with him on the premise that if he wins, he gets a weekend with the private eye’s girlfriend. He then loses a large sum of money to the poker player and must then give him his girlfriend for the weekend. When she goes off on a nice trip with him, the private eye realizes what he had and goes after her to win her back.
8) The Gambler, done in 1974 is about a man who teaches in college, is very well educated, and comes from a very prestigious family but has a gambling addiction that gets out of control. He keeps losing and borrows from all the important people in his life but then runs out of people to borrow from and ends owing the wrong people a large sum of money and they come after him. The movie ends with an unexpected ending with twists and turns along the way always makes it better when doing a movie about gambling and poker. This movie was actually based on a true story of the writer, his career and his gambling addiction. The movie also won an award for the movie.
9) A Big Hand for a Little Lady made in 1966, this is a western about a stranger and his family who are passing through town when they have a problem with their wagon and have to wait for repairs. The man is an ex-gambling addict who gets involved in a poker game with five very wealthy men who play in a big game every year for big stakes. The stranger gets involved in the game until the stakes get too high and he is unable to play so he has his wife fill in and finish the game. Of course the game in full of tension, stress, ups and downs, one minute he’s doing well and the next minute he’s losing, showing how poker is and up and down game of constant changes and uncertainty. The poker games ends and it is disclosed that the stranger, his supposed wife and son are scam artists who have set up the five gamblers, together with the banker to get them back because of them swindling him years ago. This sounds like a really good movie to see, especially with famous stars who play the key characters, I think this is worth seeing.
10) The Cincinnati Kid is a drama that was made in 1965 about a young man that is trying to work his way up in the world of poker to be the best in the poker world. This movie tells the story of his journey to be the best poker player during the depression when so many people were struggling just to live. As he works his way up the ladder playing in different poker games, he eventually plays against an older man thought to be one of the best in the poker world. There are lots of winding roads to this story including blackmail and intense confrontations during the big poker game between two big names in poker. The game goes on for a while as they eliminate the players one by one until it gets down to the main character and the older man. This leads up to the big final scene in the game for that last hand that will decide the game. Two of the actors of the movie were nominated for awards for their performance in the movie.