If you love poker and also enjoy a good movie, you may have seen your own fair share of poker movies over the years, including classics from the 60’s and 70’s to the more recent movies of the 90’s and 2000’s, but if you haven’t seen the following three movies, you‘ve been missing out.
The top 3 movies that caught our attention and also seem to appear on most people’s list of must-see Texas Hold’em poker movies includes titles such as ‘High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story’ (otherwise known as ‘Stuey’), as well as ‘Lucky You’ featuring Eric Bana, Robert Duval and Drew Barrymore and possibly the best poker movie ever, ‘Rounder’s’ featuring Matt Damon and John Malcovic. This one also stars John Tuturro.
If there are three poker movies that everyone should see at one point in their life, these are the ones. Each one has a completely different plot but all revolve around the world’s most loved card game, Texas Hold’em. These movies are often underrated and certainly deserve more recognition.
High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story’ is a tragic biopic based on the life of the famous American poker player, Stu Ungar. This movie was made in 2003 and was produced by F.A Miller and directed by A.W Vidmer. The entire movie takes the perspective of a flashback and follows the highs and lows of one of pokers most prominent figures.
Ungar, who is played by Michael Imperiolo (the Sopranos) retells his life story which reveals the WSOP titles that he won, his turbulent battle with cocaine addiction (which led to the breakup of his marriage) and it takes us right up until his untimely death. This is a true modern classic.
‘Lucky You’ was a film directed by Curtis Hanson in 2007 which stars Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore and the legendary Robert Duvall. This movie is about the bitter relationship between Huck Cheever (Bana) and his father, L.C Cheever (Duvall), both of whom are pro poker players who inevitably have to face each other in a heads up-game.
Huck needs to raise at least $10,000 so that he can by a seat to the WSOP main event and he will do almost anything to get this cash. His love interest is his on-off singer girlfriend Billie (Barrymore) and the film actually contains plenty of poker action. The story has a happy ending, but it’s a rollercoaster of a ride from start to end.
The absolute must-see number 1 Texas Hold’em Poker movie has to be ‘Rounder’s’, starring Matt Damon (who plays a fictional character called Mike McDermott). Directed by John Dahl, ‘Rounders’ is the oldest of the three mentioned here, filmed in 1997. This movie is basically about having to play poker to pay off a debt and includes characters such as Russian gangster ‘KGB’ (Malcovich), Mike’s best friend, Worm (Edward Norton) and Mike’s Mentor Knish (Turturro).
There is a tense poker show-down between Mike and KGB (who Mike has previously lost big too), but does he lose again or is he able to clear his debt? The ending to this film is great and the general plot has been well written. ‘Rounder’s’ should be at the top of your list of movies to go and see, especially for the poker enthusiasts out there.