I remember a time when I had nightly poker games at random friends houses with the television tuned to the non-stop coverage of everything poker. Sure our games and wagers were meager and not as exciting as the games on television, but damned if it wasn’t cool in some weird high school way where we felt like champs when we took the pot. I know I might catch flack for this, but I found the sideshow circus on the television far more interesting than the game taking place in poorly lit basement on the bargain sale felt poker table top that you can get at any Walmart. I mean, yeah you are spending some times with friends and playing poker, but come on, your tells are obvious and I drew a straight on the flop, you can’t WIN.
The poker on television was a spectacle to behold with the cavalcade of personalities that are fit some weird noir-ish archetype. You got the naive, lucky beginner player, then the willy veteran, the poker legend of old, the mysterious foreign national and even the wild card player of the table. Also there would occassionally be the femme fatale who was there in a low cut top dress as her weapon of choice, which was always a nice change of pace. So a movie comes along that tries to capture the wackiness of the poker world and does so with a free spirit and a ridiculous ensemble cast of actors and actresses to play in a poker tournament. It’s a good change of pace from the usual back alley and high stakes poker films we usually see and a entry into the mockumentary genre.
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