Best Poker Movies
Here is a list of the best poker movies not to be missed if you are interested in the game of poker.
1. Rounders (1998)
For the younger generation, this is the iconic poker movie.
Rounders tells the struggle of Mike McDermott (Matt Demon) who tries to become a professional poker player while playing Texas Hold'em heads-up matches against underground poker room owner "KGB" (John Malkovich). Interesting cameo from Johnny Chan while he was winning the 1988 WSOP main event.
2. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Another iconic poker movie for older viewer is "The Cincinnati Kid", with Steve McQueen playing Eric Stoner, an up-and-coming poker pro.
Interestingly the game variation is five-card stud, the earliest form of stud poker originating during the American Civil War, popular then but rarely played nowadays. The film depicts the exclusive lifestyle in the milieu of high stakes poker and private games in the 60's.
3. The Sting (1973)
The Sting starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford won seven Academy awards including Best Picture. This is the story of two con artists attempting to con a mob boss through a complicated plot including a poker high-stakes private game played on a train.
Paul Newman is the veteran scam artist and his skills at cheating and deceiving at Draw Poker are out of this world. He then shows how to use the greed of this unscrupulous horse bettor to make a huge payday.
4. A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)
Also released as "Big Deal at Dodge City", this movie is a classic of the poker classics with Henry Fonda and Joanne Woodward.
This is a western where a high stakes game of no-limit five-card draw takes place among five wealthy business owners. The betting follows the rule of the West, meaning that you can add as much money to your stack as you want, even in the middle of a hand. Here watch an elaborate swindle leading to a very large pot. You will understand the true meaning of the word bluff.
5. Maverick (1994)
A classic poker movie with superstars Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner. If you like poker and comedy, rent it, this is a real funny poker video, and one of the best performances of Mel Gibson in a comedy (not a thriller).
A poker tournament of five-card draw takes place on a riverboat. This is a comedy with a lot of adventures for Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) who has trouble finding the $25,000 buy-in. Deception shows up its ugly head at every corner.
6. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)
This movie did not get great reviews, and maybe it should not based on acting and direction. But the reason to watch is simply that it narrates the story of who most poker players believe is the best poker player who ever lived, Stu Ungar. The movie is based on his autobiography and is quite close to his true live. This is a great story about human nature but a sad story, so watch it if you like poker.
7. Lucky You (2007)
This poker movie stars Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall. Not well received in the box office, the movie shows the life of a son and father Las Vegas poker pros who compete in the WSOP main event. Eric Bana plays the estranged son of Robert Duvall, a former WSOP main event winner (playing a role close to a version of Doyle Brunson). Not such a bad movie. Watch the heads-up between father and son; jack high can be good heads-up!
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