While everyone is holed up at home binging on new shows and movies, there's a bunch of highly popular poker movies on Netflix to help get you through the coronavirus pandemic. The all-time classic, "Rounders", is available to stream. In addition, there's "Molly's Game", "Mississippi Grind", and "Win It All" to help you pass the time while in quarantine or lockdown.
Musician and actor, Kenny Rogers, passed away recently at age 81. Rogers is a country and western superstar, but he's also well known in the poker world for his anthemic hit, "The Gambler", which appeared on Rogers' 1978 album, also titled "The Gambler".
Awkwafina will star in a new film titled 'Baccarat Machine', which is based on a Michael Kaplan article about the Phil Ivey edge sorting case and his accomplice, Kelly Sun (real name Cheung Yin Sun). Awkwafina will play Kelly Sun, the mysterious Chinese woman who accompanied Ivey during highstakes baccarat adventures in Australia, Asia, Monte Carlo, and the United Kingdom. The two bilked casinos for millions by Sun manipulating edge sorting techniques in their favor. The two were eventually busted.
D and B Poker published "Poker and Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game" by Martin Harris. During the poker boom, Harris authored a popular blog titled Hard-Boiled Poker. Harris quit his job as an English professor and went to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker for numerous outlets. Over the last 15 years, Harris compiled a collection of essays that became the genesis of Poker and Pop Culture. We're fortunate that Harris sat down with us for a fun interview.
888poker Ambassador, Kara Scott, is hosting a new podcast called Heart of Poker. Kara will sit down to have a loose, yet compelling conversation with some of your favorite poker pros by asking a series of questions that are vastly different than the usual form of questioning from poker media. The first episode is available featuring the legendary Chris Moorman.
Oklahoma Johnny Hale -- an old school poker player, author, and gambler -- passed away at the age of 92. Oklahoma Johnny worked diligently to bring players into the game of poker over the last several decades. He's also the author of the 1999 book "The Life and Times of a Gentleman Gambler: Oklahoma Johnny Hale on Poker and Las Vegas".
Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, First Reformed) will write and direct a new revenge-thriller film titled "The Card Counter" by HanWay Films. The new poker movie features Oscar Isaac (Rise of Skywalker, A Most Violent Year, Inside Llewyn Davis) as a professional poker player named William Tell with a dark past.
Daniel Negreanu wondered about potential sequels to the classic cult films 'Rounders', a 1998 Miramax film originally written by Brian Koppleman and David Levien. Probably the best potential script idea appeared on 2+2 as something called 'EuroRounders'. Numerous ideas about 'Rounders 2' have been rejected over the years including Mike McD breaking up a human trafficking ring to a crypto scam to fighting demons in the sideways world to a prequel set in the early 1980s in the Bronx.
Alfred 'Al' Alvarez, noted poet and author, passed away at age 90. Alvarez is a renown poet but he is highly regarded in the poker industry because of his 1983 non-fiction book "The Biggest Game in Town" in which Alvarez captured the true essence of the 1981 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas.
Vince Van Patten's film, '7 Days to Vegas', will debut in theaters at the end of September and will also be available on video-on-demand series at the end of the month. Vince Van Patten wrote, produced, and acted in the film which also includes cameos from Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Jen Tilly, and Antonio Esfandiari.
Sandra Mohr directed "Poker Queens", which tells the story about the first female poker pros and follows several notable players during the 2019 WSOP. The doc debuts on Amazon Prime streaming services in November. Liv Boeree, Jen Harman, and Kathy Liebert get top billing. E-Tay, Kelly Minkin, Kristen Bicknell, and Loni Hardwood also get screen time.
The poker community, especially in Great Britain and Europe, is saddened at the loss of one of the biggest characters in the game. Mad Marty Wilson made a splash on television poker in the UK around the turn of the century, which helped usher in a British poker boom. Wilson passed away on Friday after a six-month bout with cancer.
D&B Poker Publishing announced they are publishing new titles in 2019 including a long-awaited strategy book by 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer. Fossilman's Winning Tournament Strategies will be released in July 2019. D&B Poker is also publishing a book on poker and popular culture by Martin Harris. The veteran poker reporter and college professor authored Poker and Popular Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game, scheduled for release in June 2019.
Actor Burt Reynolds passed away at the age of 82. The renowned actor was a huge Hollywood star in the 1970s with top-billing roles in Deliverance, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and the Biggest Little Whorehouse in Texas. Reynolds also appeared in P.T. Anderson's film Boogie Nights and received an Academy Award nomination for his role of porn director Jack Horner. In the poker world, Reynold's is most known from his role in Deal. In the 2008 indie film, Reynolds plays a pro named Tommy Vinson who emerges retirement to tutor a young player.
The Live at the Bike aired one of its largest pots in history when Garrett Adelstein cracked Aces with Ace-Queen to win a pot worth $147,000. Meanwhile, Molly Bloom a.k.a. the Poker Princess and author of Molly's Game appeared at the Unibet Open in Bucharest, Romania to open the #QueenRules Ladies event.
Author Maria Konnikova announced her new book was going to be delayed because she's been too busy crushing the poker tables! Maria Konnikova appeared on the Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram to discuss her recent rise on the tournament scene.
PokerCentral produced a mini-documentary on the legendary Johnny Chan. Hear the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner give the Cliff Notes behind his storied life from working in his family's restaurant in Houston to his entry into the world of high-stakes poker. Chan won the WSOP Main Event twice and was the last person to win it in consecutive years (1987-88).
Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin made his directorial debut with Molly's Game, which is the story of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), the media-dubbed "poker princess" and poker host who ran high-stakes poker games in Hollywood and NYC. In real life, celebs like Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leo DiCaprio were regulars in games that Molly ran in Los Angeles. Idris Elba played Bloom's lawyer tasked with keeping her out of prison. The buzz in the Hollywood press is that Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba are contenders for this upcoming Oscars race.
Molly Bloom, author of Molly's Game, appeared for an interview at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in California. A decade ago, Bloom ran some of the biggest high stakes games in New York City and Hollywood that featured A-list stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire. "Players were winning and losing a million dollars a week," explained Molly Bloom. Watch/listen to the interview here.
Molly's Game is officially hitting the screens on November 22. The trailer debuted yesterday. The film will be the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin. Molly's Game is the story of former Olympic skier Molly Bloom, who moved to Los Angeles and embarked on a wild ride where she eventually became the host to the biggest cash game in Hollywood. Her game included the likes of A-list movie stars such as Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck. Bloom eventually got snagged in an FBI investigation. Bloom revealed many details of the games in a tell-all book titled, Molly's Game. And now her story is getting the big picture treatment.
Win It All, a new indie film by Joe Swanberg and starring Jake Johnson, is currently on Netflix. Win It All is a gambling movie that resembles California Split more so than Rounders. The plot surrounds a gambling addict, Eddie (Jake Johnson,) who is tasked with holding a bag of money for a friend serving a six-month stint in prison. In a moment of weakness, Eddie “borrows” money from the bag and goes on a losing gambling bender. When his friend is released from prison several months early, Eddie has to quickly figure out a way to recoup his losses in excess of $21,000.
Tom McEvoy (member of the Poker Hall of Fame, the 1983 WSOP Main Event World Champion, and 4-time bracelet winner) put his 1983 WSOP Main Event bracelet up for sale on ebay. For $15,000 you can purchase the gold bracelet and other additional tchotchkes like signed books, PokerStars team pro patches, and an hour of free poker lessons. McEvoy is not the first WSOP champ to sell a winner's bracelet. Jerry Yang and Jamie Gold auctioned their bracelets for cash. Peter Eastgate sold his bracelet but donated all proceeds to charity.
Fedor Holz had one of the sickest years in the short history of professional poker players with $16.4 million won in 2016 alone. With over $20 million in winnings since 2015, Holz became one of the Masters of the Universe in the poker realm. He credits a shift in his mental preparation, which he also attributed to reading a slew of books that helped make him sharper and mentally tougher. Holz has been posting his book recommendations on Twitter the last couple of weeks by authors such as the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Don Miguel Ruiz and Timothy Ferriss. On November 24, 2016, Holz tweeted a challenge to his followers to read 40 influential books in the last 5 weeks of the year.
Johnny Hughes, a poker historian, author and former manager of the Joe Ely Band, recently passed away. The Lubbock, Texas native wrote columns for numerous poker magazines and published several books including a novel titled Texas Poker Wisdom. Hughes is a well-known raconteur and a man of many talents. Benny Binion hired a young Hughes to be a prop player in Vegas. Later on, he earned a Ph.D. and taught at Texas Tech for twenty years. Hughes grew up with Buddy Holly and frequently played poker with Holly and his bandmates…before and after Holly got famous. Hughes held other jobs including traveling salesman, working in a TV station, and smuggling bootlegged liquor from Mexico into Texas. Hughes played poker with Hall of Famers like Sailor Roberts, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Moss, and Treetop Strauss.
The Poker Brat is finally publishing his memoir tentatively titled: “The Poker Brat.” The long-awaited autobiography by Phil Hellmuth will hit bookshelves and virtual stores next year. The 1989 WSOP Main Event champion and 14-time WSOP bracelet winner originally had a contract with literary giant Harper Collins, but that deal got squashed in the wake of Black Friday 2011. Five years later, Hellmuth found a new publisher and D&B Publishing will release the book in February 2017. Hellmuth's autobiography will spill the beans about how the Poker Brat transformed himself from a high school loser into a world class poker pro. But wait, there's more! Hellmuth is currently in the process of writing another manuscript and motivational book about “how to achieve great things in life.”
Aaron Sorkin is set to make his directorial debut with an adaptation of the memoir Molly's Game, which is a tell-all about secret high-stakes games featuring celebrities and other elite one-percenters. Strong rumors rattling around in Hollywood right now that Academy Award winner Kevin Costner will join the cast that already includes Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. In addition, Michael Cera from Arrested Development fame is also rumored to be interested in a role in Molly's Game as well.
Photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark, the director of the controversial film Kids, admitted on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron that he once shot a man during a poker game. Sounds like a Johnnie Cash lyric, but it was real life for the Tulsa-based artist who documented the dark lives of himself and his friends, who were low-life junkies and speed freaks. In 1976, Clark was jailed for 19 months for shooting a man during a poker game after an opposing player refused to pay him. A stunned Clark revealed that he was shocked that the guy ratted on him to the police.