Legend: Cinema has produced dozens of films with poker as the main plot
If poker is much older than cinema, the latter has established itself more quickly among the general public. Thus, from the beginning of the 20th century, seeing a film in one of the cinemas of large cities was an activity favored by the bourgeoisie first and then by all sections of the population thanks to often low prices. Thus, certain monuments like In Gone with the Wind have been seen by tens of millions of people around the world.
Poker has long remained confined to a small niche often made up of middle-aged men. You had to open the doors of gaming circles or casinos to indulge in this fun practice. Finally a first revolution would see the light of day with the advent of a new variant called Texas Holdem in the 1960s, which would simplify certain rules, but also bring many more twists and turns to the games.
These two worlds were then ripe enough to meet, firstly with the use of poker in certain films from the heyday of Hollywood such as Kid from Cincinnati with Steve McQueen. Other films would follow…
Cinema monuments use poker as a backdrop
Caption: Poker has a phenomenal visual force that adapts perfectly to the cinematographic universe
Cinema very quickly understood the benefit of using poker in its plots. Indeed, this very particular game could bring a whole range of situations and feelings for the protagonists.
First, let’s talk about Maverick (1994) with Mel Gibson. Before being a sixty-year-old who enjoys his personal lifethe American actor was a superstar who had a string of successes like The lethal Weapon or Braveheart. In this film, we embark on the thrilling world of Bret Maverick, this true poker pro, who navigates a path strewn with pitfalls towards the tournament of the century.
We could also talk about James Bond who often highlights the world of gaming and in particular Casino Royale (2006) with its legendary part between the villain of the film (the Cipher played by Mads Mikkelsen) and our good old 007, Daniel Craig.
But if we had to choose just one, it would definitely be Rounders (1998) by John Dahl. Worn by Matt Damon before he became a superstar with the Jason Bourne saga, but especially by the incredible John Malkovitch in the role of a mischievous player. Matt Damon plays a law student who finds himself in a precarious financial situation after losing all his money in a poker game to Teddy KGB, played by John Malkovich. Although he decided to put aside the cards after this nightmarish evening, one of his closest friends, nicknamed the Maggot and played by Edward Norton, persuades him to dive back into the world of poker.
A perfect film for all poker enthusiastswhere this practice is perfectly highlighted at a time when films did not overplay images and special effects.
Movie stars are often avid gamers
The other very strong link between poker and cinema, which should be highlighted, is outside the big screen, but rather to be found with actors and actresses. Indeed, many of them are truly passionate.
We think, for example, of Ben Affleck, currently showing in the thriller Hypnotic, who has an excellent level allowing him to participate in professional tournaments. Same thing for his best friend Matt Damon, certainly influenced by his experience in Rounders.
Often considered the most passionate about poker in Hollywood is none other than Tobey Maguire. The one who often wore the Spiderman costume had even considered a career change in poker as his love and his level for this game were in line.
Finally, let’s mention the actress Shannon Elizabeth, whom many of you have known in famous teen movies like American Pie Or Scary Movie. The latter took the big step by becoming a professional player in the mid-2000s.