Years ago we wrote about the movie; “The Grand,” an improvisational comedy, which takes a stab at the often hilarious look at what happens at the, sometimes crazed, high stakes poker tables.
So, if you love movies, comedy, and poker then this movie will have you in stitches. It may not help you with your poker skills but you may recognize some of this behavior exhibited by way too many players from Vegas to Macau and anywhere poker is played.
“The Grand” stars Woody Harrelson along with Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Werner Herzog, Cheryl Hines, David Cross, Dennis Ferrina, Richard Kind, Gabe Kaplan, and Chris Parnell. And, naturally any poker movie should include lots of cameos from real poker stars and poker-celebrities like Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Daniel Negreanu and many more.
This is one movie where you may see anything from a giant pair of sunglasses to some jumbo playing cards and pass for cool. We certainly have seen some of these shenanigans at almost every tournament we have played.
Last week we featured four more celebrities that always capture our attention when they are sitting at a poker table. Sometimes you’ll catch them laser- focused on their hand; you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they hesitatingly splash their chips in.
Other times you may catch any one of them goofing around with some superstar POKER PLAYERS like in this picture with film star Christian Slater on the left, superstar poker player Phil Hellmuth in the middle, and Rock n Roll superstar Slash.
Celebrity poker lovers come in all sizes, varying skill levels, and various degrees of taking the games they enter into seriously. Most celebrities I have witnessed seem to be very seriously committed to the game.
Take one of the most beloved Olympic legends of all time, Michael Phelps. Although he hasn’t quite broken through yet, he has cashed about a half dozen times and if he keeps practicing and enters more tourneys, he just might push through and win more. After all, he’s Michael Phelps!
When or where was the last time you saw or heard that Paris Hilton was in the house? Well, if the house happens to be a poker room then you may have seen her up close and personal. She loves poker so much that it has been reported she once bet away her Bentley Continental GT and she still runs to the tables to play her favorite game.
Then there was Mini Me, Verne Troyer, of the Austin Powers movies, who unfortunately passed away this past April. He will be missed by fans of his films and by many who remember this 2′ 8″ giant at poker tables around the world.
How many of you lusted after Pamela Anderson in the “Baywatch” television series? She still has a huge fan base worldwide and over the last several years she’s added a whole new fan base through her appearances at poker tables everywhere. If you play often enough, you might get lucky and spot her pushing chips across the felt.
There are a lot more television, film, and sports personalities who love to hit the poker tables at their closest casinos in hopes of making a deep run . . . and maybe even reach a final table at their favorite tournament.
The title is actually a line spoken by entrepreneur Molly Bloom, played by Jessica Chastain in the upcoming poker thriller, “Molly’s Game.” I’ve written two previous blogs about this film as I eagerly awaited its release. The reasons are simple:
What could possibly intrigue a poker blogger more than a movie about high-stakes poker, especially one written by one of my all-time favorite screenwriters, Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, also making his directorial debut
In the late 2000s, Bloom ran the most exclusive high-stakes star-studded underground poker game ever seen in Hollywood;
Poker-themed movies are generally filled with tension, humor, paranoia, excitement suspense and lots of poker chips;
So, if you’re ready to see the next great poker movie, you’re in luck. The movie has already received great reviews from film critics and was recently honored by the American Film Institute to run as its closing night gala.
Bloom, a world-class skier headed for the Olympics before a freak accident kept her out of the Salt Lake City games, went instead to Los Angeles where, as Sorkin states, she “ended up running for 12 years the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game, a game where there were movie stars (like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Toby McGuire) and hedge fund managers, big name athletes, Saudi princes and millions of dollars changing hands in the course of a night. She became known as the biggest game-runner in the world.”
To find out more about the woman who’d been on her way to Harvard Law School and wound up running a poker room, you’ll have to see the film. And I can finally say, we won’t have to wait much longer. “Molly’s Game” is opening on Christmas Day!
I have always loved poker-themed movies, even before I became a real poker enthusiast through watching and blogging about the Global Poker League throughout the year. Let’s face it; there’s usually some suspense, some thrills, some humor, some paranoia and at least a few fascinating and/or dubious characters – you know, just like a high-stakes poker game. The “Cincinnati Kid,” “High Roller,” “Rounders,” “Runner Runner,” and who can forget “Casino Royal” when James Bond sits at the final table and defeats his arch enemy, LeChiffre, are among the many films that come to mind as poker-based and fun to watch. Not to mention Negreanu’s documentary, “KidPoker,” which we have written about several times in this blog.
So it’s no wonder that I’m eagerly awaiting a movie on the horizon titled, “Molly’s Game.” First of all, one of my all-time favorite wordsmiths, Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, will be making his debut as the director of the film. He’s brilliant, and his dialogue is always spot on, so I know he’ll capture all the action at the poker tables with perfection.
The movie is based on former high-stakes “Poker Princess” Molly Bloom. Never heard of her? Well, she came to L.A. at the age of 26 and rose from cocktail waitress to running the most exclusive, star-studded underground poker game ever seen in Hollywood, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, during the late 2000s. Her private games attracted a who’s who list of pro athletes, financiers, billionaires and A-list actors, including Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire, Leo and Matt. Eventually, the game moved to NY and was ultimately shut down by the FBI (but you can see all about that in the movie.)
As if that weren’t enough, the super-talented, two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Martian) has signed on to play Molly Bloom and the sexy, charismatic British actor, Idris Elba, (The Wire, Luther, Star Trek:Beyond, Beasts of No Nation) will play Bloom’s attorney.
As Sorkin stated, “They’re two of the greatest actors of their generation, paired for the first time, and their chemistry will be electric.”
Others in serious talks to join the cast are Kevin Costner and Michael Cera.
It’s scheduled for release in 2017 and I can’t wait. In my mind, this promises to be the next great poker movie.