Posts Tagged ‘“Win’

New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

 New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

It isn’t very often that movies about gambling – and especially poker – come across any of the forms of media from Hollywood. Arguably the best known of this genre is the seminal poker film Rounders and there are few other examples that would compare (for comedy, check out The Grand and, to help Matt Savage’s retirement fund, go for Lucky You). A new effort that didn’t even go to the silver screen is now drawing attention for its realistic look at gambling and poker.

One of the best things that has come from the streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix is that they are now developing their own programming. That’s where a fan of gambling films can find Win It All, streaming on Netflix basically any time that the viewer wants to watch it. The movie has a 95% approval rating on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes (based on 20 reviews) and an average rating of 7.5 out of 10, while it also garners a 78 (on a scale of 100) on the website Metacritic.

The movie focuses on Eddie Garrett (Jake Johnson, known for his work on the Fox comedy New Girl), a gambler whose day job is parking cars at Wrigley Field in Chicago (for anyone who has ever tried to park in the neighborhood surrounding the home of the Cubs, you’ll understand the job) and who by night is, as his Gamblers’ Anonymous sponsor Gene (Keegan-Michael Key of the Comedy Central program Key & Peele), someone who has “never won.” But things are about to change for Garrett after he does a favor for a friend of his named Michael (Jose Antonio Garcia):  hold onto a duffel bag while he is incarcerated, but don’t look inside it.

While it should be easy to do a favor, curiosity gets the better of Eddie and he eventually cracks open the bag to find a crapload of money inside. And, naturally, because he is a compulsive gambler, Eddie eventually blows the money in the bag through a variety of gambling means. Where the twist comes to the movie is when Michael calls Eddie from prison to let him know that he’s being released early and Eddie must come up with the money that he’s lost in the only way he knows – gambling.

The premise may not be appealing to those who consider themselves “professional gamblers,” but Win It All works because of the directing of the film. Director Joe Swanberg gives the film a great look at how the underground gambling scene works (he also films it very well), but Swanberg also doesn’t shirk scenes away from the “world of gambling.” Win It All is as much a look at the gambling world as it is a glimpse into the mind and psychology of a person who tries to do the right things but sometimes steps awry.

It may be a better effort than what could be coming down the pike soon. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has finished his directorial debut in Molly’s Game, his adaptation of “The Poker Princess” Molly Bloom’s story of working in the world of underground poker. The story of Bloom is well known to most in the poker world, how she went from a former Olympic hopeful to the organizer and host for the biggest high stakes cash games in first Hollywood and then New York. The problem with Molly’s Game? Sorkin doesn’t plan to tell the whole story.

On many occasions, Sorkin has stated he will not delve into the players who took part in the games, going as far as to not name them at all. That would mean ignoring (or at least putting on fictitious players) vast swaths of Bloom’s book where she talks about such power players as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and other Hollywood producers and businessmen. Sorkin has also said that Molly’s Game isn’t about the poker but about “Bloom’s journey to finding who she is.”

The problem for Molly’s Game is that it has lined up some A-list talent for what might be a horrendous story. Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain will play Bloom, with Idris Elba slated to play her attorney and be a major plot driver. Others such as Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Jeremy Strong are also a part of the project, which is slated for release later this year.

Until the Sorkin film premieres, we might have to do with Win It All to satisfy the jones for gambling movies. If the reviews are correct, it may be the better of the two films.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Adds “Win the Button” Tournaments to Schedule

 PokerStars Adds “Win the Button” Tournaments to Schedule

PokerStars announced today that it has added a number of “Win the Button” tournaments to its schedule, building on the success of this poker tournament variation in the online poker room’s sponsored live events.

The Win the Button format has appeared now and again online, but has generally just been one of those one-off, fun, gimmicky types of games. The name of the game is an accurate descriptor: in Win the Button events, whoever wins the hand is automatically put in the dealer’s position – the button – for the next hand. As most of our readers likely know, the button is the most powerful seat at the table, as the player in that spot acts last in each betting round.* There is no limit to how many times in a row someone can be on the button, so the winner of a hand already has a slight edge to win the next one and return to the button. It’s kind of like “make it, take it” in pickup basketball.

Theoretically, Win the Button is likely meant to heat up the action at the tables, as winning a pot now has the added bonus of grabbing an advantage for the next hand. There could even be jockeying in a hand to try to prevent a player to someone’s right doesn’t win, as that would put that “someone” in the blinds.

Win the Button was most recently rolled out in Event #59 of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). 1,414 players entered the $ 320 tournament and 944 re-entered, creating a prize pool of $ 707,400. “sousinha23” of Hungary won the event and $ 104,284.57.

Now PokerStars is installing Win the Button tourneys on a permanent basis in the poker room’s schedule. There will be eleven daily Win the Button tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $ 2.20 to $ 162 plus two weekly Saturday “majors.” Those Saturday events will have buy-ins of $ 55 and $ 5.50. Here is the complete daily schedule for the new PokerStars Win the Button tournaments:

02:10 – $ 3.30 Re-Entry $ 750 Guaranteed
03:30 – $ 4.40 8-Max R+A $ 500 Guaranteed
07:10 – $ 5.50 $ 1.5K Guaranteed
09:10 – $ 55 $ 4K Guaranteed
11:15 – $ 3.30 $ 2K Guaranteed
14:00 – $ 162 Ultra Deep $ 5K Guaranteed
14:10 – $ 3.30 $ 2K Guaranteed
16:15 – $ 11 $ 3.5K Guaranteed
19:00 – $ 11 R+A $ 1.5K Guaranteed
21:15 – $ 2.20 Re-Entry $ 1K Guaranteed
23:15 – $ 33 Re-Entry $ 2K Guaranteed

PokerStars representatives offered up the usual comments about the new offering. “We are proud to continue to deliver exciting & innovative games, the largest variety of tournaments anywhere in the world and to be the home of online poker,” said Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at PokerStars, in a press release.

Legendary poker streaming and member of Team PokerStars Pro Jason Somerville said, “I love the interesting twist of Win the Button tournaments. I’m very much looking forward to competing in these tournaments more regularly. It’s awesome to see PokerStars continue to innovate and develop new fun-oriented tournament variants like Win the Button.”

*Except, technically, pre-flop, but even though the blinds act after the button, they have already put money into the pot involuntary. The button is still the last to act in the pre-flop round out of the players who are not forced to pony up a blind.

Poker News Daily