In Retrospect: Rounders

In 1998, Rounders was released and it reinvigorated the world of poker.

"Dude. Call me Bourne one more
time and I'm coming over
this table....!!"
Through the years there have been many films about the world of gambling and poker. The topic has been glorified, dramatized, and shown in several different lights. But, Rounders was a film that came along and changed the world of poker for years to come. Soon after its release, TV became a haven for poker shows and the internet quickly became a new place to play online poker games. Poker became a hot topic that hasn't died since. The world of gambling was changed forever by this little movie called Rounders and its reality based tale of winners and losers.

The film starred a youthful Edward Norton in one of his first big Hollywood roles and Matt Damon hot off his performance in the Oscar winning Good Will Hunting. John Malkovich, John Turturro, and Gretchen Mol rounded out the cast each with their own distinct and realistic characters. Malkovich starred as the notorious underground gambling kingpin, Teddy KGB with a bad Russian accent while the always awesome Martin Landau plays Damon's support system, Mr. Petrovsky. 

Even though the film is about the world of underground gaming, the movie is about way more than that. This is a film about dedication to long time friendships, relationships and how poker is not only a game of chance but one of skill and personal craft. Damon's character, McDermott says it perfectly, "Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker every year? What..... are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas?". Rounders drives home the fact that this is a game of skill over and over, never letting up in its overall message about the game of poker. 
"What? At least my Hulk movie was
better than that Ang Lee crap!"

If you've never seen the movie, you should consider checking it out. It's one of the better movies about poker that should really be experienced by fans and non-fans of the game. I've never played in my life, but this movie makes it seem like something I'd want to try one of these days. However, I'll take the high road and won't get involved with loan sharks or gangsters. Or maybe I'll just sit behind this computer screen and try playing online one of these days. It might be 

Apparently, there is work being done on a Rounders 2 which just might see the light of day in the next few years. Supposedly, Matt Damon has agreed to return while Edward Norton is not such a sure thing. But, it would be really cool to see a continuation of these characters and to finally find out what happened to Worm. Will he still be a bottom rung hood strung out on the street or will he finally turn a new corner and become a winner? I guess we'll find out if this project ever gets off the ground.