Monday, June 17, 2013

FEATURE: Top 3 Movies with Poker

Poker is one of the most dramatic card games going, bearing just the right amounts of psychology, chance and immediacy in gameplay to make it a real movie favourite. Here we look at what many poker players would consider to be the top 3 poker scenes of all time in film.

We can watch real poker any time so we don’t tend to mind too much if movie poker scenes are imbued with heavy scoops of artistic licence. This is done perfectly in the 2006 Bond film Casino Royale where the balance of gameplay and drama are finely tuned.

Casino Royale was Daniel Craig’s debut and his initial incarnations of Bond were quite reminiscent of a Connery type performance. The poker scene in Casino Royale was therefore fairly true to the game but with slight dramatic leanings to help it along. 

Le Chiffre naturally called a hand of two Aces and three sixes, raising the tension to unbearable levels with Bond being the last to call. Bond threw down a Straight Flush to win the pot and defy Le Chiffre’s devilish plans. Notice the sumptuous colours and beautiful looks of this scene as well as the card game; a shoe-in for the top 3.
Poker is a game that can travel through an abundance of settings and encompass a variety of characters so Cool Hand Luke’s jailhouse poker scene is particularly intriguing. Poker in film seems to tend to personify an outsider spirit and Cool Hand Luke is just that. A war hero, jailed for damaging parking meters, Luke wins the respect of his fellow inmates due to his audacity and spirit, particularly in the iconic poker scene where he bluffs his way to victory. 

Luke constantly refuses to defer to power and even though he’s been dealt a bad hand – in life, and poignantly, as a strong metaphor in poker – he bluffs his way to victory. Imagine how impressive this would have been if they just played online pokies online casino Australia.

Newman followed up this performance six years later with another classic scene that completes our top three, namely in 1973’s The Sting. Here he plays a grifter well away from the comforts of the Casino. The movie delves into the shady world of cheating to win. When outsmarted by a fellow grifter in a key scene Lonnegan states “What was I supposed to do, call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?”


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